Potato Khronikles, the

Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2006
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Potato Khronikles, the Creator(s): Brian Kevin Beck
Publishers: Wonderside Publications LCC (Self Published)
From: USA
Price: $???(US)

The Potato Khronikles is either a hilarious collection of strips created by a genius or a load of old twaddle created by someone who is hanging on to reality by the thinnest of threads. The problem is I really have no idea which is the case. What I do know though is that I just don't get it.

In saying this I don't mean that I don't get some of the strips or some of the concepts or some of the gags, I mean that I just don't get it full stop.
I guess the cover warned me though, I mean how many comics plaster comments across cover like, we want our money back! These cartoon's [sic] are stuppid! [sic] They just don't work, and plus they're borring [sic], and that's right they don't mean anything at all. Having read what lies within all I can do is agree.

Beck claims to draw potatoes because no matter what he intends to draw the result is always a potato. Now this could be funny, it could be divine providence or it could just be that he can't draw. The result however is a collection that never really fires on a visual level.

The Potato Khronikles is a strange and unusual beast, 70 plus pages of strips and related material that focus on one Chester potato as he visits restaurants, travels on cruise ships and books into hotels. All fairly normal tuber activity! My problem remains though, it still seems somehow devoid of meaning.

Most of the strips centre around word play, mildly amusing definitions of words and puns. So men in their flying machines becomes men in their frying machines and we have a strip featuring potatoes flying in frying pans. We also have gags along the lines of, I don't want the soupe de jour I had that yesterday. As I have said this could be either side splittingly funny or piffle but I tend to lean towards the later.

Then just for good measure after the cruise ships and the hotels it all gets little weird. I may be prudish but potatoes with breasts and big penis' are just not right. The punning continues with "sex and violence" becoming "sax and violets" but it is all still a little creepy for my liking. Chester enters the world of homosexual root vegetables and boiled spuds will never taste the same again.

All too often we are confronted with prose that uses English words in what seems to be the correct grammatical order but somehow they remain senseless. Maybe this is the intention, it is obvious that Beck and his good friend Chester are having a whale of a time but is this enough?

It is important to mention that at least someone got fun out of this comic though because for me reviewing the Khronikles was so harrowing an experience that upon completing my reading I was driven to fling open the windows and howl into the night, "someone is messing with my head." You know sometimes those secret little worlds that we create in our heads just don't work when they are released on an unsuspecting population.

If you have always wanted to read a collection of strips featuring badly drawn potatoes wildly punning then your time has come. If you have not lusted for such a volume then avoid at all costs.

I will reassure myself by calmly repeating that this collection is quite probably a collection of "other wordly" humour easily understood by some alien or vegetable life form but not intended to be understood by humans.

In a Word: Blighted.

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