Baker returns to the genre scene with his first book-length narrative since Why I Hate Saturn (1990), the clever sendup of the downtown bar and dating scene of 1980s New York that became an underground comics classic. Here, Baker does New York City again, but this time strictly for laughs. Noel Coleman, a handsome, momentarily reformed criminal, falls big time for Helen, a beautiful redhead and sensitive New Age spiritualist and animal lover. An unlikely couple? Of course, so Coleman lies through his teeth about his spectacularly checkered past. Helen discovers his sleazy life story anyway, just as a media-lionized serial killer (a hilarious Robert Mitchum look-alike) goes after Coleman for seducing his wife. Besides the pleasures of Baker's wisecracking dialogue, there's a rousing chase through Central Park and a breathtaking fight to the finish with the would-be killer aboard the Staten Island Ferry, all rendered in a combination of virtuoso comics draftsmanship and richly saturated coloring. Never mind the thin veneer of pop sophistication attached to many graphic novels: this is an unpretentious, rip-roaringly entertaining comic book farce.
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