"Burnouts #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Dennis Culver
Illustrated by Geoffo
Lettered by Dave Dwonch
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on October 24th, 2018
Andy just tried pot for the first time and he saw aliens possessing his parents. Sure, it could be a bad trip, but the burnout kids in the neighborhood see the aliens too and they're trying to stay high so they can hunt these green bastards down and smash them with baseball bats. They've learned that Andy has this special sight too and have to see if he has what it takes to hunt aliens with them. That means they're going cow-tipping.
I realize that that opening paragraph could make little to no sense if this is your first exposure to Burnouts. The comic has a pretty wacky yet hilarious premise. It's built on a typical teen comedy with a dorky kid trying to fit in and then quickly makes a hard turn into an alien conspiracy without leaving its roots behind. This makes for a fun combination.
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Letterer Dave Dwonch adds to this, especially with Andy's more embarrassing moments. He tries to psych himself up by quietly saying some words of encouragement. These are shown in a fainter and smaller font, as it's clear this is just for him and not for anyone else to hear. This is such a relatable trait that just makes you want to hug Andy.
Geoffo's art style lends itself to the story, as it has a cartoonish flair to it. This is amplified by the occasional close-ups of the characters with their red, bloodshot eyes. Every so often you have to wonder if what these kids are seeing is real or if they're just completely wasted.
That cartoony look doesn't take away from the more unsettling aspects of Burnouts, particularly with the design for the aliens. Writer Dennis Culver has said the influence for these creatures came from how a half-inflated balloon can creepily float around the house. You can definitely see how that comes into play with the aliens. They have large, bulbous heads with a number of disturbing tentacles spiraling out below them.
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We don't know the aliens' plan or why they're trying to possess people, let alone cows. That doesn't seem to matter to the kids, as they found a way to push the aliens out and literally pop their heads with baseball bats. It's a sickening expression of green, gooey gore, but it's pretty satisfying. These things glow with an eerie light in the first place. Imagine a balloon filled with whatever liquid is in a glow stick and then smash it with a bat. Wouldn't that look awesome?
Burnouts is a downright fun comic. It borders on absurd as it mixes two genres that I'd never thought would go together and comes out with something truly fantastic. I never knew I needed a teen comedy / alien thriller, but now that I have one, I don't know what I did without it for so long.