Clowns are scary, and every time they become villains, there’s a primal feeling of fear coursing down my veins. Whether they’re in movies or comic books, there’s something visceral that makes clowns feel very unsettling.
Gorilla My Dreams Presents: Lucifer Bim-Bom is a spin-off one-shot for Gorilla My Dreams that take on the story of Knockaround Guy’s biggest villain. It’s much more human than it seems and banks heavily on parental pressure.
The Story and Writing of Lucifer Bim-Bom: Getting Klowned For Parental Pressure
Gorilla My Dreams Presents: Lucifer Bimbom is an Australian comic book published by Big Tim's Funny Books. The story follows Lucifer Bacchius and his minions and how they got in trouble in the first place. The story is written by Tim Stiles, illustrated by Dennis Tirona, and lettered by Darren Close.
The story revolves around Lucifer Bacchius, son of costumed criminal Clovis Bacchius, is currently incarcerated at the Vigilance Correction Facility together with his posse, being attacked by the Wicked Witch of the East and her flying monkeys.
We follow how they got here in the first place and how their capture was set up to help them become Lucifer and the Killer Klowns.
The story itself is linear and straightforward, piggybacking on the strong character development that Tim set up for his characters. Tim Stiles has a signature style of dealing with his characters with sensitivity.
Like real people, he shows the flaws of his characters and how they grow into their roles. Lucifer Bim-Bom works as Tim’s “The Killing Joke”, showing how Lucifer became Struggletown’s Klown Prince of Krime.
The story is nothing unique, but it is something special. It’s a way for Tim to show off his writing skills and they’re not but par excellence. Lucifer is a complete character, with nuance and dislike of his role in life.
Without going into spoiler territory, Lucifer had reluctance in what his father wanted for him. It was only when all the chips were down that he accepted who his father wanted him to become. There’s a daddy issues joke here somewhere.
Tim tackled the idea of parental pressure nicely, especially for an adult audience. Except for the fair few of us, we’ve had moments with parents and family where they coaxed us into following their goals for us. There are also those of us who had no choice but to follow what our parents wanted.
As an adult, these experiences are generally in the backburner. We’ve likely forgotten them now or do it to our children too. Tim, intentionally or not, created Lucifer as a relatable character, similar to Knockabout Guy in Gorilla My Dreams #1.
The Art of Gorilla My Dreams: Monochrome Goodness
The art of Lucifer Bim-Bom is the cleanest and most confident I’ve seen it in years. I don’t know enough of Dennis Tirona’s work, but based on this comic book, I can clearly say he’s a consummate professional. His pencilling and inking are awesome, even reminiscent of high-quality works of Gary Chaloner.
The use of the monochromatic medium is unbelievable. He knows how to maximise blacks in shading to add more ambience to the story. The deep, dark shades make it feel more noir than usual.
Every outline is meticulous and clean, which you rarely see these days. There are no excess linework that was not important to the general atmosphere. If I should compare him and Gorilla My Dreams original artist Ahmed Raafat, their styles are close enough.
The only difference I can see with their technique is Ahmed’s use of more graytones. Ahmed is great at using varying shade levels to convey noir-style natural light. Dennis is super at using just white and black, using no greys at all.
I should mention that Darren’s lettering experience shows. With his lettering style and how he plotted them, Darren made the flow of conversation natural. It was not too much or too little, and it worked without the inadvertent pacing issues that some titles have.
Should You Read Lucifer Bim-Bom?
Should you read Lucifer Bim-Bom? Yes! The story is a linear but deep origin for one of Tim’s iconic villains. It’s also a masterclass in character development and how to humanise a supposedly disconnected character.
If this is any indication of Tim’s future work, then the future is bright.
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