Who Killed Kurt Cobain?: The Story of Boddah Hardcover – 8 Nov 2016
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And who is Boddah? Cobain’s imaginary friend. It sucks to be killed by an imaginary friend.
So is this a biography of Kurt Cobain? Not really. Is it a pop psychology look at a tortured legend? A little. Is it self-important twaddle, a little too precious, a little too knowing? You could say that. But it’s interesting.
I mean, it would have to be, wouldn’t it? Cobain was an artistic genius, and that makes him interesting. Courtney Love was, well, Courtney Love.
The story follows Cobain’s life journey, a trip that involved Courtney and heroin and self-adoration and self-loathing and music and conflicts with his band and all the things you’d expect in a rock star story. The writing is generally good if, as I said, a little too full of itself. There are a lot of words here, and too many of them seem to be words for the sake of words.
The art brings to mind underground comics of several decades ago. I liked that. And on the whole, I liked the story. If you’re looking for an answer to the title question, one that has recently been in the media, I guess the story provides an answer. Is it the right one? Who knows? It’s a work of fiction, and art aspires to higher truths.
First off, the title is misleading. This is not an exposé or theory about who killed Kurt Cobain. The subtitle of the book, which is found before the graphic novel begins is a better one.
When Kurt Cobain died, he left a note addressed to Boddah, which theories point to as his invisible childhood friend. This graphic novel is narrated by Boddah. The book shows the rapid rise in fame and slow decline in drugs of Kurt Cobain. Boddah is the invisible third witness to events, and, at times, the only person Kurt can talk to. Even Boddah gets turned away by Kurt at times, so we get to view other people in his life. The story is mainly about Kurt and Courtney. Their electric love affair. Their addictions to drugs. Their baby and marriage, and Kurt's obsession with ending it all either intentionally or unintentionally.
It's a visceral journey and probably not a lot of new ground gets covered for true fans, but I was riveted. I was also stunned by Nicolas Otero's art throughout the book. The book is mostly black and white, but color is occasionally used for impact and emphasis. This book was beautiful in it's ugliness, like the Alex Cox film 'Sid and Nancy' which I was continually reminded of. The final panels of this comic were sad and moving. I'm glad I got to read it.
I received a review copy of this graphic novel from IDW Publishing, Diamond Book Distributors, and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
Received an advance copy from IDW and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I'm incredibly fascinated by theories that surround Kurt Cobain's mysterious death. When I saw this graphic novel was available on Netgalley, I instantly jumped on the opportunity to pick this one up. Sadly, this novel is not for me.
When it comes to graphic novels the biggest thing for me is the art. I want to absolutely love and worship the art. The art should make me want to blow it up and hang it on my walls, but in this novel's case the art made me want to slam my laptop shut and stop looking at it. It's grainy, unclear, the faces are misshapen and not proportional to the human body. There's also one page dedicated solely to sexual positions of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. I get that Nirvana and Cobain are symbols for the punk era, but I honestly don't want to see 101 Sex Positions.
Art Scale: 0
The writing itself felt unattached and dissociated. I couldn't find any reason to keep reading the story because I didn't care about the story or where the story was going. I was unimpressed and unwilling to waste my precious time.
Whimsical Writing Scale: 0
Overall, I recommend this graphic novel for hardcore fans of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana because I'm sure that they will be able to appreciate this story much more than I did.
Cover Thoughts: The cover isn't horrible, but it should've been a hint that the artwork wasn't great.
Thank you, Netgalley and IDW Publishing for providing with me a copy in exchange for an honest review.