Graphic Novel (P)Review- BUFFALO SPEEDWAY by Yehudi Mercado

At the tail end of STAPLE as we were packing up, Yehudi Mercado ran up on me and gave me free copies of volumes 1 and 2 of his graphic novel series Buffalo Speedway. Before I could finish stumbling through my attempt to thank him, he was gone. 

I wouldn't be so surprised at how fast Mercado gets in and out of a situation if I knew that this animator, filmmaker and graphic novelist also had another title on his resume: Pizza Delivery Boy! Never having lived the life of a pizza boy myself, I had no idea how interesting it could be... but Mercado knew what I didn't: Every pizza boy has a story, and we get a peek at life in the fast lane in Buffalo Speedway, which tells the story of how Figgs and his fellow drivers at Turbo Pizza handle the busiest pizza day ever in the summer of '94. While the whole city of Houston is glued to the teevee watching the World Cup, the Rockets in the NBA Finals, and O.J. Simpson in the white Bronco, Figgs is trying to decide what he wants to do with the rest of his life. And of course, there's a girl...
(we now interrupt this review with some preview pages...)

Mercado does a great job bouncing between bits of Pizza Boy wisdom (exemplified in "Roller Balls Tips"... sprinkled throughout the book), character development, and a fast paced tale of blue collar glory. The characters in Buffalo Speedway are archetypal but not generic, and Mercado's fast and cartoony art style invites the reader to fill the characters up, so they feel very familiar, even when they're doing unusual things. The mix of blue comedy and sincere emotion would feel right at home in one of the better Judd Apatow movies. Like recent comics-to-film standout Scott Pilgrim, this comic blends the mundane with the fantastic and keeps the perfect balance. With these two volumes of Buffalo Speedway (which I expect to be a trilogy) under my belt, I'm looking forward to the next volume, because I can't WAIT to see how this particular Pizza Boy's story plays out...


Robert Trujillo/Tres said...

Looks fresh! I love the cover art!!!

samax said...

It's an awesome comic! you should definitely check it out!

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