Beavis & Butt-head #8, October 1994, Marvel Comics
writers: Johnson & Marcil
artist: Rick Parker
colorist: Robert Camacho
assistant editor: Scott Marshall
editor: Glenn Herdling
consultant: Glenn Eichler
creator: Mike Judge
And now for something completely different.
Anticipating this review, I caught a few episodes of Beavis & Butt-head on MTV2 last weekend, and although I wasn't a fan of the series when it originally aired, in retrospect I completely understand its appeal. With Beavis and Butt-head, Mike Judge managed to capture the cynicism of the grunge rock era and the awkwardness of adolescence, crudely but effectively animated before Adult Swim made nihilist chicken scratch a successful software program. In their Marvel Comics incarnation, Rick Parker recreates these visuals perfectly, accenting the Mike Judge school in an R. Crumb-meets-MAD Magazine manner without completely restricting his own unique style (versus the Matt Groening stencilism over at Bongo Comics). I can't imagine another artist tackling this responsibility so respectfully, if drawing two kids in their underwear is a respectful responsibility.
Yes, for most of this issue, Beavis and Butt-head strut around in their underwear. While poking around in a radio with screwdrivers, they're electrocuted, or as Butt-head says "radio-activated" with superpowers, so they don the guises Coolman and Doctor Weird to fight crime. The funniest moment of the book is when, in their search for supervillains, the "dillweed duo" pick on Martin (I think his name is). When the wimp whines, "C'mon, man! This isn't cool," the crappy crusaders dub him "C'mon Man," their archenemy. Clever.
Also, a page of this issue is partially illustrated by Andy Smith and features Quasar, as Beavis and Butt-head do some superhero research. Like time itself, Beavis and Butt-head are not kind to Quasar. First, they critique music videos on MTV; then they poke fun at cosmic goofs in Marvel Comics. The thought of Beavis and Butt-head as the universal conduits for a medium to make light of itself is an amusing idea; I hope other issues in this series seized that opportunity. Now, I won't go so far as to reference the Hamlet play-within-a-play idea; I wouldn't want to insult Beavis or Butt-head.
So, what role does this comic play in the grand scheme of comics? How does Beavis and Butt-head fit in the whole picture? Heh heh heh. I said "hole." Does that answer your question?