“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.