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Book Review < Back

Hollywood Bau

Credits: Written and Illustrated by Maruro Marchesi and Francesco Tacconi
Publisher: Phoenix Enterprise


What a weird little book this is.

Hollywood Bau is a no-nonsense hottie who runs a motel in the desert. She drives a hovercraft and does her grocery shopping at a market called the Hare Hare. The Hare Hare is run by a pervy fat guy who has pervy fat guy designs on young Hollywood. These aren't any "I want to dress her up in embarrassing Ren Faire costumes and make her call me ‘Master'" designs, either. We're talking jumper cables on tenderbits and fixations more Psychopathis Sexualis than Skin Two. But ha ha ha, Pervy Fat Guy! The horny penguin living in Hollywood's refrigerator and the little molested murderess from Room 15 have designs on YOU!

What? Oh, it's European. According to the jacket, it's "Russ Meyer meets Quentin Tarantino," which means it's Europeans doing Americans, which is even better. Like those Germans who spend their holidays re-enacting the American Old West, the whole thing is just off enough to be weirdly fascinating – both as a comic and a cultural artifact.

There's one more thing that I should mention and I feel bad tacking it on here at the end because I think this alone is enough reason to buy the book: there are no words in the speech balloons. All dialogue is communicated in pictographs. Just in case I lost you, that means that just about any reader in the Western world is going to be able to follow the story – regardless of his or her native tongue. Hollywood Bau was the second of two books I read in one night employing this technique. I'd never seen it done before and I confess my mind reeled.

Okay, my mind is prone to reeling, granted, but I had a long talk about sequential art theory with the Italian penguin who lives in my refrigerator and his mind reeled, too.

-- Kelly Sue DeConnick

Kelly Sue DeConnick relocated from Brooklyn, New York to Kansas City, MO, where she lives with her husband and artbomb.net colleague, Matt Fraction. Kelly Sue writes the English adaptations of several manga titles published by Tokyopop and Viz. She can be found on the web at kellysue.com.


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