By Al Burian
Its not every day that you go to Hell. In fact, its not every day that you get to have a chat with the Roman poet Virgil. Al Burian, on the other hand, does.
In the quirky and philosophical Al Burian Goes To Hell, our favorite depressed protagonist visits his very own personal hell, in a chapter by chapter comic structured around the levels of hell in Dante’s Inferno. Drawn in simple black and white, what this comic lacks in extravagant and complex art it makes up for in its simple approach. The humor in this comic is gold at times. Amidst the philosophical and mental musings of our hero, Al Burian, there is the much beloved Mallrats-esque one-liner. Its not every day you read a comic with the phrase “F**k you Virgil! I read your book and it sucks.” The flow of the comic is easy, and before you know it, you’ll be at the end wishing for another adventure. Al Burian is a very self-aware fellow, and amidst the sometimes cliché rants about the unstable and retarded aspects of western culture, he still manages to get down to brass-tacks and ask if he himself isn’t just a complaining misanthrope in the end.
What I love about the comic is that regardless of the “F YOU” attitude towards large corporations, and pretentious demographics, there isn’t a sense of self-righteousness, only a sense of sincere and genuine questioning of morals and motives. If you love comics, and want to experience a talented and funny writer, then ABGTH is right on the stand waiting to be picked up.