RAZOR BASTARD: Year Of The Boar
Marvel comics this ain’t.
Samaria’s, Prostitutes, flesh eating pigs and a Muscle-bound, Razor Wielding, Psycho-Anti-Hero in a leather mask. This is my type of comic!
Not to be bias in any way, I knew I was going to like ‘Razor Bastard: Year of The Boar’ when I held it in my hand for the first time at a Liverpool Horror Convention in October. I’m not sure if it was the striking cover art that sold it or the really huge guy standing next to me dressed as the title character (Yep all leather-clad from head to toe with two giant razor knives) I was a little worried that If I didn’t take a copy my throat would have been sliced!
Seriously, what sold this book was the overall production value of selling the character. Creator Paul Johnson’s booth was decked out with some wonderful swag including retro VHS cases, books, stickers, badges, artwork, banners, oh and a real life Razor Bastard strutting around. This was some of the cleverest marketing I’ve seen in some time. Not only could I purchase the comic, but meet the character himself. So much time and thought had been invested by the creator I could only stand back and admire what he had achieved.
Razor Bastard is witty, sarcastic, politically incorrect and basically one cheeky Bastard!
I decided I needed to take the book home and read it away from the convention hustle and bustle so I could judge it properly…… I can safely say it didn’t disappoint.
What writer & illustrator Paul Johnson has created is not only a Badass character, but a memorable one. Razor Bastard is so over the top in design and manner you can’t help fall in love with him. He’s witty, sarcastic, politically incorrect and basically one cheeky Bastard!
We first meet Razor Bastard in Japan’s Red light district, which kind of sums up the type of Universe were playing with here. Razor just wouldn’t suit any old setting, he needs to be marauding around seedy back alleys and interacting with a bizarre array of characters and there are a plenty here.
Without ruining anything story-wise as you need to read it to believe it, Razor Bastard smashes and verbally abuses everyone and everything in his path. If he’s not doggy-styling a Japanese prostitute, he’s slicing and dicing a giant pig-like creature.
Stylistically Johnson’s art is gorgeous. The structures of his characters are so exaggerated in a way that they have a hint of caricatures about them, but more stylized. This is artwork of the highest calibre and showcases an artist at the top of his game. Johnson is a tremendous talent as he not only illustrates the book, but also writes, letters, colours and self-promotes, he is virtually a one man band that knows exactly what he’s doing and what he wants to achieve. You can clearly see he is passionate about his 80’s style, schlock-serial killer bad-boy. He makes no excuses with his slightly perverse storyline or use of dialogue and why the hell should he, it’s wonderful!
Razor Bastard is a cult anti-hero in the making. Johnson has possibly created one of the most unique characters to grace the pages of a comic in a very long time. My only critique was that I craved more as the book just wasn’t long enough. I instantly became a fan of Razor Bastard, but more importantly a fan of Paul Johnson as it wasn’t just his artwork that is glorious, but his smart, disturbing writing that deserves a lot of credit.
If you like your comics very adult, funny, bloody and slightly sick then Razor Bastard: Year of The Boar is your bag. As Paul quotes “If you love nailing whores and fucking people up, then this book is for you”…..says it all really!
‘Razor Bastard: Year of The Boar’ by Paul Johnson is available from Demon Comix