Al is one twisted motherfucker and from one twisted motherfucker to another he made me a fan. The “Biologic Show” is when he started to develop his style that he is famous for, the “Fleischertoons from Hell” art style, in “Biologic Show”, the art style is more drippy, sharp and edgy goth, not that there is anything wrong with that, his demented and twisted sense of humor is intact. The “Biologic Show” issues 0 and 1 are very rare and hard to find, they were collected with other odds and ends and put in a book by Hollow Press with a dembossed cover in Italy and now that is sold out. That is the book I read and I am reviewing
The first issue of “Biologic Show” was published by Fantagraphics in 1994, this was issue 0, why Al just didn’t call it issue 1 I can’t figure out. “Biologic Show” issue 0 features “No Tomorrow If I Must Return” featuring his recurring clown character, Seymour Sushine, this time embedded in what looks like the mouth of his hinged mouth character, Alfred the Great, featured in “Zero Zero”(get zeroed zeroed out here: http://www.noisepuncher.net/2021/09/30/five-four-three-two-one-zero-zero-comix/), the next one up is self titled and its about a man who finds his girlfriend murdered so he commits suicide to find her in the afterlife, the problem is this afterlife is Hell and his girlfriend will have nothing to do with him, “Grinding Larry” is about Larry who gets in a car wreck and loses his brain and now he has to find it, “Over” is a nasty poem set to some horrific comic strip art, “Extinction” features a couple’s escalating fight on a park bench and a man nearby who fights his mutant dog, nothing goes right as you imagine, “Lowborn Peacock” has another one of Al’s weird poems being performed in Hell, “Lil” Saint Anthony” is a tale of a man in a semi catatonic state eating his own shit on the ground and a boy wanting to buy bullets for his gun to put the man out of his misery, “Bruja” is another nonsensical strip and poem, recurring characters Pim and Francine make their first appearance in “Tar Frogs” they look different, more goth like as opposed to the 1930′ Fleischer Brother’s style characters they’d become, Pim eats some tar shaped like frogs off of their pervert neighbor Mr. Crowley’s front porch and becomes horny, he rapes Francine who might be his sister while Mr. Crowley (I have Ozzy’s voice echoing in my head) leers and watches behind a curtain, Pim impregnates Francine and she gives birth very fast to a beaked monstrosity, Pim tries to kill it but realizes he’s been really stabbing his sister.
“Biologic Show” issue 1 is really issue 2 called “Peloria Part One” and features Pim and Francine only in their nightmare world being chased by Siamese twin girls who are trying to kill them, Francine runs away and Pim gets cornered, Francine grabs a ride in a car with a creepy old man who attempts to hit on her and she wants to be let off at the fountain in town where she meets another recurring character of Al’s, Knishkebibble the Monkey Boy and his vacant eyed goth girlfriend and asks Monkey Boy if he’s seen Pim, Monkey Boy says “no” while feeling up his girlfriend and Francine gets back in the car with the creepy guy, Pim in a daze emerges and asks Monkey Boy if he has seen Francine, he lies and says he hasn’t, Pim passes out and Monkey Boy tries to revive him, soon Francine in the car with the weird guy thinks she sees Monkey Boy and Pim sitting at the fountain, she decides not to get out of the car and drives away with the stranger. The story is supposed to continue in the next issue.
Al claimed he was gonna do “Biologic Show” issue 2 which was actually gonna be 3, the story “I Was Killing When Killing Wasn’t Cool”, was supposed to be appear in that issue but Al realized his style of drawing had changed and he’d changed it into the “Fleischer Brothers from Hell” style he is known for and didn’t think it would fit “Biologic Show”, the story ended up being put in “Zero Zero” which I reviewed (link above). Al got the title for his comic from William S. Burrough’s book “Exterminator”. After Al didn’t want to do “Biologic Show” anymore (Surprise! Surprise!) Fantagraphics said they were gonna expand “Peloria” into a graphic novel, but of course a lot of Al’s plans, it didn’t happen.
This book also features Seymour Sunshine “Debris”, bits and pieces of his recurring character in “Slow Machine”, “Casigian”, “The Hellbound Bellydancer”, and “Ersatz (A family name)” featuring two characters that look suspiciously like Pim and Francine, the book republishes the mini comic “23 Skidoo” the story “Orifi to Boreal” about a man who goes to a wishing well wishing for pussy and throws his coin down the well he gets more than he bargains for, in the next untitled story a man gets in a car crash and skids yards and features a poem about the man internally bleeding to death and the last piece is “Johnny 23” a piece published in the comix mag “Taboo” in 1992, a guy tries to suppress his murdering impulses by imagining he is a crooner while having his ex girlfriend tied up in his bathroom.
So there you have it, “Biologic Show” is nihilistic, bloody, violent and to be honest a bit juvenile, the thing is meant to convey pure black mortician humor. You can see the progress of Al’s style, from the drippy, jagged edged style to a more 1930’s cartoon from hell style. While the art style has changed, the humor and messed story lines have not. “Biologic Show” is not for the feint of heart, I do like his later art style better, it is more original and his own. A lot of people back in the day were doing the whole “goth jagged edges with drips” thing. I do wish Al was more prolific, people say he is a perfectionist, problem is there is very thin line between perfectionist and procrastinator. Finding the original issues and the compilation book from Hollow Press at a reasonable price is gonna be impossible, I know I looked. I have my copy and got it right before it went out of print. Good luck if your trying to find it.
If you want to find physical copies go look on ebay, but I got to warn you your wallet is going to be screaming to be put out of its misery.
To read the original “Biologic Show” issues digitally you can go here: https://comiconlinefree.net/the-biologic-show/issue-0
And here: https://comiconlinefree.net/the-biologic-show/issue-1