Jeffrey Brown is well-known for his autobiographical works (mostly dealing with his girlfriends) like Little Things. His newest little thing is his anthology series Sulk for Top Shelf. In these, Brown gets to let loose with fiction and have some fun.
Each issue gives Brown the opportunity to stretch his talents in several short stories. He wonders around thematically, taking on whatever strikes his fancy and injecting it with his own humor. The results are entertaining if you’re into the things Brown is into. And if you grew up reading comics, chances are fairly good that you enjoy similar things.
The first issue is a giant take on superhero comics battles with a commix-style twist. The protagonist, a hero named Bighead, fights evil and monsters while spouting such lines as, “Your boss tried to bend the rules of reality, Generic Thug, but he failed, for it is change and surprise that are the true authors of our lives.”
The second volume is a giant ode to mixed martial arts. The bloody battle two shirtless men engage in on the cover is pretty much all you need to know going in, although if you’ve ever watched an ultimate fighting contest (and liked it), even better.
The third volume, not out yet but previewed at the end of volume 2, promises to deal with “The Kind of Strength That Comes with Madness!” (That would be robots, pirates, elves, monsters, and other assorted baddies.) Brown has said the Sulk series will continue quarterly, which is a treat to look forward to. These small, digest-sized books are a nice little slice of Brown’s gift for jovial comics satire.
Reviewed by John Hogan on July 24, 2012
Sulk, Volume 1