Comics You Should Be Reading Vol 1. : The Li’l Depressed Boy
Every time you read a comic it doesn’t have to be about a superhero or a mutant or someone whose been bitten by a radioactive spider. I try to keep my reading taste mixed up, otherwise things will just get pretty stale. Although some of the best stories we’ve ever read come from Superman, Batman, the X-Men or the Avengers–some of them have come from characters who are just regular people. Hell, one of the most popular comic books ever and definitely one of the hottest out right now is The Walking Dead, though you might find an overwhelming amount of zombies–you won’t find a man in a cape anywhere. I like books like the Walking Dead, characters are broken down to our level, to a believable level, while reading it’s easy see a range of emotions that an invincible hero won’t always feel. I find that extremely refreshing, especially in a world where there are five Batman books or several different Avengers teams.
Take it a step further, finding a character that’s really comparable to us is more of a challenge. Image Comics makes that search a little easier with the former popular former web-comic and now ongoing series written by S. Steven Struble and drawn Sina Grace, The Li’l Depressed Boy.
The Li’l Depressed Boy follows a soft spoken, shy, loner named appropriately after the book, Li’l Depressed Boy or as he is affectionately referred to “LDB”. The story isn’t overly complicated, but it is comprised of a treasure chest of different elements and themes including romance and comedy. LDB is an average guy and that’s what’s great about this character, his reliability is shocking for the most part, despite his appearance, which you can interpret the meaning for yourself. I tend to think they way he appears reflects the idea that we can all be LDB, there just isn’t on type of person that falls into this category. I can assure you that you’ll see yourself in at least one part of his personality, its nearly impossible not to. He has problems just like us, whether its relationships, finding a job, getting through the day or just figuring out what he wants to do with his life. Some of these might sound familiar, right? As he works his way through the world in his own way, the blissful and heartwarming moments are abundant.
At the same time he experiences the same misfortunes we do, some of them hit home more than the others. But that’s life isn’t it? Up’s and down’s all across the board, its just how you handle it that makes the difference. That’s what makes this book so entertaining, watching “LDB” jump through hoops and over hurdles just to find contentment is engaging to say the least. It’s kind of hard not to live vicariously through this endearing character. You’re constantly rooting for him as you turn every page. Your empathy muscle will get a decent workout for sure as you follow LDB.
The title of the book doesn’t neccisarily forecast what’s ahead of you. It has quite a somber tone but you won’t find yourself struggling to smile. The book is also quite accessible for new readers. You can pick up any issue and get a sense of what’s going on and keep moving forward. But you probably wouldn’t do that, after reading one issue you’ll have to go back and read them all. Struble’s stories are amazingly enjoyable to read through and Grace’s art fit’s the book perfectly, its a very soft style with all the detail in the right places, especially in reference to a lot of LDB’s interest.There are dozens of pop-culture nod’s that start to give us a little more in common with the book. LDB has quite the range of taste in music and books.You might even see something you’re a fan of on one of his t-shirts.
You just won’t find this kind of stuff anywhere else. Right now because of all the new superhero movies, comics have seen a resurgence of sorts, you’ll see a lot of books riding that wave, but then there are the little treasures like The Li’l Depressed Boy which don’t come a dime-a-dozen, they’re more like one in a thousand. I hope Grace and Struble stay on this book as long as comics exist, its truly one of a kind.
The first issue is free over at Comixology go download it and tell me what you think!