I picked up Boy In My Pocket on a whim during the last Top Shelf sale. I knew going in that it was a part of a larger series and that there was the potential of the story being lost on me. But it was Dean Haspiel and I was curious so I gave it a shot. I’m still a bit confused about the world and the main character of Billy Dogma, but the story wasn’t lost on me. It starts off with Jane Legit (great name by the way) setting the stage for Billy as she asks how he managed to get fired and wind up in a hospital bed all in the course of three hours at his new job. Billy gives zero explanation at first, but makes a TV show reference that had me legitimately laughing when I read it. He then dives into the details and while it’s all still pretty vague, the art gives us an idea of the events. Frankly it all sounds like an exaggeration, but that might be Billy’s personality.
Jane heads to work and once she’s there she can’t stop thinking about her laid up Billy. Suddenly he appears, cutting a hole through her window and bringing an extra parachute. It all feels like a fever dream and as Jane turns away to talk to her co-worker suddenly Billy is gone… or is he. Jane continues to see his face on every man that comes to the office or is it that Billy is every man? I promise there’s a clear resolution to the craziness by the end of the comic.
Dean Haspiel manages to tell the story on two fronts. There’s the dialogue that is believable with minimal exposition, but then there’s the art. The art is where the imagination comes in. It makes you question what’s being said and done because even the reader isn’t sure if what Jane is seeing and experiencing is real.
The story is quick and as I said resolves itself by the end. I don’t know if it has a lot of re-reading value, but it definitely made me want to check out more of the world that Haspiel has created with Billy Dogma and Jane Legit. It’s likely that you’ll feel the same way too.
There’s actually a second story in the issue called Volcano Girl and it’s a comic that’s featured in Billy’s story. This story steals the show as Haspiel tells the entire tale without a single line of dialogue. It’s a Greek tragedy to put it plainly, but that’s all I’m going to tell you. It really was a show stopper.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Dean Haspiel Publisher: Top Shelf Comix Price: $2.95 Website