Thursday, June 19, 2014

Review - The Mysterious Case of Billy’s G-String


"I only take calls from my wife and direct communications from God."

A vicar is someone acting on behalf of someone else; typically, someone who ranks higher than they do. Still, they get a lot of leeway in terms of what they can do and what they can command, something which has its benefits. Enjoying a fast-paced life with people at your whim is just one of those benefits in The Mysterious Case of Billy’s G-String. The graphic novel is written by David Singleton and illustrated by Ben Singleton, adapted from Punk Sanderson's novel The Vicar Chronicles.

The Vicar is a man who fancies himself a god of sorts. His assistant Punk Sanderson is a little more down to earth, but very loyal. The two of them together make a rather formidable team, as they take the music industry by storm. That includes sabotaging concerts, laying down tracks and living the rock and roll lifestyle.

Singleton's script is somewhat formulaic in some ways. It offers a wide variety of outlandish situations that seem fitting for those in the music business, but there's a lot in the way of narration that directs the reader from point A to point B. It's not overbearing and does fit the context of the book, but there are some parts where it feels a little too tedious in terms of what it's describing. The dialogue is pretty superfluous for the most part, really not trying to make any statements other than poke fun at some of the more inane aspects of being in the music industry. The shallow aspect makes the book feel convincing as something of a satire and doesn't bog down the reader down with philosophical musings on the state of recording music.

Artistically, the book looks to be inspired by The Simpsons. Characters are illustrated with minimal attention to detail and an overabundance of fantasy, as they look more cartoon than anything else. It fits the book for sure, considering it's a very tongue in cheek satire of an industry that many within take very seriously. While the book has some rather adult tones at times, Singleton illustrates the women oversexualized--again, likely to mock the music industry that seemingly worships them in some ways. There are some panels that look a little rough in terms of how the characters interact with their environments, but the look of the book ensures that readers won't confuse The Mysterious Case of Billy’s G-String with anything too dramatic.

Books that deconstruct a certain field or industry often do so in a way that feels inflammatory to many within that industry. The Mysterious Case of Billy’s G-String is no exception, clearly content to rip on many tropes in the music business that gives the business a bad reputation. David Singleton's script is good, presenting one outlandish scenario after the next that proves to be pretty enjoyable. Ben Singleton's illustrations are the right blend of caricature and cartoon, providing an angle to the subject matter that fits the narrative. The Mysterious Case of Billy’s G-String is a somewhat bold and whimsical reduction of the music business to its most base components of sex and frauds.

The Mysterious Case of Billy’s G-String is available now.

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