Fantagraphics. Sept. 2020. 184p. ISBN 9781683963776. $29.99. Rated: Mature. MUSIC
This exuberantly obscene and infectiously silly graphic novel debut from Black and Gass finds the platinum-selling comedy rock duo—who previously starred in an eponymous HBO series and film, Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny—wandering a postapocalyptic world after narrowly surviving an atomic blast. After being seduced and then betrayed by a clan of ferocious cave women, attacked by massive monsters, and finding their friendship tested when Jack is invited to visit a space station (where he runs afoul of Elon Musk and Johnny Depp), the pair meet a robot from 80 years in the future who tasks them with traveling to Washington, DC, to battle Donald Trump Jr. and his army of Nazis and Klansmen for control of a magical crystal. Black’s illustration appears crude at a glance but quickly proves effectively expressive and perfectly matched to the surreal, anything-goes tone of the script. This volume adapts an animated film and new album from the group, both of which have already garnered acclaim from comedy fans.
VERDICT A funny and surprisingly heartfelt ode to friendship delivered with the manic energy of artists excited to transgress. [See author Q&A on p. 58.]
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