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pretty bad writing
kinda weak art
historical bonus 1
total score 3

Only Printing / 1970 / 28 Pages / Company & Sons

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Buzzard is a one-man book featuring Wink Boyer, who struggled to achieve a professional level of cartooning. Still, I’ve seen worse, and I could live with mediocre drawing if the writing was exceptional. Unfortunately, Boyer struggled to achieve a professional level in writing, too. The comic leads off with “Tales from the Dead Presents the Prisoner,” in which some poor sap is incarcerated for eternity because he refused to give a dime to a panhandler who turns out to be some sort of omnipresent demon in disguise. It’s a five-page one-joke story without a lot of reward.

After a couple of one-pagers, Boyer gives us “Ulysses Simpson Aardvark,” about a guy who has lost his motorbike and interacts with various street characters as he tries to track down his hog. I’ll grant you there is an occasional witty line to be found, but that's more the exception than the rule.

There’s a couple panels that recycle really lame puns, like “this acid is a real mind blower” leading to a guy literally blowing up his mind, and “Let’s go get stoned” leading a couple of guys to getting literally stoned by rocks. Perhaps these specific plays on words weren't completely tired in 1970, but they certainly didn't age well.

Boyer concludes the book with “Lophophora,” ostensibly a story about magic and the occult. This beastly figure named Astaroth is apparently supposed to grant a man anything he wishes, but Astaroth keeps stalling and trying to get the man to leave “the circle,” which would apparently cause the man to lose his powers over Astaroth. The man never leaves the circle, but he does offer Astaroth a joint, which is promptly toked and leads to Astaroth offering his own peculiar drug to the man. The man consumes the drug with disastrous consequences, much to the delight of Astaroth.

Scattered throughout the book are some one-pagers in which Boyer seems to be imitating John Thompson’s ethereal drug-influenced comics, and he comes off rather poorly by comparison. Overall, Buzzard is lacking cohesion and structure and talent and originality.

I’d heard that Company & Sons struggled to make it after publishing too many inferior and mediocre undergrounds. Buzzard would appear to have been one of them.

It is currently unknown how many copies of this comic book were printed. It has not been reprinted.

Wink Boyer - 1-28