With the second issue of BaadFood set to hit Kickstarter this week, we look back at first issue of Nic Ho Chee’s anarchic sci-fi thriller and find out if it’s still got an appetite for adventure!
Publisher: Bedtime Comics Limited
Writer: Nic Ho Chee
Artist: Bong Dazo, Davi Comodo (colours) Ken Reynolds (letters)
Price: £2.49 from Comixology
BaadFood has that kind of chaotic sci-fi spirit that we love in the best 2000 AD or Future Shock stories. It starts in a ultra-cool nightclub with three friends (Kev, Emma and Roy) enjoying a night out with a vampire DJ called DJ Drak. Inevitably the evening ends badly when the sunshine comes into the DJ booth causing Drak to explode, and while this has little to do with the overall plot of BaadFood it definitely sets the tone for this strange sci-fi world we are about to be thrust into.
After a brief stop off to visit his robot mum for dinner, the plot really gets going as Roy gets tagged with a viral tattoo for a super cool brand of trainers which leads to him being dragged into a Willy Wonka style competition and a chance to win a pair of unique shoes – only for it to become a kind of a Running Man-style violent game show.
BaadFood is one of those books that is packed with so many unique ideas that it’s difficult to know exactly what the thrust of the story is. With so many ideas on show it can become a bit unwieldy at times, but it’s a lot of fun along the way. Whether it’s the opening scenes in the night club, Roy’s home-life or the violent ending in the trainers factory, it is packed with great concepts and clever ideas (and that’s not even mentioning the tiny flourishes and hidden extras which are tucked into every panel).
The characterisation is also top notch and while it’s implied that these three are your average layabout 20-somethings, there is also hints of a wider story to the BaadFood universe, with glimpses of some of the other action packed adventures that these three get up to, as well as a blossoming romance to help sustain the story in the long run.
BaadFood tastes great!
Visually it’s really sharp, with the panels having the meticulous and technically proficient nature of a classic 2000 AD artist like PJ Holden. In a way it’s quite unfussy, and the colouring is also quite traditional, but that is not to do it a disservice as it looks really slick – especially the 8bit inspired cover. The character designs and world building are second to none too and while the concepts don’t often reach out into high concept stylised sci-fi of some indie books, they all have that level of detail and thought which makes you believe that everything has had some thought and purpose go into their creation – rather than just come up with something that looks cool. Whether it is Roy’s robot mum (part robot, part puppeteer) or the 50s sci-fi diner they hang out in after their nightclub antics, or the crazy world of the Speed trainer factory, it balances a highly familiar modern world with a crazy sci-fi future populated by robots and monsters. All of which, make for a really fun and vibrant setting for the story and characters.
If we were to rely on a forced food based metaphor to sum up BaadFood, is that it’s a bit like an all you can eat Chinese Buffet. It’s packed full of loads of dishes, flavours and interesting tidbits that make for a very satisfying read. However, there is just a bit too much on your plate during each course and so by the end you are left feeling a bit uncomfortable – however once things have settled you are definitely keen to return for more!