110 Per¢

By Tony Consiglio
136 pages, black and white
Published by Top Shelf Productions

There are some targets that are easy to pick on. Take the whole “boy band” phenomenon, with its endless (and interchangeable) series of generic line-ups of young men trotted out to the sound of thousands of shrieking teenagers. On that level alone, Tony Consiglio’s 110 Per¢ succeeds in its sarcastic look at the whole movement. What makes the book really work, though, is that Consiglio’s greater target isn’t the latest fad, but rather the people who develop obsessions around them.

Cathy, Gerty, and Sasha are members of the Mature Older Fans Of 110 Per¢, a group dedicated for those who are no longer teenagers but still love the boy band. With their third CD due to hit stores and a new concert tour to promote it, the members of MOFO 110 Per¢ are getting progressively wound up and obsessed with the band. But for these three ladies, is there really such a thing as too much 110 Per¢?

Obsession is a powerful thing, something that exists in almost every single interest group on some level. Bands, comics, books, people, even collectable stuffed animals—they’ve all got obsessed fans. What brings Consiglio’s book home is how through his three main characters he’s able to show very different views of what it’s like to be obsessed. As 110 Per¢ progresses, you see more and more the differences between the three women; they all have the same basic starting point but diverge the further away they move. Even better is that Consiglio doesn’t fall into the obvious trap of making the three women varying levels of “good” and “bad.” Even the closest we get to one of them being “bad” still has good qualities, and ultimately her biggest fault seems to be that her love of 110 Per¢ has made her oblivious to everything else around her, not malicious.

As for the story itself, it’s immensely entertaining. The twists and turns as the concert gets ever closer keep the story moving at a brisk pace, but at the same time Consiglio isn’t afraid to take the extra time to bring on additional supporting cast members as we continue to get a glimpse into the world of the MOFO 110 Per¢ members. We get just little snippets of their lives—the guy who joined solely to seduce the lonely housewives that make up the group, the two members who ultimately force each meeting to end by their constant ridicule of each other, the clueless woman who is tricked by a “concert ticket” made out of a Pop-Tarts carton lid—but they simultaneously bring a good level of humor to the book as well as a look at the greater picture. Cathy, Gerty, and Sasha may have major issues of their own but compared to some they’re positively normal.

A lot of the fun in 110 Per¢ comes from Consiglio’s art and his ability to draw characters who are both wildly exaggerated and yet realistic at the same time. These are characters whose every thought and emotion is reflected in their bodies, from eyes practically popping out of their head to their limbs either waving wildly or alternately being pulled in tightly. The MOFO 110 Per¢ seducer’s antics would solely disturbing if it wasn’t for the visual depiction of his actions with the women, for instance, and the birthday party gone horribly wrong for Gerty’s daughter is really made thanks to the expressions of everyone present. You always know exactly where you stand with Consiglio’s characters, and in a good way.

110 Per¢ is silly and serious at the same time, and it walks that fine line extremely carefully and with great success. I think everyone who reads 110 Per¢ will recognize people they know within its pages. They might even see a little bit of themselves. It’s a smart, clever book that chronicles the power of obsession in a timeless manner. It’s been a little over three years since we’ve seen a full-length comic from Consiglio, and hopefully we won’t have to wait that long for his next project. Highly recommended.

Purchase Links: Amazon.com

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