Today’s post is about Grant Morrison, Philip Bond, and D’isareli’s Kill Your Boyfriend! Despite being a short read, it manages to pack sex, drugs, guns, grenades, alcohol, and other violence. You’ll like this story if you’re into counterculture or Bonnie and Clyde-esque romances.
Summary: A teen seeking relief from her monotonous life finds refuge in a neighborhood hooligan who introduces her to vandalism, sex, drugs, anarchism, and killing her boyfriend.
Initial thoughts: This is a short comic of about 60-ish pages, but it’s dense in that Grant Morrison kind of way, which is really only understandable if you know a hoot about Grant Morrison. Well. It involves a lot of British counterculture and broken optimism.
There is one really cool thing about Kill Your Boyfriend, and that’s the way the characters sometimes directly address the reader as they fast forward over parts of the narrative. Breaking the fourth wall is one of my favorite things, and it’s so unexpected here that I really felt unsettled and oddly complicit in the narrative as a result of it.
Fun fact and entirely irrelevant, Morrison mentions the song of the same name by Bis, which is a Scottish pop band, though this pop-punk song is the perfect theme for the comic.
Itty Bitty Research: In the afterward of the comic, Morrison mentions Heartland and other serial killer tales as the inspiration for his story, so I decided to start there. It led me to consider other “romances” about serial killers on the run, such as Natural Born Killers and Basic Instinct. If you haven’t seen the trend, these movies, along with Kill Your Boyfriend, are the product of the 1990s. Intrigued, I decided to look into this fascination of serial killer in the 1990s.
Going into the ’90s, there was a trend of great serial killers. Ted Bundy was executed in 1989, which much controversy sparked before and after. Charles Manson was still a notable figure, with many interviews and a documentary called Charles Manson Superstar in the late ’80s, as well as new interviews with his followers in the early and mid-’90s. Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to prison in 1992, where he died in 1994. Gary Ridgway, Aileen Wuornos, Andrei Chikatilo, and Dennis Radar were all active or recently apprehended in the early and mid-1990s. This document outlines some of the changes in prison sentencing between the ’70s and ’90s, which also became of interest.
Works cited: Morrison, Grant, writer. Kill Your Boyfriend. Art by Philip Bond and D’Isareli. New York: DC Comics, 1995. Print.