REVIEW: ‘Burnouts,’ Volume #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Burnouts Vol 1

Have you ever gotten stupid high? Like so high you’re convinced that you’ll never come back down? I haven’t of course since I would never ingest intoxicants, dear potential employers. But getting way too high is kind of a stoner right of passage. And any veteran will tell you those pink elephants and green aliens you’re seeing are just the drugs playing tricks on your mind. Unless of course, they aren’t. Image ComicsBurnouts Vol 1, written by Dennis Culver with art by Geoffo, letters by David Dwonch and color flats by Lauren Perry, follows Andy, Jackie, Manny and the Roach Brothers. The Burnouts. They’re the kids who sit in the back of class, the ones your folks didn’t want you to hang out with. They’re rude, wild, and humanity’s last line of defense.

Burnouts Vol 1. kicks off when this group of high school stoners discover an secret alien invasion happening in their sleepy suburban town. Every night aliens possess people all across town, stealing their bodies and taking over their minds. Unlike the little green men you’ve seen in other stories, these aliens are invisible to the naked eye.  The only way to spot them is to light up a joint and smoke a fat one. The fate of the world lies in the hands of these teenage Burnouts. They’ll either save the planet or get high trying.

Burnouts Vol 1 is a wild ride. Stoners and alien conspiracies go hand in hand. Just look at your favorite paranormal podcast hosts and you’ll see what I mean. But it’s amazing how naturally writer Dennis Culver blends the two elements. The titular burnouts are just the right blend of charismatic and wasted. They rush into battle with weed infused bravery, but not much foresight, which leads to some great dialogue and hilarious moments of slapstick. I never thought I’d read a comic with “Emergency Hot boxing”, but Burnouts Vol 1 surprises and delights.

I don’t like to compare comics to films as a rule, but with Burnouts Vol 1. it’s hard not to.  Described by artist Geoffo as “John Carpenter’s They Live meets Freaks & Geeks,” the book is soaked in 80’s teen movie iconography. It pulls visual cues from teen classics like The Lost Boys and The Breakfast Club, but never gets lost in its homage. It would be easy to fill a comic like Burnouts Vol 1 with cookie cutter stereotypes. But Culver’s cast of lovable oddballs have heart to spare, which makes their inebriated attempts at heroism all the more fun to read.

I can think of 420 reason why you should check out Burnouts Vol 1but I think I’ll stick with one. It’s a damn good time and definitely worth yours.

Burnouts Vol 1 is available now at comic stores everywhere

Burnouts Vol. 1
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TL;DR

It would be easy to fill a comic like Burnouts Vol 1 with cookie cutter stereotypes. But Culver’s cast of lovable oddballs have heart to spare, which makes their inebriated attempts at heroism all the more fun to read.