White Trash
Medium: comic
Year: 1992
Keywords: favourite
Writer: Gordon Rennie
Artist: Martin Emond
Format: 118 pages
Website category: Comics
Review date: 16 July 2021
It's brilliant. I love it to bits. It's one of my favourite comics.
It stars a post-death Elvis Presley as a sexist, racist, mass-murdering son of a bitch who'll kill people for laughs, or because he feels like it. (No one ever says The King's name, though, because Presley's estate is litigious.) He's every kind of offensive. "Ah don't give no rides to faggots, pinkos, weirdos, nigger-lovers, dopeheads or smart-mouthed college kids." Then, on the next page, he kills a trucker. He's funny partly because he's so appalling that it punches through reality into an anti-matter universe and becomes cool, but also because he's an upstanding, patriotic American who believes in traditional values. He's aware of no contradiction in any of this. "God bless you all, an' God bless the United States of America!"
His "little buddy" is Dean, who's a lot like Bill and Ted combined except that he'll join in with the shooting and he thinks Presley is awesome. Their equally appalling enemies include inbred rednecks from the Deep South (the Dum-Dum Boys), the Church of the Poisoned Mind, a thousand dakka-dakkas of Vietnam veterans and Agent Orange from the FBI.
Not even Lobo's ultra-violence is funnier than this. Presley will drive his pink cadillac through a family picnic area, killing children and animals while reducing heads and limbs to red mist. For no reason. It's akin to his approach to Russian roulette, which is "throw away the key" insane.
The art makes me laugh. It's every bit as over-the-top as the script, yet also fully painted except in the odd flat-coloured panel when Emond was in a hurry. He can draw a splash page of Extremely Bad FBI people and I'll be laughing at how terrifying and outrageously huge they are. One distressing thing that has nothing to do with this comic, though, is that Emond hanged himself in 2004 at the age of 34.
I don't know if an editor would be brave enough to commission this these days, but sod that. It's as absurd as possible. It's the best kind of terrible taste. Every character is horrific and it's a joy to see them all being their pointed, exaggerated selves. You can't wait to see them collide. There will be carnage. (Note incidentally that the Dum-Dum Boys are, despite appearances, one of the more effective and lethal teams. The world is waiting for them to meet Jody and T.C. from Garth Ennis's Preacher.) Deep? No. Very, very funny? Hell, yeah.
"King said all that nuclear shit only affects faggots and commies."