SciFi Monkeys and TANSTAAFL Press brings you a review of
The Devil’s Panties – Volume 1 by Jennie Breeden
Overall Grade: Unexpected B- (See Tom’s notes on how he grades)
Summary: A bit off our beaten path of novels, this graphic collection of comic strips by Jennie Breeden intrigued me. I’m honest enough as a man to say the title and cover had a bit to do with picking up the print book for the first time. After laughing at the off-beat and radically edgy gamer / comic / religious / sexual humor on just the first couple of pages I couldn’t pass it up.
It is the ongoing saga of Jen (how autobiographical is left up to the imagination of the reader but some of the modified pictures in the back I think speak for themselves) who works at a comic store, and writes her own comic. She has two female roommates, at least one is gay. All three of them have a serious kinky bent. Jen and her friends show the feminine side of humor in fandom.
There is a regular appearance in the strips by Jesus, the Devil, and a little devil/angel conscience of Jen all of which borders on the hysterical.
The Devil’s Panties pokes fun at BDSM, religion, fandom, conventions, gaming, cheerleaders, shopping, home ownership, men, women, boyfriends… in short nothing is sacred. I applaud this attitude that we must laugh at ourselves to be human.
Not So Good:
I really wished the art was just a bit better. There were scenes I couldn’t make out exactly what was happening and thus lost the meaning of the joke. I also didn’t catch on to the differences between the three main women for many pages until I realized they all wore special t-shirts that effectively identified them (read the shirts.. you are missing half the jokes if you don’t)
I will admit that even though a 30 year fandom veteran, some of the jokes escaped me. I don’t know if that was because I didn’t get it or it wasn’t there to begin with. These are few and far between, but they happened.