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BOB’S BURGERS #2 Review: King Trashmouth Approved

The second issue of Bob’s Burgers from Dynamite Entertainment is still incredibly enjoyable and on par with the show. Breaking the action into five stories each involving one of the Belchers (because everyone has a favorite) was a smart way to play to each of the characters’ strengths. However, it’s obvious that this format has its limitations. That said, this book is still a madcap burst of fun.

The Story

Like last issue, in what seems to be the format going forward, the issue has five stories.

Tina’s Erotic Friend Fiction Presents:

In “Battleship Galac-Tina,” Tina Belcher, the Internet’s new feminist icon, is Admiral Tina in this Battlestar Galactica spoof, leading a crew that includes Col. Gene (with a metal eyepatch!) and hotshot fighter pilot Louise, in a war between humans and robots. When an enemy squadron appears, led by a fighter who seems to “bob back and forth rhythmically, almost as if he’s doing it for fun“, the Admiral orders it be captured because she has a thing for dance. So too, she thinks, might the robot.

Now, Tina is my favorite character on the show, so I’m heavily weighted towards any story about her. But this really is a corker. It’s genuinely funny and, thanks to writer Justin Hook, it’s very well-constructed. It’s a solid story and I’d really like to see Tina tell a whole episode in this style.

Burger Of The Day Ideas:

Like last issue, this is a one-pager seemingly taken out of Bob Belcher’s notes where he jots down ideas for the trademark Burger of the Day board.  Here, it’s “10 Commandments Burgers,” with highlights like the “No Gravy Images Burger (served with a side of gravy)” and the “Thou Shalt H-avocad-no Other Goudas Before Me Burger (served with avocado and gouda).”

It’s easy to see why this bit is here. The Burger of the Day board is such a great running gag that there’s a whole Tumblr dedicated to making these burgers. Writer Mike Olsen knocks it out of the park and nails Bob’s voice. However, I’d really like to see Bob actually making these burgers, maybe trying them out himself. It’d actually give Bob a place in the book; considering he’s the title character, that’s kinda needed.

Louise’s Unsolved Mysteries and Curious Curiosities:

“Louise’s Legacy” sees the littlest, evilest Belcher happily defacing a history book with goofy jokes. She postulates that, because this is a library book, her doodles in it will be her legacy. But when Tina points out that there’s a doodle in the book not by Louise, her younger sister becomes determined to stake out the library and find her pretender to the throne.

This is far better than the last issue’s Louise story. Rather than being a flight of fancy spurred on by Louise’s crazy imagination, here, it’s her doing what she does best: taking on all challengers to her in any category.  Chad Brewster nails Louise’s voice perfectly and I can easily imagine Kristen Schaal reading this.

Letters From Linda:

Another one-pager, here, the Belcher matriarch writes a letter to “Dumpster Divas Waste Management,” outlining her deranged scheme involving turning dumpsters into playgrounds for racoons. Said playgrounds will be financed by a new reality show filming the goings-on that Linda is already shopping around.

One of the weirdest parts about Linda — who, as voiced by John Roberts, is a goofy, peppy thrill — is her endless fascination and investment in the racoons that congregate outside the restaurant’s dumpster. If anybody was anxious for some mention of Linda’s beloved “Little King Trashmouth,” he returns here as a doodle.  Mike Olsen nails Linda’s voice again, but, like the Bob segment, I wish we actually saw Linda doing something.

Gene Belcher Presents:

“Genemadeus, The Musical” is yet another fever dream fantasy by the goofball middle Belcher kid. Here, he’s court composer Genemadeus, whose musical offerings aren’t as well received by King Bob and Queen Linda as much as those of Peter Pescadero (Gene’s rival from the show). He promptly enlists his enemy to help him write a song, but can they pull it off?

Well, no. Sadly, this is the weakest point of the issue. This is twofold: 1. Gene is a big, loud character. To be big and loud without the deranged glee of his voice actor Eugene Mirman on hand to help means there has to be some really wacky stuff and there really isn’t here. 2. No matter how much writer Rachael Hastings tries, a sung-through musical just doesn’t work in comic form. Without music, there’s no way to indicate how all these words are supposed to be sung. In fact, they could dispense with the musical pretense all together and just have everyone speak in rhyme without losing anything.

 The Art

The three artists here are all artists on the show and, like last time, their work is accurate to a fault. The Tina story has Frank Forte’s awesome space battle visuals holding it up, and his robot and ship designs are really clever (one of the robot fighter ships looks like Teddy, the family’s best customer). The Gene story has Robin Brigstocke pretty much straight up drawing storyboards; it’s that close to the show’s look.

Tony Gennaro draws the other three segments and his work on the Louise story is probably his best here. There’s a great way he captures Louise’s deterioration through the course of her stake out that has to be seen to be appreciated. Combined with the frenetic cover by Steve Umbleby and a really cool pin-up by Anthony Aguinaldo, the art game in this book is the best of the best, even if there’s not always a good story to go with it.

The Verdict

While most of these stories are tremendous fun, there’s two things this series could truly use to be as great as its animated parent. First, Bob and Linda need to be actual characters in the stories. Same goes for restaurant regulars Teddy and Mort, twin weirdos Andy and Ollie and the not-as-calm-as-he-seems guidance counselor, Mr. Frond. This show has a large cast and they need to be spotlighted.

Second, the anthology format doesn’t need to be ditched, but it would be nice to get a unified story. Something with one or more of the Belchers teaming up–be it an eight-page tale or a full issue–would be great. The joy of the show is watching these characters and the standups voicing them bounce and riff off of each other. Right now, this comic doesn’t have that.

Still, it’s hard to complain when a comic looks this good and is so close to such a great show. The best thing is, you might, like me, get inspired to go down a YouTube rabbit hole of episode clips. The show comes back Oct. 7th, so let’s hope the comic steps up its game to go with it.

4 out of 5 stars

4 out of 5 stars

Cover image via

Bob’s Burgers #2 is available in print and digitally from Comixology and Dark Horse Digital.

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Categories: Comic Reviews

Author:Tom Speelman

A lifetime of reading comics and watching television has left Tom with an inexhaustible supply of pop culture knowledge from the obvious to the obscure. Rather than keep it all in his brain for use at parties, Tom turned to writing a few years ago to help him share that knowledge with as many people as are remotely interested. Tom writes for several websites including The Mary Sue, Strange Horizons, Loser City and others. For even further rambling, follow him on Twitter @tomtificate.

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