Chimichanga by Eric Powell is making me regret growing older and not keeping in touch with the comic book addicted person I used to be. The guy with three to four thousand comics stacked haphazardly along his bookshelfs? Me. The guy who would obsessively read and reread them all at least once a year? Me.
The guy who is in love with comics again, specifically those by Eric Powell and the amazing people at Dark Horse Comics? Damn right it's me.
Chimichanga is a charming tale of a little (bearded) girl who performs for the family circus, run by her grandfather. Starting with that simple plotline Chimichanga is also a tale of corporate greed, human indifference, bravery and love all mixed in with a healthy dose of the ridiculous and absurd.
You barely need to mention the giant green monster that gives its name to the book, but he's there too, and though he speaks not a single word his love for the little girl who accepted him without a moment's hesitation speaks volume of a deeper meaning than a comic book might usually admit to.
Luckily, there is enough mayhem and slapstick to drown that out and trick people into reading and falling in love with this book so that anything deeper might seep into them without their notice.
That's right, Chimichanga spreads the idea of love and tolerance sort of how I imagine swine flu makes the rounds. Oh, it seems innocent enough (aw, look at the little bearded girl and her scary friend kicking ass against corporate greed and shiny suited villains), but then you make the mistake of breathing in at the wrong moment, and WHAMMO you're laying half senseless and gasping for breath at the idea that the monsters are not the freaks you never give a moment's thought to as you shun them.
Or, and this is much more likely here, I could just be blowing smoke out of my ass and trying to dig something deep and resounding out of this book to cover just how deeply entertained I was by a simple comic book again … something I should be too old to have happen to me. Right?
Screw it. I confess ...
I loved this book from cover to cover and already know that I will follow Eric Powell's career from now on. Just buy the blasted thing and you'll see what I'm talking about and why I want to write long and self-important sentences about it.
(The reviewed edition is a preview of the upcoming hardcover graphic novel collection of the three single issues that make up the story.)