by James Kochalka

Top Shelf

“I’m a fuckin’ clone of myself, motherfucker! We’re gonna use my skull as a motherfuckin’ bong!”

In the the same vein as Geoffrey Brown’s Incredible Changebots, Superf*ckers is a deliciously funny and vile sendup of 1980s Saturday morning kid-fare. Whereas Brown undertakes a note-perfect deconstruction of the Transformers cartoon, Superf*ckers is a raunchy, dark as fuck, proudly toilet-humorrific takedown of every superhero team going: Avengers, Justice League, Teen Titans, Superfriends, X-Men — no one is spared. And it all springs from the unlikeliest of pens. James Kochalka! James Kochalka??? Of the warmhearted American Elf diary comics, the ridiculously cute Johnny Boo and the laffs of Monkey vs. Robot? This is the equivalent of Daniel Johnston and Jad Fair flipping out and forming a church-burnin’ black metal band. Yep, guess he had to unleash all of his pent-up id somewhere — good thing Top Shelf was there to sweep it up. The Superf*ckers graphic novel collects issues 271, 273, 277, 279 (heh heh) and Jack Krak #1. And it’s a damn doozie. The Superf*ckers are drawn in Kochalka’s disarmingly cute manner, all angelic smiles, wide open eyes, noodly (Charlie Brown) bodies and whimsical costumes, but what flows from their mouths is an unremitting stream of trash and filth — misogynistic, sociopathic, self-loathing, heretical, self-obsessed, drug-addicted insanity. On a Wednesday morning, when a lineup of hopeful heroes (including “Plant Pal”) lines up outside of the door of the Superf*ckers headquarters for the weekly tryouts, asshole team leader Jack Krak (“I am the motherfucker!”) pees on them from the second floor window with a gleeful shout of “Weather report! It’s raining piss!” It’s fucking great, in other words. Oh yeah, that reminds me, they use the f-word like most people use “is.” Tremendous.

The plot, as it is, centers around the fact that the Superf*ckers really don’t do much saving the world at all, instead they fight, insult one another, scheme against one another, and do whatever drugs they can get their hands on. The only thing they seem to hate more than one another is the unending line of earnest wannabees that constantly show up at their door for their big chance to join the team. They usually get insulted or abused or forced to fight one another in a big pit out behind the headquarters. (Now imagine all of this drawn as the cutest cartoon since Calvin and Hobbes.)

This one’s not for the kids at all, but y’know what, who cares, so much entertainment is primed for the little bastards these days. This one’s for comic fans burned out on all the big “events” (Death of Captain America! Return of the Flash!) and superheroes dominating the multiplex, Johnny Ryan devotees, and anyone who loves to be shocked, but in like a friendly and affectionate way, like a dirty joke from a best friend. Jack Krak is the motherfucker, indeed.

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