Comics Features Reviews

Weird and Wacky Worlds Burst Forth in 100% Biodegradable #20

If you may recall, I was given the opportunity to review #19 of this ongoing series (you can check it out by clicking here) which offers a variety of artists and writers the backdrop to flex their imagination and bring to us stories of the bizarre and intriguing. Now, I’ve been given another thrilling volume with new worlds to see. As we have a whopping 10 mini-stories to review, I’ll break each one down to a quick summary of each and my thoughts on them. It’s time to dive into the next thrilling instalment of 100% Biodegradable

Well, we are definitely starting with the bizarre. In Funguys: The Very Last Supper, the titular Funguys are two, erm, mushroom aliens, who want to bring life to any party. But in this case, the party they decide to crash is The Last Supper. Yes, that one with a certain man and his disciples. Their attempts to liven up the dance floor and pop culture references are overshadowed as the events of Judas’ betrayal unfolds and soon even they can’t liven up the situation our Funguys are thrown into. Now, this story is just so out there, that I couldn’t help but be intrigued but what’s on offer. The artwork offers a great blend of graphic novel realism with caricaturist monsters breaking the surreal. And you just have to enjoy taking the “fungi” pun just one step further.

Time Waits presents the kind of repercussions of having time travel technology available to the masses. With the general populace busy scouring the timestream, our unnamed and grumpy old man lives in a city empty and abandoned. Well, except for all the prehistoric creatures walking through the cracks in time itself. But it isn’t all bad and he makes the most of what he’s got, and has a special message for any time travellers who return home. The steampunk setting offers a great chance to blend all historic and future ideas into one place and it comes together to brings a unique and humorous tale, that despite its brief length, was particularly enjoyable.

In Rubbernorc: Vital Delivery, our friends Nogl and Chubb are tasked with getting an important package up to the Spudnik orbiting our precious planet. But two lazy, half-wits wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near expensive transportation, so they have to get creative. Fashioning a ship with junk and spare parts, will they be able to make their delivery? The characters here are well-rounded, and despite the subject matter, somewhat believable with their attitudes and humour; just two guys trying to do their job and get paid so that they can enjoy a drink at their local pub. Despite the themes, this tale is very much down to earth.

Wrong Time, Wrong Place places a caveman stumbling across a dead man with a strange device which teleports him to modern day London, where he gets to experience just how far we, as a species, have truly progressed. Although brief, the narrative has a clear purpose, simple to follow, and fulfils its social connotation in a clear way that gave it a sense of cynical humour. A thoughtful tale where few words (or grunts) had to be used.

Next, is a short story (and by short, I mean like 2 pages), Pet Peeve. We witness 2 inventive engineers discussing their next big invention, debating on the next trendy robotic pet. Whilst a dog can do a lot, why not a cat who don’t have to do anything? Now as someone with pet cats, I can say they do a lot more than sleep and ignore you, but they’re not too far off. Personally, it lacked a bit of a comedic payoff, but it makes up with its intricate, steampunk designs of our character’s inventions.

Following on from our previous instalment for Skow Dogs (another shameless plug for our previous volume review here), #6 of our group of travellers come face to face with some of the prior warned alien species and they don’t come here in peace. During the skirmish, our crew get to utilise some particular ‘upgrades’ they have acquired. Can they control these to defeat their new formidable foes, or will they kill each other in the process? As stated before, this is the title’s singular ongoing series, so despite a few gaps of story details, the characters and their relationships are grounded and believable with British humour and wit sprinkled in for good measure. A little slow on story progression but a great sense of character development and growth with a great artictic style to boot.

Supply and Demand is a morbid one; in a distant future, overpopulation has had a bad effect on the earth and resources. So the government have devised a simple solution, a task force known as “population control”. Forced to meet their kill quota, Karmen and Rekker are on the hunt for a professor who is hiding a secret that can change everything, but will they be willing to listen? The humour is so twisted I couldn’t help but enjoy it and the dark and morbid art style just shows how crazy the species have become but a grim reality that could prove true if left unchecked…

Rumblebot Rampage is a nice little, reversal of fortune story. In a future where robot fighting matches are the latest trend, our sloppy little engineer Razor McDuff shows little sympathy as his creation is battered and dented in pursuit of the grand prize. During the repairs after a gruelling match, Razor is contacted by a distant planet offering a chance to fight on an intergalactic scale, but is all as it seems or is a more sinister reason in play? A simple tale of what goes around comes around, the art is clear and clean (except for Razor, whose hygiene may raise questions) and the narrative is simplistic but used to great effect so that the readers will fell sympathy for our poor little friend of scrap metal.

Next, we have Elevator, a rather mysterious story that kind of breaks the usual trend of outright bizarre. An experienced security guard takes notice of his building’s elevator, one that has never experienced a fault or breakdown. Curious, the guard investigates further, discovering a shadowy figure inside and as he approaches, the doors close behind him. What has he discovered and will he ever leave? Despite leaving us on an opening ending and lacking much in terms of narrative progression, this story offers a great change of pace compared to the previous tales on offer here, not quite as malicious but still a dark tale, depending upon your interpretation of the ending.

And finally, we have Tense, a single page short of a rabbit afraid of the world (or rather the comic panels) around him, with a nagging thought that something is out to get him. Well, we definitely end on a weird note but unique to say the least. The design is highly detailed and clearly shows the chance for the artist to have free reign, with a somewhat twist on the literal 4th wall effect used in a interesting way.

Well, that took a while, didn’t it? This volume continues my to support my views from the last instalment of the series as it offers a great ensemble of talented artists and writers the chance to let loose their crazy ideas onto the pages to offer something that truly has to been read and admired. What else does this series have to offer, or perhaps more accurately, what other twisted creations are left to be seen?

Have you had the chance to pick up an instalment of Biodegradable? What has been your favourite story in this series? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter!

About the author

Connor Filsell