Written and Illustrated by: Justin Wagner
Colours by: Warren Wucinich
Letters by: Melanie Ujimori
Published by: Oni Press
From the moment I read the title of this comic I knew it was going to be goofy – needless to say I was correct. If you are in the mood for 90s references and a totally radical reptile from another dimension
To understand how truly goofy this comic is all you need is to hear the pitch. Back in the 90’s Jeremy had his (pretty cool) pizza volcano destroyed by a bully who had a gluten allergy. From that day he vowed to create a rad science project to prove all of the high school bullies wrong. And he did just that creating the Reality Alternative Demensionator (or R.A.D for short) but little did he know an accidental butt-dial of the machines on-switch would lead to a totally rad and awesome dinosaur to pop out. Oh by the way the dinosaur has a red shirt with a popped collar. And enters on a skateboard. A skateboard made of pizza. His guitar is also pizza. Both of which the dinosaur uses as his weapon of chose. Also did I mention the dinosaur is called Rex Raditude?
It is a goof-fest and I loved every minute of it.
This comic makes fun and embraces all of the 90’s stereotypes; lasers, lingo and the previously nerdy assistant becoming inexplicably hot due to a lab accident. The villain is even called Emperor Buzzkill who (get this) also has a gluten allergy like Jeremy’s bully! This comic is filled with everything that I miss from 90’s movies and cartoons sending me with a one way ticket to nostalgia-ville.
The art style perfectly matches the 90’s references including vibrant colours, eye-watering patterns and silly character designs and is consistent throughout the volume. The writing compared to a 90’s sit-com complete with clichés such as a character stating their not doing something only for them to be doing it in the next panel and stating that they surprised that they are doing it. Not to mention every chapter comes to an end with the villain claiming that somehow he will get Rex and his crew! It reminds me of the cartoons I used to watch as a kid.
But it’s not all fun and games. The plot in this volume is surprisingly compelling given the subject matter of it and we actually see the main character Jeremy dealing with a lot of self-doubt and bordering on depression. But, as with all 90’s stories, Jeremy finds a way to becoming who he was meant to be all along.
This comic left me with a strong urge to gown my 90’s apparel, watch The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and order pizza. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fast and funny read.