Thursday, September 22, 2011
Book Review: Chimichanga by Eric Powell
In Eric Powell's Chimichanga, we're introduced to Lula, the bearded girl of Wrinkle's Traveling Circus where the freaks aren't so freakish. We're given Heratio - The Boy Faced Fish! An amazing two eyed goat who tells the future! Randy the colossus of average size - he's a man with the strength of a slightly larger man, watch him fight his way out of a wet paper bag and be amazed at the large sacks of groceries he carries up stairs and you can't forget his kitten wrestling abilities! Needless to say, the circus is struggling.
The story begins with Lula going off to buy lunch. She heads for a taco stand and orders; you guessed it, a chimichanga. On her way back, she's met by a witch with a horrible gas problem. In exchange for a few hairs from her beard, Lula receives a wagon and a rock which, unbeknownst to either of them, was recently puked up by a rather sickly looking stork/vulture hybrid. Lula takes her wagon and heads back to the circus only to be slowed by an increased weight in the wagon. She finds the rock, which apparently was an egg, has hatched and now a large, hairy monster is sitting in her wagon. Lula names the monster Chimichanga and takes it back to the circus.
Meanwhile, the witch has prepared her brew and it's cured her gassiness. She immediately takes it to Dinderly Pharmaceuticals where she tries to sell the concoction as a cure for chronic gas. In a rather fun dialogue the owner of the pharmaceutical company explains that cures aren't good for business. They prefer medicine which will keep consumers coming back for more. While the witch is arguing with him, her gas problem erupts twice as bad. The pharmaceutical guy is immediately interested and shoves aside a researcher who has almost found the cure for cancer so he can make room for his new darling: pills that relieve gas and then makes it come back twice as bad. However, there's the problem of where to get more beard hair from a young girl.
What follows is an adventure as Chimichanga gets taken away and Lula is kidnapped. The lawyers of Dinderly claim ownership over her and the circus performers must come up with a way to save her.
I'm relatively new to the graphic novel genre and I have to say, I really enjoyed reading this. The pictures were fun and while colorful, they were a bit muted to show the grittiness of the carnival. Any colors to do with the pharmaceutical company were stark and dismal which gave the intended feeling that we’re dealing with something bad.
Some might find the subject of the pharmaceutical company dealt with a in a heavy handed manner, but I laughed the whole way through. The story between Lula and Chimi was vaguely reminiscent of Frankenstein's monster. I loved the not quite freaks in the circus. It was a little predictable at times, but well worth the read if you’re looking for something light and fun.