Dörfler by Jeremy Baum
96 pages / $22.99 Buy from Fantagraphics
Cable television in the mid-nineties was a cornucopia of bonkers genre faire, and for a nine-year-old with minimal parental intervention it played a huge influence on me growing up. Sci-Fi, USA Network, TNT, and other channels provided me with a fairly reliable stream of schlocky horror, science fiction, and fantasy movies which have since left me with a taste for the bizarre.
I tended to venture way from “age appropriate” programming, like Nickelodeon, and surf these channels only when my mom was busy or out on errands, so I never actually watched all of the majority of the films I caught, but it was this habit of indiscriminately watching snippets of movies that introduced me to such visually evocative films as Terminator 2, The Hidden, Mosquito, Phantasm II, They Live, Iria Zeiram the Animation, Akira, Krull, Roujin Z, and so many more ridiculously wonderful bits of gorgeous SFF.
Jeremy Baum’s debut graphic novel captures this experience of channel surfing amongst genre films better than any other comic I’ve come across. With imagery that evokes Akira by way of a geometrically obsessed David A. Trampier, the book tells the story of three gifted youngsters stolen from their verdant homes and harnessed as weapons for a totalitarian force through a surreal ouroboros of dreams and genre mashups. Nola is an elf-girl seeking to stop the militarized government through magic, or is she an amnesiac niece of one of the project’s head scientists, or is she both?!?
Comics, like film, are a wonderful medium for forcing their audience into new and unfamiliar territory. Jeremy Baum’s art skillfully riffs off of the tropes of adolescent fandom to create a stunning, evocative comic. Dörfler is equal parts fantasy, science fiction, Heavy Metal pin-up erotica, and every trope from all of the above wrapped into a gorgeous hardcover, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.