Archive for Lil Depressed Boy

Lil Depressed Boy

Posted in Comics with tags , , on June 27, 2011 by Parker Connell

Lil Depressed Boy


The first four issues of Image comics Lil Depressed Boy written by S. Steven Struble with art by Sina Grace have been collected into a trade paperback. Before I found this trade I had never heard of LDB but my friend picked it up and I gave it a read.

After finishing the book I was confused, not due to plot or too many characters, actually the structure and story of LDB are beautifully small, I was confused as to how others felt about it. Some aspects of it I thought were good to great, and others I found to be cliché and trite.

Starting with the good LDB himself is a pretty good creation, he is a simple white anthropomorphic rag doll that exists in a world of real people, which could possibly turn out to be a Bottomless Belly Button style switch up (i.e. this is how LDB sees himself, while the rest of the world sees a normal dude), his personality is also solid if you ignore the similarities between him and Scott Pilgrim (although Scott was never so depressed).

That’s probably my biggest issue with Lil Depressed Boy; it’s a blatant Scott Pilgrim rip off, except instead of interesting music references and a deep love for video games, Lil Depressed Boy has really obvious music references (True Love Will Find You In the End by Daniel Johnston, really?) and a deep love for Garden State. This is none more obvious than in the Manic Pixie Dream Girl who LDB falls in love with, she is like Ramona Flowers, from the alt chick suicide girls lite wardrobe to the way she knows just what to say right at the perfect moment to make LDB feel better about himself. It’s lazy, cliché, and I’m pretty well over this lazy device.

At the end of the trade they have some pages by other artists and one of them is of LDB and Jazmin (MPDG) in the style of a Scott Pilgrim cover. Some might argue that this is a way to shake off any complaints about aping SP’s style but I really don’t think the creators have a case, just because you reference the thing you are copying doesn’t make it good.
I did find the art to be very good in it’s own way. The simplistic art perfectly compliments the story being told, and I like that, so good job Sina Grace.

So back to my initial question: What did other people think? Well it seems other people are oblivious. After reading every review I could find online I did not see a single one mention the over used Manic Pixie Dream Girl cliché or the fact that this is a retread of Scott Pilgrim with Zach Braff instead of Michael Cera in the lead role. I was really hoping to find some intelligent discussion on whether or not we should hold comics to the same standard we hold movies or novels, especially now that comics are beginning to ape stale movie tropes to gain cred.

Anyway the ending of the fourth issue piqued my interest enough to keep going with the series as it comes out, but it’s certainly on a probationary period until it steps up it’s game and does something to move away from my Garden State comparison.