As if the legendary Florida Man reputation itself wasn’t absurdly funny by nature of being notoriously strange and unusual, with news stories and headlines that are either downright ridiculous or blatantly outrageous, Eisner winning writer Mike Baron has adapted the persona into one of his best-selling books, and now into the character’s first ever graphic novel! After having authored comic books for the Marvel Comics and DC Comics universes that include The Flash, Punisher, and Star Wars, Baron went on to create Nexus, a ground-breaking science fiction indie comic which earned him two Eisner Awards and an Inkpot Award, along with co-creator illustrator Steve Rude.
Florida Man: My Impression
Florida Man reads like a rollercoaster, although “rollercoaster” probably isn’t the best metaphor. But from the very beginning, you’re on a chaotic journey with the epitome of the infamous ‘Florida Man’ you’ve read about on the web. Gary literally embodies every headline and lotto story all rolled into one and with the personality to match. Is Gary a stereotype though? Yeah, but he doesn’t exactly read like one though because there is still a core personality to him. Gary isn’t simply a Florida man and Crystal ( his wife) isn’t just a Florida woman. These two maintain actual personalities and are distinct from mere stereotypes.
Those colorful personalities, in combination with the tropes you would expect, are what keeps the story moving. And the story, in this context, is their daily life. They aren’t out saving the world or fighting zombie gators. They’re just living the best life they can, making the most of the opportunities and chances that come their way. They’re not good people, nor are they all bad. Although those moments of killing and a ‘dine & dash’ certainly put that up for dispute. Baron is definitely writing these characters with humor in mind, but never in a degrading sense. This is an incredibly light hearted and funny title that doesn’t punch down on Florida Man. The tightrope being walked between personality and stereotype extends to the humor and allows the reader to laugh both at, and with Gary.
Florida Man volume 1 is one of the funnier ‘slice of life’ titles out right now. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to just read something fun without worrying about an important message or social commentary. The cast of characters surrounding Gary really flesh out the world and gets you invested in their lives.