I love the whole Bizarro genre, I really do, but I really have to be in the right mood to enjoy it. Otherwise, what I should have expected to enjoy as brilliantly twisted and satiric can tend to come across as juvenile and in bad taste. Sadly, with the holidays looming, cold and flu season running through the house, and my office announcing the termination of 300 people in the new year, finding that right mood has been more difficult than normal.
Time Pimp came recommended to me as "one part Doctor Who, one part Hustler Magazine" and I can't think of a better way to describe it than that. If Time Pimp is part Doctor Who and part Larry Flynt, then his brother, Death Pimp, is part The Master and part Jerry Falwell. There's a whole battle of faith and morality going on here beneath all the kinky sex and Bizarro touches, and that's what really allows it to rise to the top of the genre.
In terms of narrative, Garrett Cook's tale is one of the more accessible Bizarro titles I've ever read. It's actually has quite a flow to it, almost becoming lyrical at times, and never tries to overcompensate for its failings with the distraction of WTF weird. The dialogue is absolutely perfect, lacking only a laugh track, and you can almost hear the cheesy 70s music in the back of your head. More absurd than weird, it feels at times like a really raunchy, uncensored, undiscovered Monty Python skit - in fact, I wouldn't have been at all surprised were Brian himself to make an appearance at some point, just to proclaim he is not, in fact, the messiah.
If you're not a fan of the genre, then all the bad pandas and leather-clad nuns in the universe won't be able to drag the laughs out of you. If you are a fan, or have even been curious as to what it's all about, Time Pimp is a fun, quick, sneakily-smart read that's definitely worth your time. It not only found the right mood, it kidnapped it, made sweet love to it, and even gave it a ride home.
Paperback, 186 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Eraserhead Press