Page 45 Review by Tom
For those of you who have been in suspended animation for the last two years, this is the best comic going right now! Like some unholy bedroom alliance between Simon Pegg, that cute punky momma you're too intimidated to talk to and your old Super Nintendo, all pogo-ing to three badly played chords in your student bed-sit. Yes, really, it's that good!
Catch-up for beginners: Scott's in a really bad punk band who are consistently upstaged by other bad punk bands with gimmicks like an 8-year-old A.D.D. drummer or only playing one note... badly. He lives with Wallace, his gay roommate with a thing for men in glasses, in a pokey studio flat paid for entirely, it seems, by Wallace - he even owns Scott's toothbrush. Scott's fallen in love with rollerblading delivery girl Ramona who could be the most perfect girl in the world - she actually owns a pair of Mr. Silly shoes. The only catch is that in order to go out with Ramona, Scott has to defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends in Street Fighter-style battles - and for real, not down the arcade sweating into a joystick!
So far he's used his sly cunning and superior skills to take out the first two; the third, however, is Todd Ingram. Not only is he Ramona's ex but he's now shacking up with Envy Adams, former love of Scott's life! And they're in a totally evil art-rock band, The Clash At Demonhead!! And Scott's band, Sex Bob-omb, has to open for them tomorrow night!!! Breaking up is hard, but ex-es are harder. Perhaps too hard for Scott when you consider Todd's fighting skills don't come from physical prowess alone, but Tetsuo-esque psychic powers! But how?!
"Todd's a Vegan. Graduated top of his class from Vegan Academy and everything."
"It's not a big deal."
"No kidding! I mean, anyone can become a Vegan if they work at it, right?"
"No. Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian, maybe."
"Uh... Why not?"
"Most people just can't take it. It's a fact of science. The main thing to know is that I'm better than most people."
Worse though, is having your ex go on to be a roaring success without you, before returning to rub her evil art rock band's angular riff-age all up in your grill. Especially when they aren't even that good. Yes they are.
Continuing directly on from the previous volume, we're thrown directly into the emotional fray, so do try and keep up. Take a deep breath and remember where we left comics' everyman.
Bryan has clearly mastered the timing of manga, leaving us at the end of volume 2 during a critical moment, only to simmer the mood down right from the start here. Throwing your expectations out of the window from the offset as Scott and co. actually go to a gig without getting into a fight of typically epic proportions (that happens later, backstage). From here on INFINITE SADNESS builds up to its own climatic ending. It's that crescendo effect which manga titles like GTO utilize so effectively, keeping us all gripped long after we've put it down. Except Stephen, of course. We all know it's Wallace that keeps him "gripped".
Having just read all three books in an epic session (I didn't even stop as I stomped my way to work) I think, think I know who the mysterious Gideon from Ramona's past is too. If I'm right, it's genius.