Lower Regions by Alex Robinson

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Lower Regions
By Alex Robinson
Top Shelf

Alex RobinsonNo one can accuse Alex Robinson of being in a rut. For all of their charms, the massive Box Office Poison and its successor, Tricked (not to mention the supplemental Bop!), all felt fairly similar, in terms of characters and themes. None, however, will do much to prepare readers for what lies ahead on in Robinson’s Lower Regions.

To refer to the book as 56 pages of sequential catharsis feels like something of a dramatic understatement. Lower Regions reads like a spontaneous emotional release sandwiched between Tricked and the forthcoming Too Cool to Be Forgotten, harnessing years of pent up angst and hormonal rage into one long, prurient, wordlessly bloody orgy of a mini-comic. In fact, this is one case in which the cover—featuring a scantily-clad, busty medieval femme fatale, sporting a blood-splattered battle axe—serves as a pretty sound basis by which to judge the interior of the book.

Robinson, for his part, has no bones about the undiluted adolescent spirit that launched him into his Lower Regions, writing in his paragraph-long title page intro, “I haven’t had this much fun drawing since I sat around the kitchen table with my brother Andrew and best friend, Jim.” The results play out like a teenage fantasy, fueled by late nights spent consuming D&D and sugary soda by the boatload, tempered only by Robinson’s signature cartoony style and moments of tension-breaking comedy spurred on by extreme gore.

It’s nice to witness an artist let his hair down, in something of a graphic aside, but Lower Regions should hardly be considered a necessary purchase, save for hardcore Robinson fans, gamers with a self-effacing sense of humor, and of course, wherever the twain shall meet.

–Brian Heater

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