Writers: Loren Bouchard, Jeff Drake, Mark Von der Heide
Illustrators: Anthony Aguinaldo, Tom Connor, Krystal Fleming, Frank Forte , Hector Reynoso
Bob’s Burgers #7 continues Dynamite’s tie in comic to the hit animated TV show of this comic’s namesake. Structurally it maintains the format of a collection of disparate stories or pages that each focus on an individual member of the family and with each tale imbued with an aspect of the characters personality. The sections dedicated to three children (Tina, Gene, and Louise) are where the real meat of this issue is to be found with each section telling a tale in their specific style.
Tina’s section of Bob’s Burgers #7 continues the Romeo and Juliet pastiche that was started in a previous issue. This means that readers for whom this is the first taste of the Bob’s Burgers comics may find themselves a little lost to begin with; although anyone with a basic knowledge of Shakespeare will not have too much difficulty following this pun filled redux. The story has been suitably amended so that none of the characters die and there are some fun -if not somewhat predictable- gags around the Early Modern English language coopted from the original play.
Louise’s portion of Bob’s Burgers #7 is yet another continuation of a story that started in a previous issue. As this is a more original tale there is not such an ease of entry for readers who are either new or not up to date. Centering around the children’s investigation into the reason that there are so many exterminators in their town Louise uncovers a deep and dark secret of the town. In this story we are treated to a rather fantastical ending and one that does not sit too well within the confines of the original TV show’s suspension of disbelief. While the show has slightly more improbable situations occurring than they perhaps do in an average person’s daily existence they work as they do so within what seems to be a normal town (or city, it’s never made clear) within America. Whereas Tina and Gene’s stories play on classic literature and are thus clearly existing outwith the normal boundaries set by the show this story blurs the lines a little too much and seems at odds with the original premise.
The final piece of storytelling we are given in Bob’s Burgers #7 is Gene’s musical inspired rendition of Peter Pan with the middle Belcher himself taking the titular role. With uninspired pratfalls and typically juvenile humour this story serves as a stark reminder of why -whatever the medium- Bob’s Burgers really hits its stride when it focuses on the family as a whole. The show has always worked because the characteristics of this family of social misfits offset each other to create an endearing ensemble who want to do right by each other. As characters get forced to the forefront in Bob’s Burgers #7 it becomes clear that they are not suited to hogging the limelight and the jokes quickly wear thin.
The illustrations of Bob’s Burgers #7 vary with the story that they are telling. While this helps create different tones for each story it is a shame that rarely does the art in Bob’s Burgers #7 feel like it has had much effort put into it. Gene’s Peter Pan based farce is chock full of rather slap dash lines that cause many of the characters to look cross eyed and gives the characters weirdly out of proportion bodies; all of which detract from the storytelling trying to take place. The illustrations in Louise’s story feel closer to the original style but once again some rather lazy lines cause characters to adopt rather odd expressions and body postures. Only the art in Tina’s story helps add to the tone. Utilizing a more watercolour effect and a palette reminiscent of Renaissance art it not only helps set the scene but also eases the reading of the story.