Review: The Lil Depressed Boy #3

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Review: The Lil Depressed Boy: Supposed To Be There Too #3
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: S. Steven Struble
Art: Sina Grace

The third issue of Lil Depressed Boy, S. Steven Struble and Sina Grace’s mellow and realistic portrayal of everyday life returns after we left our protagonist drafting his resignation notice. Lil Depressed Boy Chapter 19: “Brilliant Dancer” carries on from the previous incident of LDB’s boss not believing the story that Toby attacked him in the parking lot at work because it was not caught on CCTV, suggesting instead that they resolve any personal issues themselves. LDB, then, feels he should quit and does not want to work anywhere he doesn’t feel supported or safe.

This issue sees a ‘cameo’ from rock band Lemuria, in which the group’s lyrics serve as dialogue for a large chunk of the comic’s content. Grace includes a full splash page to give us the full scope of the gig, inviting us to share what the characters are experiencing.

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Lil Depressed Boy maintains the quietness and mellow pace it has developed over previous issues; #3 opens to LDB lying in bed silently for four panels, he proceeds to get dressed and there is no dialogue until the third page. It is in these moments of solitude and relative inactivity that Grace’s art work is pushed to the forefront and the reader feels an increasing intimacy with LDB. Struble’s maintains the run-of-the-mill dialogue that endears the reader further to Lil Depressed Boy with every issue; the chat may not be exceptionally exciting but it remains faithful to the idea of reality and honesty that permeates the series and allows us to create a greater connection to the characters and the universe of the book. It’s also comforting to learn that Lil Depressed Boy doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing with his life, like most of his readership.

And of course Lil Depressed Boy and his girlfriend Spike continue their campaign for cutest fictional couple of the year. She is super comforting about his job situation and is a helpful distraction from his various woes. It is cool gaining further insight into Spike’s background, especially her oh-so-familiar situation of working straight from school and panicking over becoming too comfortable in her fairly easy job. Here again we see the perceptive reality of Lil Depressed Boy, in which the protagonist’s weird head remains the only surreal aspect of the story. Furthermore, it is super endearing when Lil Depressed Boy gets embarrassed telling Spike he loves her when she’s falling asleep, and his face takes the most recognisable cringe shape.

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Sometimes, however, it feels like Spike and LDB are almost too perfect as a couple; as undeniably sweet and pleasant as their relationship is, perhaps it would be more natural and compelling if they had at least a little friction at some point. We all know that perfect couple you want to avoid at all costs in real life. Maybe soon the two will have a bit more tension or drama to give their relationship a bit more chemistry and texture.

In terms of action, issue 3 doesn’t offer anything drastic or out of the ordinary in terms of the title’s universe. It is, of course, in the reality of the plot and characters that Lil Depressed Boy proves itself as a touching and engaging read, but a little more action propelling the story forwards wouldn’t go a miss. It is exciting, however, to await the consequences of Spike’s cliff-hanger.

Issue 3 of Lil Depressed Boy proves to be another consistent outing of an endearing protagonist to whom we can all relate. At least emotionally if not physically.