Synopsis: At one time, BUTCHER BAKER was the preeminent, All-American superhero. Now, he’s getting laid.
01. I stole that line from the book’s solicitation information. Just thought you should know that.
02. Joe Casey is tired of your bullshit. Or at least, that’s what he says in this book. Once a devout follower of the superhero genre, his recent trips to the comic shop have left him wanting – and so, he created a book to fill a void.
Butcher Baker is a very loud book. It arrives on the scene with solid gold dildo doorhandles and steams right through a sea of boobs before getting to the point: the every day way of doing things just isn’t working anymore – not for the titular character, nor for the world that he lives in. In short order, he is taken off his leash by (somewhat inexplicably) Dick Cheney and Jay Leno and then shit starts to go bananas.
03. At this early juncture, I’m not exactly sure how to describe this book. At turns, its a superhero comic, but it makes no bones about discarding the idea of super-heroics in general. When referenced, the “old ways” are treated with a sort of contempt and a new way of getting action is openly advocated. Also, there’s a lot of swearing and nudity. Graphic nudity.
Often times, such a book can be a recipe for disaster, but Butcher Baker seems to steer clear of common traps. For instance, a lot of books that try to push into the realm of graphic language, violence and nudity try to carry an air of maturity – however those often confuse shock value for critical thought – which is the real mark of a mature comic. Butcher Baker makes no bones about what it is: its big, and its gaudy, but while it plays fast and loose with its morals, there’s a purpose to the book – a desperate plea for an audience to recognize that they can still read superhero comics, but expect something more, something different. Mixing equal parts of irreverence with purpose, it manages to feel substantial. It will need that to weather the months to come
04. You haven’t seen art like this before. I know I sure haven’t – and I’ve been following Mike Huddleston ever since he originally did The Coffin with Phil Hester over at Oni Press. What you see inside the pages of Butcher Baker is something special – an artist that’s perfectly matched with a concept, one that he feels so passionate about that he strives tirelessly to make every note as perfect as he can make it. Here, Huddleston is not only providing pencils and inks, but he’s going full out on the colours too. This singular vision for the art really allows him to go for exactly what he wants, and makes for a lot of interesting colouring choices. You’ll notice that most of the book does not feature colour like you would normally see it in a comic – caking the spaces in between line art, and filling up the page. Here, it’s used mostly to provide extra punches to the eye-gut, stretching your senses and blowing your mind with each turn of the page. You really have to take a look at what he’s throwing down on the pages here. It’s really quite amazing.
05. Butcher Baker is going to be something you either love or hate. There’s absolutely no question. Personally, I’m on board for the ride. You should try the first issue and see if you are too. If not, no hard feelings.
Recommended if you like: The Boys, Bomb Queen, Godland, and good comics.