BOYTOONS MAGAZINE #49 – Sean Murphy’s OFF ROAD!

If you’re like me, you have a comic shop of choice. Mostly it’s because the people there are nice and friendly, and over the years of you frequenting their establishments, they have come to know what you like and dislike.

One particular Wednesday, I happened into my comicshop of choice and was somewhat saddened that very little had come in that week that appealed to me. My friend Robin, a lovely young lady who also happened to work there, came over to me and handed me a copy of Sean Murphy’s Off Road. She smiled at me and said, “check this out. The story is great fun, and the guys are really hot!” The little Imp was right!

I was not familiar with Sean Murphy’s stuff, but his artwork sucked me in right away. I had but to briefly flip through the book to decide to buy it. The irony is that I got home, shelved the book and forgot about it. Big mistake! I was truly, pleasantly surprised when I pulled it from the shelf yesterday evening looking for something to read in bed.

Published by Oni Press, Off Road is a very funny and witty adventure about three 20-something guys who’ve been friends for like, ever. The description of the book on Oni’s website states the following:

“When three misfit friends from high school reunite after a string of bad luck in their personal lives, what is the first thing they do? Go off-roading, of course! Each one thinks that challenging Mother Nature is somehow going to fix whatever issues they’re dealing with. That is if they ever get their Jeep out of the increasingly bizarre swamp that they are trapped in.”

So you may say, “this does not sound like Patrick’s usual cup of tea…” but the truth is that it is a really wonderful read with exceptionally fun and energetic artwork. Even though the book is in black and white, Murphy’s artwork is incredibly alive. His characters (which are based upon he and 2 of his real life buds by the way), are truly expressive. The figures move with remarkable ease and Murphy is as talented as the amazing Kevin Maguire when it comes to depicting his character’s moods. And their little misadventure can’t help but endear them to you!

To top it all off, Kent, Greg and Brad are three hot straight Boytoons who spend most of this little masterpiece bare-chested, and the best part of this book, (as is often the case with real straight boys) is they are totally oblivious to their hotness, making them totally loveable! Of course, the sexiness of the characters is only 1 of the many aspects that make this a great read. Off Road is a 136-page of good, clean fun with great dialog, an entertaining plot and well developed characters who make you laugh at each turn of the page.

I can only hope that Sean Murphy does more work like this. Off Road may not be a mainstream project, but it is, in my humble opinion, far superior to a lot of the stuff that IS mainstream. Do yourselves a favor and pick this little gem up! If your local shop doesn’t have a copy, get them to order it! It’s one of the most fun comic reads I’ve had in months!

Check out this WICKED 50-page FREE preview of Off Road and wet your appetite!

Comments

  1. Hey Patrick,

    that’s what I love the most about this blog: You always get to see new stuff which is more than appealing and which looks awesome.

    Such is the case with Sean Murphy’s stuff. I seem to remember a comparable Wild West-comic from 1996 which had it all: Gorgeous babes (male and female), a highly unique style and a compelling story. I will look through my boxes for it and scan a page or two and send them over, if You want me to.

    All the best, and keep on bloggin’ =D =D =D !!

  2. Hey Patrick!

    Gawd! I’m bored. I hate giving myself time off from doing things. So I thought I would try cooking, not that I’m a bad a one but I thought I would try something out of a recepie book, a chicken dish of some sort. Well I scrathed and clawed my way through the kitchen in yet another feeble minded attempt to turn chicken shit into chicken salad, make no mistake about kids,”Manny laid and egg last night!” I just hope that hole I dug in my backyard to bury the finished product doesn’t kill the fauna I have planted a few weeks back.

    Oh! Sean Murphy! Black and white comics in this day and age are somewhat a treat to someone as old as me. (This where everyone is supposed to say,”Your not old Manny.)

    Back when I fist started buying comics, they were black and white, reading comics in the daily newspaper were also black and white. In a nutshell, I like it. Making a comic strip based on real friendships is a clever thing to do also, it’s a great way to look back at your life and remember the some of the nutty things you did when you were younger and have a good laugh at yourself when your older.

    Some of the things that I used to get up to as a kid back then were hysterical, but these days would be seen as an act of terrorisim, two things come to mind instantly, “Brooming” & “Letter Box Bombs.”

    But I think that “Off Road” will make a funny read and I’m looking forward to exploring it more … meanwhile that chicken dish I cooked lastnight seems to be screaming from it’s grave, I better go make sure I buried it deep enough, I’m paranoid about chicken zombies attacking me while I sunbake in my backyard!

    Oh! Will someone please give me a project or a problem to solve, I’m going stir crazy!

    Slurps & Dribbles!

    Manny.

  3. Thanks for the rec, Patrick! This is some beautiful, expressive artwork. A very mature style, with an amusing story to go along with it. The characters are realistic, multi-faceted, and interesting. I used to own a jeep and I must say parts of this story brought back some fond memories of off-road adventuring! I could go on and on about everything that’s right with this comic, but I won’t bore everyone to tears.

    Folks, there are TONS of comics out there like this one. They’re not in color, and they’re not put out by the big publishers, and they often don’t feature superheroes. You often find out about them only by going to a small-press convention, or through a network of “indie” creator friends (Warren Ellis’ “The Engine” is one place I’d recommend.) It’s worth the time to seek them out. There’s so much talent out there worth reading!

  4. Hey Patrick!

    YIPPEE!!!

    Guess what I just got delivered today? My Incbus print in all his glory and perfect condition. YAY!!!

    He is going right above my bed so when I wake up everymorning the first thing I see when I pull Benny & The Jets outta my eyes is Incubus in all his glory, nothing like waking up to a sexy peice of ass!

    I Love it!

    Big Hugs and Dribbles!

    Manny
    XOXO

  5. cool stuff

  6. “Your not old Manny.”

  7. Dear Patrick,

    I hate putting this onto a blogspot but i figured that this may be one of your most frequently checked accounts.

    My name is Richard Allen and I am a huge fan.

    I imagine you receive many e-mails that commence in this way but I hope mine will end differently.

    I am a student at Glasgow University in Scotland where I study French. As well as language we are also offered a series of other courses in art, theatre and culture. Last year I chose to study bandes dessinees as one of my options. It is taught at Glasgow by Laurence (Billy) Grove, a good friend of mine and an acclaimed author in the field of BD.

    As a gay man I came across your work quite separately to the course and became an instant convert to the world of Fillion. I introduced your work to Billy and he too became a fan.

    This summer I have been writing a thesis on none other than your very good self, your work and its place in society (mainly asking is it art or pornography- or a bit of both?)

    I am writing to you to ask a huge favour and that is to find out if you would be able to help me in some way by answering a few questions. I understand that you are very busy and no doubt receive a million emails a day each asking a million questions.

    Once complete, I would love to email you a copy of my thesis. Panic not. It is not a huge fan letter neither is it a negative criticism of your work (though I have tried to include some negative criticism to balance out…hard as you seem to be a rather popular guy!)

    I hope to turn parts of my thesis into an article/articles for some magazines here in the UK but that is just a dream for now.

    It would be an honour to have you answer some of my questions and I hope that in some way we could in the future help each other.

    Many thanks for taking the time to read this email. If you are unable to reply then I wish you every success in your future in both your life and work.

    Richard Allen

    Ps. apologies for the bizarrely formal tone of this email. I am trying to keep my thesis relatively formal even though this is not my usual style and I think my brain is still in its formal mindset

    Anyway….

    My thesis aims to uncover whether your work is pornography or erotica and what the difference is between the two. How would you categorise your work? Is it a masturbatory fantasy or just an erotically charged adventure story of superheroes and rent boys?

    What do you think of the French translations of your work? As a Québécois do you still read BD or are you a convert to US comics?

    Tom of Finland claims to have been influenced by the sailors and construction workers in the port of Helsinki where he studied. Have you been inspired by real people you meet in everyday life?

    Who has influenced you artistically?

    Do you hope to influence the next generation of bd/comic artists?

    Does your work turn you on?

    Do you ever have to edit yourself?

    There is little focus on any of your characters using condoms. Do you think the lack of safe sex is permitted, as it is purely a “graphic fantasy”?

    Thanks again.

    RA

  8. Awwww! Shucks Phroq!!!!

    Flattery will get you everywhere with me!!

    Hope your doing well Mister, and feeling better.

    Thinking of you

    Manny
    xoxox

  9. Hey manny,

    *hehe* You surely do NOT wanna go there, babe =D

    Patrick,

    I just recently saw the news about the school-shooting in Canada. The school director is named Fillion and I immediately thought of you and I really hope everything is fine and well You and Your folks!

    *worried about what the world has become…*

    love, peace & the universe to You all…
    phroq

  10. I heard that report about the school to. It shocked me that something like this might happen in Canada. I’ve always heard from people, and you too Patrick, that Canada is so much more a relaxed place then insanity faced in america.

    But for something like to happen there is disheartening. Was is an extremist, or just some mad man with a gun?

    I hope from what Phroq says that your alright Patrick, we all wait with antisipation for your reply.

    Hi to everyone! Love to all.

    Charlie.

  11. Patrick,

    Just wanted to drop a line and see that everything is o.k and that your doing fine. I haven’t heard back from you or Alexis over the past few days, and can’t help but feeling a bit concernred for you. I hope things are well and that what I heard on the news doesn’t effect you directly and that surnames in this matter are just a coincidence.

    SSQQUUEEEEZZEE & SSMMOOOOCCHH!

    That was me giving you a huge hug & kiss. I hope your doing well young Jedi!

    Manny
    xoxo

  12. P.S – Phroq,

    I have all the time in the world for you, if you wanna drop me an email, send Alexis @ class Comics an email asking for it but use your logon name so he knows who you are, I’ll shoot an email over to him now saying it’s cool to give it to you.

    M
    xx

  13. Hello Gang…

    I am so pleased I could bring the wonderful work of Sean Murphy to your attention. His style is so refreshing and Off Road is really one of those great comic finds that you can’t help but enjoy from cover to cover.

    Phrog… Thank you so much for the kind words. It’s so cool to hear that you enjoy it when I throw something completely unexpected into the mix. I always like to talk about stuff that I find really stands out, and it just so happened that Off Road did just that. I’m glad you enjoyed the posting! I’d sure love to see scans of the Wild West comic you’re talking about. If you do find a copy and can scan a few panels, please do send it my way.

    Manny…It sounds like you’ve had a very wild life! LOL!!! Maybe Sean Murphy will inspire you to commit some of your crazy adventures to comic book format. I am sure you’d have a great time doing it and it would probably be a very cool read for the rest of us! Glad you enjoyed the posting!

    Also, I am soooo happy you received your Incubus original. It makes me very happy to know that he has gone to someone who will love and care for him. He’s in good hands! LOL!!!! XOXO

    Spubba…Thank you so much for the nice compliment. I am so happy you enjoyed the Off Road posting, and I couldn’t agree with you more. There really are a BILLION wonderful comics out there that are AMAZING and in Black And White. It’s really important for people not to overlook them on account of them not being in color. Doing so could mean missing out on something really well written and drawn. I often find that it’s those little discoveries that end up meaning so much to me. Sure I love my X-Men and my Avengers, but I pretty much know those and get what’s coming up. But something like Off Road is completely new and an unknown adventure! Reading it for the first time makes you go “HOLY CRAP!” I wish all comics were this good! I’m so pleased you enjoyed it, dear friend! Meanwhile, I gotta find me a copy of “the Engine”!

    Alden… Thanks for dropping by and saying hello! Glad to see you’re enjoying the Blog! Cheers! :o)

    Dick… My friend, I have honestly not received your emails. Our spam blocker is sometimes a bit overzealous, and can mistake legitimate messages for unwanted ones. It’s possible that your letters got stuck there and were discarded accidentally.

    Messages like yours are the sort of thing I try to take care immediately when I get them. However, I have taken the liberty of answering your questions, and I have my answers ready to send to you. Try emailing me again at this email address: service@classcomics.com

    Be sure to leave me the email address you want the answers sent to, and I’ll fire them off right away! It’s pretty cool to hear about your thesis and I am very flattered that you would choose to write it on little old me! I’ll look forward to reading it once it is completed. I look forward to your message.

    Manny, Phrog and Charlie… Boys, boys, boys! You are sweet to be so concerned. The shooting was horrible, and unfortunately, dreadful things like this happen here too, though EXTREMELY rarely. Canada is a very calm country for the most part, so to have something like this shooting occur is very rare, and extremely awful. I am very saddened by it all. But I am very saddened by this sort of thing no matter where it happens. Why has humanity come to this, I shall never know.

    But guys, the shooting occurred in Montreal, and I am in Vancouver, thousands of miles away. So you’re sweet to be concerned, but there is no need to be. We’re all quite well and unharmed. Canada is literally a HUGE country and the distance between British Columbia, the province in which Vancouver is situated, and Quebec, the Province in which Montreal is situated, is simply enormous.

    This all breaks my heart. And I thank you all for your concern. :)

    Hugz and Kisses to all of you!
    Patrick XOXO

  14. I should have been more clear. I’m sorry. The Engine is here. Great site for just general non-superhero and indie comics makin’ chatter, from writing to illustrating to “head, meet desk, rinse, repeat.”

  15. Frank-Joseph says

    If you liked “Off Road,” then you’ll love “Outer Orbit.” I’ve been obsessed with Sean Murphy’s art since I found it in an episode of “Star Wars Tales.” Pick up “Outer Orbit”…I know it’ll be right up your alley!

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