Public transport and our newest donation: The Bus

Many cartoonists choose to do one of two things: make the strange seem familiar or make the familiar seem alien. In Paul Kirchner’s strip, The Bus, he maintains the latter. While some of us remember Kirchner for his work on Dino-Riders, most know the monthly strip in Heavy Metal magazine from 1978 to 1985 and this well-designed landscape book offers choice selections.

Usually varying from six to eight panels a strip, Kirchner builds a surreal world around the one undeniable constant: the bus. Indefatigable is the wayward vessel of the everyman but reading the strip, you recognize rules we all must obey and slows everyone’s progress.  Yet, the bus must also follow the rules laid out before it, whether it is stopping at a bus stop not matter what axis it is on to exact change for a fare, no matter how bad the environment.

The balding bus rider meets a number of oddities on his travels; to where is rarely important. Delightfully, these pantomime comics are often punctuated by a news-reel-esque description of buses in their time out of work or from the dawning of time.

For more tripsy fun, read The Bus by Paul Kirchner and pardon the pun, enjoy the ride. Also, a big thank you to Evan Dorkin who donated the book to the Schulz Library. Anytime I see a box with Dorkin’s name on it, I know I will be surprised and delighted.

Jen Vaughn


5 responses to “Public transport and our newest donation: The Bus

  1. Your write-up made me kind of wish I kept it! I really like this book and had it for ages, but space is an issue, and I’m glad it has found a good home. And I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Wow, this sounds amazing. Thanks for posting about it. I doubt I would have heard of it otherwise.

  3. Pingback: Journalista – the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Sept. 15, 2009: A Kindle and an iPhone

  4. Pingback: Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment » Everyone’s A Critic: A round-up of comic book reviews and thinkpieces

  5. Thank you again, Evan, for the good read! The book is already making the rounds with our students. If you and Sarah ever feel like visiting the book, you are more than welcome in White River Junction.

    Carrie, you are more than welcome!

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