The Many Deaths Of Scott Koblish by Scott Koblish (book review).

 ‘The Many Deaths Of Scott Koblish’ is a small hardback coffee table book by comic artist Scott Koblish (Spider-Man, Deadpool) in which he contemplates ways he might meet the Grim Reaper. There are fantasy and SF elements to several of these extinctions which, along with his status as a super-hero artist, qualify it for inclusion on this website.

Largely in black and white but with odd splashes of colour, these are mostly one page, four-panel cartoons in which Scott Koblish meets his doom. Some stretch to three pages so I assume he did them for his own amusement in idle moments and eventually had enough to make a book. These are all ‘silent’ strips with no dialogue or captions at all and the material is suitable for children. That’s gotta be a potentially big market and the lack of dialogue makes it good for international distribution.

So, what’s in it? The first page shows Scott leaning against a rock atop which a huge boulder is precariously balanced. A bird lands on one end of the boulder and it falls on our hero. No gore, he’s just obscured from view underneath it.

On page two, he falls off a mountain while skiing. On page three, he’s sat on the ledge of an open window when a cat jumps in his lap and he falls out. Then he’s killed by an earthquake, strangled by his own malevolent hair, wafted into space by helium balloons (a 2 pager) and so on and so on. These bare descriptions don’t convey the humour of the pictorial representation.

Many are far out with Scott being eaten by trees, kidnapped by aliens and starving to death at a comic convention waiting for someone to buy his sketches. Sea monsters also feature quite a lot. My favourite has Scott walking along looking at his phone, run over by a driver who’s looking at her phone and photographed by all the bystanders using their phones.

What else can I say? The hardcover version is a tidy little book printed on quality paper. It’s quite amusing and won’t take up much of your time. The kids will like it. It’s ideal for putting on the coffee table for guests to pick up and peruse while you’re making tea. It’s an odd thing to publish but certainly no worse than the celebrity joke books and memoirs that come out at Christmas time.

In fact, the Christmas season would have been the right time to release it as it makes a decent little stocking filler for almost anyone, even if they can’t read. It’s nice.

Eamonn Murphy

April 2018

(pub: Chronicle Books. 96 page small hardback. Price: $14.95 (US), £10.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-45216-712-1)

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