Bob’s Burgers has been a breakout star in the Sunday night lineup on Fox for several seasons now, and that’s not even counting the mind-blowing crossover they did with Archer (which seemed like they just plucked that idea straight from my brain, because I want H. Jon Benjamin to be in EVERYTHING as both Bob and Archer). The series has been consistently weird and funny in equal measure, and as a result the decision was made to turn the story into a limited-series comic book. That five-issue miniseries was quite an undertaking for a property like this, because unfortunately, a lot of licensed properties don’t really get handled very well when they are put into comic book form. So it was with a bit of a reservation (not that you need a reservation at Bob’s Burgers- just come grab a seat at the counter!) that I started reading that limited series.
And was I ever surprised with the results! The characters seemed very true to form, while still being different enough to fill the space on the page appropriately (there isn’t much increased flexibility or freedom from doing an animated series to a comic book, but the pacing has to be a bit less manic, in my mind anyway) and maintaining the level of humor that we come to expect from this series. That miniseries was funny, and the characters all felt as though they were being handled with the utmost care and reverence. This new series seems no different; the jokes landed well, the characters felt much like themselves, and I even found myself often reading lines from the characters in the same voice they have on the show. Overall, it was a really solid first issue for an ongoing series, and the accessibility hurdle seems virtually nonexistent for this book- unless you live under a rock and have never seen or heard of Bob’s Burgers, you can pick up this issue and just dive in and enjoy the fun.
I liked the fact that two of the writers for the show were brought on to write stories for the book, I just wish that Loren Bouchard (the shows co-creator) had given more to the story writing of the series than just a one-page, single panel story. I would love for her to have written an entire, six-to-eight page story, and really give the readers of this book EXACTLY what they want- a supplement to the Bob’s Burgers show in the offseason. But the story she wrote was great, and the artwork, while subtly different still made all the characters look and feel like they do on the show. So this issue definitely scratched the itch for me of wanting more Bob when the show is off the air.
I think that this series could potentially outrun the show, because if they can get creators working on the book to build longer arcs and to bring in new and recurring characters for the comic series, it would have the sustainability to run forever (as long as people are reading it). I wish that more properties could be licensed for comics and treated this well, because there are a lot of things out there that I think could do fantastically well as a comic series. Mostly, I am referring to bringing back Metalocalypse in comic book form, because I loved the “Dethklok Meets The Goon” crossover story they did- I enjoyed all of the Metalocalypse books so much I bought both the regular and incentive covers for all 5 issues that came out. I would love to see more from them, and to see the comics community get more exposure to all the different types of high-quality licensed books that can be made, and not just dumped out to retailers like the Furiosa comic book (I don’t know, personally- I just know what I have heard, and none of it was good).
So the main thing I can say about this book, other than it was “fun on a bun” (sorry, not sorry- gotta work those burger puns in any way possible) is that it is really something that can entertain anyone. If you are a fan of Bob’s Burgers, then you should be reading this book, and you don’t even need to go back and ketchup with the miniseries (again, sorry not sorry…). This comic is just what you need to get you through until you can watch Gene play his fart-keyboard again, which is a day I long for, dearly.