The Big Payback

series: Rocky
volume: 1
publisher: Fantagraphics
language: English

Martin Kellerman is the Jane Austen of 21st century twenty-something urban European slackers. Firmly in the tradition of Fritz the Cat, Hate, and Clerks, Rocky is his mostly autobiographical daily strip detailing the rudely hilarious travails of a young cartoonist and his circle of layabout pals and neurotic, indignant girlfriends. In this action-packed volume collecting the first year of the smash-hit strip, Rocky gets tossed out of his apartment, flies across the pond to visit a gay African-American pal (not realizing he lives in deepest Harlem); is ill-advisedly given the mission of euthanizing a friend's beloved pet rabbit ("Tom, give this job to Clemenza." "Yes, Godfather."); makes a spectacularly unsuccessful attempt to trade in his girlfriend for her younger, more buxom sister; gets a bowel inflammation and a colonoscopy; goes to a costume party dressed as Tinky Winky; tries to get laid while camping out at a rock festival — and basically drinks and fornicates (or tries to) his way through Stockholm and New York, with hangover following drunken binge and mortification following faux pas as night follows day. What will probably be amazing to American readers is how similar the day-to-day experiences of these Seinfeld-watching, Big Mac-eating, hip-hop-listening Swedes is to theirs. Rocky is a reminder as to how utterly global our culture has become — and a reminder that laughter is truly universal.

"This collection of strips is a laugh riot, full of moments that will instantly ring true to anyone who's ever been 23 and desperate for attention." – The Patriot-News

"Very funny... the universal situations, along with Kellerman’s wit — which comes across even in translation — makes for a very enjoyable reading experience." – "You Should Be Reading Rocky," The Beat (Publishers Weekly)

"It's being acclaimed as the funniest Swedish comic of our time, but it's more than that. Rocky is the long awaited generation novel that no one else has written." – Jan Gradvall, Café

"Rocky is what an American newspaper comic might look like if the American newspaper comics page didn't suck." –

Available titles in this series: