Comics

REVIEW: The Bud #1

Written by Mark Russell

History has brought us many weird superheroes – Squirrel Girl, Arm-Fall-Off Boy, Groot (though he is awesome)… but from the creative and looney mind of Gary “ODD” Edmund has come the weirdest superhero I’ve ever met: The Bud. Initially when I read this comic, I assumed Bud was an upside-down Christmas Tree since the issue is set during the most wonderful time of the year. Turns out Bud is actually a “weed nugget” who uses the power of cannabis to defeat his enemies or help others. I’d never thought I would write that in my lifetime. This is going to be an unusual review.

The author Gary Edmund, referred to as “ODD” online, is lead artist and writer for ODD Comics, and creates weekly comic strips for Bud as well as a monthly issue too. He has created other comics like Gunhammer Jones and USUN. On the official website for The Bud, ODD came up with the concept of Bud in 2005 while working at a storage facility, and was surprised he designed such a character. However, The Bud has become a successful and popular independent comic book, referred to as the number one “Cannabis Comic” in the world.

In the bizarre but expectantly weird world of Bud, everything seems to be related to drugs or getting high in some shape or form. Three of Bud’s enemies, speedy The Line, big and intimidating Snort, and the very strange looking Mr. Twist are robbing banks at Christmas but decide to up their game and steal the magical sack belonging to Santa Claus. Meanwhile, Bud and his friend Maria are having a good time at the local bar when a Christmas present is thrown through the window and the creepiest looking elves I’ve ever seen leap out and asks Bud to meet Santa to avert the villains’ plans, and all while speaking in rhyme. Bud meets Santa and a character named Smoking J, who appears to be a talking spliff wearing shades who is the self-proclaimed greatest superhero in the world. The three decide to work out a plan against the badguys while getting potentially high in the process.

There is also a brief shift away from Bud, introducing another superhero called Good Guy, a benevolent and intelligent crimefighter who we meet the villain Chaingang, who uses magic chains to become a big, dumb supervillain. It is a sudden and abrupt break in the comic, and is actually introduced as a secondary story in the issue. But that is what The Bud seems to be all about. Being very off-the-wall and trippy, with a wacky world of unusual but unique characters. Bud is a funny character and a very original concept for a protagonist, even if he is a talking piece of weed. The badguys also caught my attention, all having a connection to drug taking as mentioned earlier.

The comic is colourful and cartoony, with some excellent artwork by ODD, and additional colouring by Sheila Edmund, ODD’s wife. Perhaps my favourite aspect of the comic was the creative use of rhyming in the narration and dialogue for the creepy little elves. It really livened up the comic and added an extra sense of charm to it. I will admit The Bud is not really my cup of tea, and while I enjoy reading bizarre comics with crazy ideas, this may be a bit too crazy for me. Nevertheless, The Bud is definitely a unique read, and is obviously popular with its success on the market.

For information about The Bud and ODD, visit the comic’s website here.

About the author

Mark Russell