Two things have happened to make this review rather appropriate for me. One, this pandemic and all the hullabaloo surrounding it has put my regular book reading on the back burner. I’m finding myself in one of those book reading ruts. My Kobo and Kindle are full of unread books and my nightstand is primarily just a stack of books by my bedside with a lamp sitting precariously on top. Two, I seem to find myself going down rabbit holes on apps like Instagram Reels and Tik Tok (blame my kids for that addiction).
A little while ago someone turned me onto the fact that Eisner-award winner Mike Baron, creator of some of my favourite 1980s comics like Badger and Nexus, wrote a novel parodying the popular meme about “The Florida Man”. The 2013 Internet sensation where folks would pull weird and crazy headlines from the Internet that all started with “Florida Man … ” and highlighted weird crimes, stunts and events perpetrated by the fine folks in Florida. “Florida man run over by truck after dog steps on the gas pedal” for example. Needless to say, I grabbed a digital copy and plopped it into my Kindle “to read” pile. Every time I saw a funny video clip or meme showing more misadventures from the Sunshine State I’m reminded that I needed to read Mike’s book.
Hot on the heels of the success of Mike’s prose novel comes word that he is releasing a graphic novel adaptation! Florida Man Volume 1 is a 64-page prestige-bound graphic novel that was initially funded with an Indiegogo and a Kickstarter campaign which raised more than quadruple their original fundraising goals. Also included are pin-ups by Chuck Dixon, Pat Broderick, Joe Comstock, Barry McClain and Simon Pothier. Florida Man, the Graphic Novel, tells, ” … the wild and hilarious adventures of Gary Duba, the quintessential ‘Florida Man,’ a larger than life figure hailing from the magical land of Florida, USA!”. Follow along as we watch Gary get into whacky situation after whacky situation harassing Judges, pawning his prized 1986 Barry Bonds rookie card, getting married and shooting up a gator in a pool!
If you are up for some satire from Mike or read the book and liked it you should enjoy this comic adaptation. With the novel still in my read pile I can’t make a comparison between the two. Art chores are distributed between Todd Mulrooney, Elias Martins, Marcelo Salaza and Val Mayerick but I didn’t find any jarring shifts in art style through the various vignettes loosely linked in the book. Digital colouring by Ichsan Ansori adds a tonne of shading to the easily approachable style of the line art.
You can learn more about the Florida Man comic here. Or grab a copy at Amazon.
Issue: Florida Man Volume 1 | Publisher: self-published
Writer: Mike Baron | Artists: Todd Mulrooney, Elias Martins, Marcelo Salaza and Val Mayerick
Colourist: Ichsan Ansori | Letterer: Warren Montgomery | Editor : Chris Braly
Price: $19.99 – 64 pages