Arturo Bastard

    (Mike Hoffman, 2005)
™ and © Mike Hoffman

Like a long lost relic from 1968, the fictional Arturo Bastard is treated like an actual rediscovered pop star. Apparently, Bastard was very big in Italy from 1967-1971 putting out albums and appearing on magazine covers regularly before his ultimate downfall during the 1970s. A songbook with lyrics fills out the second half of the book, with song titles such as “I am Bastard” and “Non Posso Dimenticarlo”. The dividing line between parody and reality is blurred as the book concludes with an actual music CD you can order.

— Mark Arnold

From the Comics Buyer’s Guide:

Remember The Rutles? Monty Python alumnus Eric Idle spearheaded the brilliant pastiche of The Beatles that starred in TV specials and record albums. Decades later, they were still inspiring musical and video sequels, as well as a tribute album. The secret was that they looked authentic and were hilarious.

Of course, readers know about Austin Powers. Mike Myers’ spy spoof franchise of three mega-hits kept getting bigger and bigger. Why? Because it looked authentic and was hilarious.

Which brings us to Arturo Bastard. This one-shot purports to tell the life story of a 1960s Italian pop idol. It looks authentic and—well, that’s about it. Honestly, it looks great. Visually, it’s a treat. It looks as if it jumped, mint condition, out of the 60s, and its mere 16 pages leaves the eye hungry for more.

But it’s not funny.

One must assume that it’s supposed to be funny, because, otherwise, what’s the point? To fabricate an unfunny pop history? Seemingly not. (Perhaps it’s just marketing for the CD on sale within?)

But it really does look great.

— Jack Abramowitz

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1 copy available for $2.00
  Mike HoffmanMike Hoffman