Comic Review: Mike Baron’s Outrageous ‘Florida Man’

 

 

As if the legendary Florida Man reputation itself wasn’t already absurdly funny by nature of being notoriously strange and unusual, with numerous news stories and headlines that are either downright ridiculous or blatantly outrageous, Eisner-winning writer Mike Baron has adapted the persona into a series of best-selling books, a self-published graphic novel, and now into the character’s first ever comic book series!

 

 

After authoring comicbooks for everyone from Marvel to DC Comics and turning in memorable runs on 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 his co-creator, illustrator Steve Rude.

 

Florida Man: My Impression

Florida Man is like a rollercoaster, although “rollercoaster” probably isn’t the best metaphor. But from the very beginning, you’re on a chaotic journey, riding along with the epitome of the infamous ‘Florida Man’ you’ve read about on the web. Gary literally embodies every headline and lotto winner 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, because there is still a core personality to him. Gary isn’t simply a “Florida man” and Krystal (his sexy gal) isn’t just a “Florida woman”.  These two maintain actual personalities and are distinct from mere stereotypes.

 

 

Their colorful personalities, along with their eclectic friends, combined with all the tropes you’d expect, are what keeps this story moving along at a brisk pace. And the story here is their daily life. They aren’t out saving the world or fighting zombie gators (which would also be cool). They’re just living the best life they can, making the most of any opportunities and chances that come their way.

But spoiler alert, they’re not good people, but they ain’t all that bad either. Although there are one or two ghoulish moments, along with one ‘dine & dash’ incident that certainly could put that up for dispute.

 

Baron is definitely writing these characters with humor in mind, but never in a degrading sense. Florida Man is an incredibly light-hearted and funny comic that never punches down on Florida Man or the reader. There’s a tightrope being walked here between personality and stereotype extends to the humor and allows the reader to laugh both at, and with, Gary Dube, our quinetessential Florida Man.

 

 

Final Verdict

Florida Man is one of the funnier ‘slice of life’ titles out there right now. A real rarity. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to just read something fun without worrying about  important messages or social commentary. The cast of characters surrounding Gary really flesh out this world and gets you invested in their lives. You’ll definitely want to hang out with this cast of characters more.

*****

If you want to hook up with Florida Man, you can grab a copy here or read it on Kindle here.  The first monthly issue will arrive in comic shops this summer from American Mythology and you can pre-order it here.

 

In Shops: July 27, 2022
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SRP: $3.99

 

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Micha Sivad

Micha Sivad is a self-proclaimed DC fanboy and geek, but with a soft spot for the whole of comics. He grew up on the east coast in D.C. and has been visiting the same LCS since getting into the medium at the age of 14. When not hatching his own fan theories on the Venture Bros and reading the latest releases, he's writing new joke material as a stand-up comic. Follow him on Twitter @michasivad.

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