Home > comics > “kill your boyfriend” by grant morrisson

“kill your boyfriend” by grant morrisson

i’ve got a lot of time for grant morrisson. i don’t always like how he approaches things but he has some wonderful ideas. i particularly like his mind-bending stuff, like the filth and flex mentallo which is very much my cup of tea.

i also really rate his arkham asylum which, i recently realised, is even better than i thought it was. thats because i read the special edition last year, containing the original script which is amazing.

kill your boyfriend is about a schoolgirl who is living a boring life with stifling middle class parents and an inattentive boyfriend. she desperately wishes for some fun and meaning to enter her life. it is then when this bloke who she’s seen on the bus comes into her life, urges her to kill her boyfriend and whisks her away on an adventure of sex, drugs and a little anarchy.

the book is very well drawn by philip bond who’s artwork is in the perfect style for the comic’s very black humour. as usual morrisson’s satire is razor sharp and airs society’s dirty laundry, which really makes you think about things. the dialogue is fairly quick and avoids long speeches and as such the comic moves along quite nicely.

along with his social comment, what i liked most about this were the characters. they all seemed quite well-formed and not straight-forward, which made them sound real.

the violence, however, bothered me a bit and i can’t quite say why this is. my one thought is the period it was written in and the period i’m reading it in. it was written at the heart of that period when quite a number of violent (and sometimes romantic) rebellion films were coming out, which at the time had quite a lot of resonance. perhaps if i’d read it then it wouldn’t have jarred with me as much, because reading it now it seems a little bit too anarchic for my taste.

that said, to this day i am still a big fan of true romance and am more comfortable with the violence in that, which makes me think there could be something else going on here. in true romance, as violent as it is, there’s still an innocence which pervades the film and a sense of justice around what happens. kill your boyfriend, like natural born killers (which i also don’t like), is rather more cynical and destructive and i think that might be what bothers me about it.

ultimately the people who die in natural born killers and kill your boyfriend don’t deserve to die and the killers don’t show remorse. i must say that the characters in kill your boyfriend aren’t anything on the scale of those in natural born killers and, in fact, the body count is very low, but they share the same destructive urge and thats what i don’t like.

also, it must be said that i could be totally missing morrisson’s point, and reading satire into what was meant to be very light-hearted (albeit pitch black) humour. if that is the case then it would put a very different slant on the whole thing.

this is a well-written comic and there are a lot of good things going on in it. and, as i said, i like morrisson, he’s full of interesting ideas.

if you like your romances dark and anarchic then there’s a good chance you’ll like this. if all this sounds a bit black to you then perhaps steer clear.

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Categories: comics
  1. January 20, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about Grant Morrisson, but I also heard that his stuff really is very violent. I’m not too squeamish, but there’s only so much I can take in a single story. What do you think would be a good book of his to start with?

  2. January 20, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    I’ve read a few of Grant Morrison’s short stories, and boy are they odd, and weird, and strange. I do like them though. This sounds very interesting.

  3. jean pierre
    January 21, 2009 at 9:14 am

    NYMETH:

    hmmm… well, i’ve read quite a bit of morrisson, and except for this one i’ve never noticed the violence. there definitely is violence in them, but not too much more than other crime/gritty vertigo titles. i think the difference with “kill your boyfriend” is the senselessness of it all. but then, as i said, i could also be missing the point.

    hmmm… theres lots to recommend. i guess the safest place to start is “arkham asylum” which has the added bonus for our blogging circle of being illustrated by dave mckean.

    in arkham the inmates (headed by the joker) take over the asylum and their ransom demand is for batman to come and join them. they want to give them their own unique psychological evaluation as they believe him to be just as insane as they are.

    my next favourite is “flex mentallo” which is about… which is about… which is very hard to describe, but wonderfully mind-bending! 😀

    FENCEY:

    i love his oddness and strangeness! 😀 he’s an aquarius like you, by the way.

    this is definitely very interesting. i think what i like most about it is how even though its quite breezy it has a strong impact. its not like a lot of comics which are just entertainment to pass the time. theres a bit of depth to it all.

  4. January 21, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Wow…I thought I was the only person on earth who didn’t like Natural Born Killers. And I’ve never been quite able to put into words why, because it wasn’t exactly the violence. I think you may have nailed it with “destructive urge”…it just made me very uncomfortable in ways that violent works haven’t. Maybe that was the point. But I just didn’t like it.

  5. January 21, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Arkhaam Asylum it will be, then! It sounds awesome 😀 And by the sound of it I don’t think the violence will stand out to me either…I’ve also seen Sandman being described as very violent, but I never really thought of it like that.

  6. January 23, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Sounds interesting! I’m enjoying the idea of reading about teenage rebellion (I must be getting old). The story sounds a bit like the song ‘Becky’ by Be Your Own Pet (check it out, it’s great!) – which is also violent and exuberant.

    I like Morrison quite a bit. I remember really enjoying Arkham Asylum, despite not being a huge Bat-fan.

    I’ll have to add this to the long list of things I should be reading!

  7. jean pierre
    January 26, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    i haven’t managed to listen to the track but i just read the lyrics and you’re right, its very similar. especially in tone. although, “kill your boyfriend” is a little less vindictive and more “fuck it, lets kill your boyfriend! yay!”

    yeah, arkham is pretty good. although i have a bit of a strange bee in my bonnet at the moment about the morrisson script that comes with the 20th anniversary (or whatever). the script is absolutely amazing and, as amazing as mckean’s art is, i really wish he could’ve been more true to the script. but then, one wonders if the art would’ve been as good?

    and also, arkham was a watershed for mckean and really kicked him into the badass-artist stratosphere. and we wouldn’t want that not to have happened…

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