Superhero comics are littered with characters who develop strange and outlandish powers after encounters with toxic waste, cosmic rays or bizarre scientific mishaps. None have been turned into pieces of paper with the power of folding themselves into different shapes though, as far as I’m aware.
Until now, that is. Seth Levens – who writes and illustrates the entire collection of stories featured in this volume – has come up with an original premise that serves as a delivery for a vast array of satirical barbs, with seemingly no paperweight left unturned.
On his way to a blind date – arranged by his loser, perma-stoned friend – Orry Thitchafer is saved from certain doom by accidentally coming into contact with a substance that’s being disposed of by an evil corporation. Transforming into the eponymous, sentient piece of paper, he sets about trying to return to human form – yet getting caught up in the evil corporation’s schemes every step of the way. He’s employed by the evil company, joins a group of superheroic oddballs, seeks to stop a Presidential campaign in its tracks and finally tries to take down the evil genius at the head of MALefactory – the evil corporation responsible for his transformation – once and for all.
The lo-fi artwork, put together using Google Slides, gives a really odd but unique look to the series – recalling the deliberately crude stylings of South Park. It’s not just the art that invites the comparison to Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s animated creation either, with the jokes about all manner of topics veering into some seriously tasteless territory at times – and seemingly very little considered off limits.
It certainly has its charm, plus it makes some interestingly satirical points – and it’s very impressive that it’s been put together by a single creator – but there’s times where the dialogue from certain characters just doesn’t seem to stop, hammering the same points into the ground over and over again. There’s also the sense that some of the humour crosses the line too, dulling the effectiveness of the satire and just feeling like it’s there for shock value. The added effect of the crass humour is that it also just ceases to be fun at times.
That said, if you’re not someone who’s easily offended or who likes their humour edgy and dark with no fucks given, Origamiac might just be the quirky indie comic you’re looking for. It’s as far removed from a mainstream comic as you can get, and veers as close to South Park-style no-boundaries humour as you’re likely to find outside of the show itself.
The Complete Origamiac can be purchased from Amazon.
Many thanks to Seth Levens for providing me with a copy of The Complete Origamiac for review purposes.
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