Gutters: The BFO Edition

The comic-book world, both on and off the funny pages, is a world of extreme characters, ideas, creators and fans, and Gutters certainly has quite a bit of source material to parody. Recently, the webcomic received a Kickstarter reprieve to continue publication, but this omnibus collects the entire 340-page run by creator and writer Ryan Sohmer and a rotating lineup of established and up-and-coming artists. It’s the creative team’s respect, love and understanding of the comic-book world that ensures Gutters draws its humor and insight from the source material. This keeps the wit sharp and the humor away from generic jokes with a Comic Sans skin. In one strip, Zatanna appears and proclaims she’s “the most powerful magician in the world!” Batman stuffs a $5 bill down her overflowing cleavage, and says, “Good trick. You made my five bucks disappear.” The joke works on multiple levels because the interaction is a true—if not an exaggerated—representation of the how comics and fans have depicted and envisioned the characters throughout the years: over-the-top cleavage is a superheroine staple and Batman is an asshole. Whether it’s parodying the characters or current events, such as Disney’s acquisition of Marvel, Gutters stands as a hilarious commentary on the symbiotic relationship between an artistic medium and the culture that embraces it.