Comic Review: Bob’s Burgers #3
Since its 2011 debut, airing alongside animated powerhouses like The Simpsons and Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers has cultivated quite the dedicated fan base. A fixture of Fox’s Sunday night block, the humble show is on its fifth season and is now spinning off into the funny books. Just like the titular restaurant this issue is also a family affair, with much of the talent here also involved in the production of the series. But is it good?
We are off to a good start with Devin Roth’s cover. I can practically imagine Tina groaning in whacky-wavy-inflatable-arm-flailing-tube-man form. The book has five vignettes, one for each of the Belchers, albeit with the kids getting most of the spotlight. It leads (wisely) with a selection from Tina’s fabled erotic friend fiction. The show’s quirky humor plays well on paper, managing to squeeze in a lot of gags in only eight pages. One panel had me rolling and yes, it involved Tina’s love of butts.
Second is a draft for one of Bob’s “genius” Burger of the Day ideas, complete with grease stains on the notepad. I wish Bob had a bigger role in this issue but as he’s usually playing the quasi-straight man to his family’s antics, I guess he can sit this one out.
Louise’s story about a cardboard fort turned labyrinth is a true standout. Credit to Kat Kosmala’s art, colors, and letters (triple threat much?), as they turn this whacky tale into something nearly Seussian. Linda’s speech bubbles are in cursive, panels in the fort are framed by cardboard, and the characters are even more cartoonish, if such a thing were possible.
Speaking of Linda, the fourth entry is Mrs. Belcher’s wine stained letter to a perfume retailer with a list of scent suggestions. Although only a single page, her sassy mom-charm is depicted so well, this vignette does the best job of capturing a particular Belcher’s essence. And pulling up the rear, is a “musical” involving Gene, frogs, and flatulence.
There are good ways to do tie-ins and there are good ways to do multiple vignettes – this issue is an example of both. I had some reservations at first but I will definitely be following this one. The artistic flourishes in Louise’s story in particular show the aspirations of this series to not just be a generic tie-in, but a great comic book companion to one of the funniest shows on TV.
Review 6 (our of 7) – With jokes crammed into nearly every panel, there’s plenty of bang for your buck. This burger is well-done.