Publisher: DDP/1First Comics
Publication Date: May 25, 2016
Diamond Code: MAR161390
The Drude has long been in the making. Omaha Perez fans were able to get their hands on Ashcan editions of at San Diego Comic Con and Emerald City Comic Con in years past. Now we see the official store release of this very adult(Warning: not for children!) graphic novel. If you know Omaha Perez’s previous works, you know that you’re in for some mental skewering and trippy storylines. He does not disappoint with this new release.
The Drude follows Boris Drude, a guy who likes to toke up and have a good time. He doesn’t seem like a very productive person, but he’s in a band and has a few friends. He also has a girlfriend who isn’t too interested in kissing him. The first chapter opens with Boris on an autopsy table with a bullet wound. The coroner can’t find an obvious cause of death. When he is about to begin the autopsy, Boris wakes up. The shock surprises the coroner so much that he falls backwards and smacks his head against a counter. Its unclear whether he’s just out cold or deadd from the fall; however, it’s clear that Boris steals his clothes, switches his toe tag with another body and escapes.
We’re then taken back to two weeks earlier, where presumably the adventure that put him on the autopsy table begins. Boris is screwing around with his rather masculine looking girlfriend when they get interrupted by a knock on the door. He answers and it’s his friend, ready to light up. Smoking and strumming a guitar, his friend declares that the British royal family are reptilians. At first it just seems like one of those high thoughts, but then you realize Boris may or may not have a ghost living in his closet. So having reptilians living amongst us much like the Crab people in South Park doesn’t seem too far-fetched. As the story goes on, it appears that Boris has the ability to see the reptilians. Eventually we learn that Prince Charles is the anti-Christ and kidnaps Boris’s girlfriend so that she can be a sacrifice, allowing him to become the reptilian anti-Christ king that will help his kind rise up above humanity. Boris does what he can to save his girlfriend and kill Prince Charles.
Unfortunately, the narrator is not very consistent, so it is difficult to separate the real from the imagined in Boris’s world. The graphic novel appears to be told from Boris’s perspective, so I think it’s safe to conclude that everything that happens is either a hallucination, or Boris is just really stoned and paranoid. The only events we can trust happened was Boris’s escape from the morgue, his funeral(where his friends joke that Boris is probably not dead – and they’re right), and his attempt to kill Prince Charles in NYC. If you have ever gotten so stoned that you think your skin is burning and everyone around you is talking about you, you’ll understand exactly what Boris is going through with the lizard people.
The Drude is fun but difficult to read. It’s difficult because I had a hard time trusting the narrator and believing what I thought my brain was processing. I went back several times to re-read sections and I still don’t know if what I remember is actually what happened. While some people may balk and say this is a bad thing, I would argue that for this particular story, this is a very good thing. Boris is high as a kite and can’t even figure out what’s going on half the time. All he knows is that his girlfriend is in danger, he can see lizard people and the lizard people know who he is, and that he has to stop anti-Christ Prince Charles. It’s difficult to determine if all of this is real or just a person under the influence, having a bad time. There are sections of the graphic novel that can definitely be taken for what they are – such as the scene at the morgue and the scene at the funeral. It’s also very likely that Boris really did head all the way to NYC to kill Prince Charles. However, are there really reptilians living amongst us, or is Boris just having a bad bout of paranoia? I’ll never know.
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**This item was provided for review.