Alex Robinson’s “Box Office Poison Color Comics #3” was released last Wednesday, and an interesting chronicle of this issue is this: in the original black-and-white series, published by Antarctic Press in 1996, this was issue one. The publisher, Antarctic Press, felt that the plot of this series started here, but later on, they published the sixty-page “Box Office Poison #0,” which in this (new) colorized series, are the first two issues. Be that as it may, I’m so glad this colorized version of “Box Office Poison” started off with the stories in issue number zero, splitting them into the first two issues. It makes more sense this way, and readers will be properly introduced to Sherman, Ed, Stephen, and Jane.
The first story is titled, “Ed – – The Ink Stud,” and readers will see Ed sitting on the couch, at a housewarming party, with drink in hand. There’s so many women at the party, but Ed is terrified of being rejected, he doesn’t even want to try to talk to any one of them. A friend, James, has a pep talk with Ed, and the confidence is built up so high, Ed decides to mingle with the ladies…or does he? Sometimes being with a friend boosts courage, but once you’re on your own, things change, and self-assurance goes down. Will this be the fate of Ed as he approaches a woman at the party?
Following this short story is the one-page that asks the cast a question. In this issue the question is, “If you could have brunch with any fictional character, who would it be?” Readers will see responses from Sally, Stephen, James, Janice, Sherman, Jane, and Ed. It’s clear that some issues will feature this one-page questionnaire with responses from the cast of characters. This is a nice break that separates the first story from the second story. This one’s nice because we momentarily see Sally once more, since she broke up with Sherman in the first issue. Only time will tell if we’ll ever see her again.
The second story in this issue is titled, “Surrender Dorothy or Bang! Zoom!” The housewarming party’s over, and what’s the best segment of a party? The consequence…cleaning up! Sometimes parties end really late (or early the next morning), so sometimes going to sleep isn’t a bad idea, then the cleaning can commence the moment people wake up. It seems like this is what Sherman wants to do…until he hears some “klang” sounds coming from his fire escape. This is where readers will be introduced to another major character, but at this moment, we don’t know her name yet. It’s kind of funny how Sherman and this woman meet for the first time.
The story then focuses on two plots, Ed’s interview with “Zoom Comics,” which has been his dream job for majority of his life, and Sherman’s subplot, in which he wants to know who that woman was, that he met in the fire escape. Ed and Sherman have different dreams, but what will be the end result for them? With his portfolio prepared, how will Ed’s interview go? As for Sherman, will he ever see the “fire escape woman” ever again? And seriously, a customer asks Sherman if he works at the bookstore? [Like I stated in the previous review for issue 2, working in retail, my favorite question is, “Excuse me sir, do you work here?”] So throughout this series, this question is going to make me chortle. Also, near the end of this story, there’s a scene that’s of an…adult nature, so this is definitely NOT a kids’ book!
Overall, this is another nice installment for this series. Aside from the housewarming party, not a lot goes on. BUT, this isn’t a bad thing, as we see more character development, and the introduction of a major character who will change things in this series, moving forward. What we have here is the story of these New Yorkers, in their 20’s, living in the mid-1990’s. In everyday life things happen, good and bad, exciting and terrifying, at work or on the weekends, life happens. This is what “Box Office Poison” is all about, and sure there’s drama with roommates, work, the comic industry, nudity and sexual scenes, and lots of profanity, but this is part of living life in your twenties. It’s reality in comic book form. These characters are relatable, have their own characteristics, and are easy to identify with. I rate this issue 4.3 Geek-Heads out of 5, highly recommended, and I’m looking forward to issue 4 next month. “Box Office Poison Color Comics #3” is written and illustrated by Alex Robinson, colored by Pat N. Lewis, edited by Carlos Guzman, and published by Ted Adams for IDW Publishing and Top Shelf Productions. This book has thirty digital pages, has an age rating of 15+, and may be purchased from Comixology HERE.
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