Bad Pills

Bad Pills #1

by Sverre H. Kristensen (SHK)

Michael Hunt Publishing

Bad Pills is audio/visual/print malcontent Sverre H. Kristensen’s last work, his comic legacy, written in 1997 as he was dying of leukemia, obsessed with finishing it at the expense of everything else. In fact, Kristensen admitted to an interviewer that he was working very hard to think up situations for the characters in his comics that would make them feel worse than he felt. And in that respect he pretty much succeeded. Bad Pills places characters drawn in the deceptively innocent and Wertham-approved “funny animal” style into a dark cesspool of violence, drugs, misanthropy, and rape. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed little rascals get fucked up the ass, shot in the face, dismembered, and dosed. And when rendered in stark black and white, with a florid inking style (no coloring at all) and a paradoxical noir feel, the effect is truly jarring. Like Meet The Feebles crossed with the best of E.C. Comics and a snuff film or three.

The shit that fucking fascinated me the most was when SHK takes all of his hate and inner rot and turns it on himself and those he is ignorantly thought to be in sympathy with. To that end, there’s “Crazy White Peckerwood,” where a neo-Nazi woodpecker discovers he has a copy of Might Is Right wedged firmly up his ass. Or there’s “KKK Nigger,” where a confused black character ends up accidentally killing all of the Klan’s Grand Wizards. Or finally, “One Down,” where some disgruntled robbers see SHK walking down the street, whistling to himself. The muggers decry the sins and excesses of his comics and decide to kill him; as they draw their guns, though, SHK just collapses and dies of leukemia right there. The robbers are left to provide his eulogy, “The fuck keeled over and died from leukemia before we could kill him… Let’s burn those fuckin’ comics!” Totally fucking awesome. SHK was unflinching in his honesty and his portrayal of his head sickness and a sick society hidden under cuddly disguises. Holy shit, that’s no allegory… that’s the truth.

Michael Hunt Publishing:

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