Hi, my name is Elessar of the blog Arenor Productions. You might remember me from the inaugural episode of Silverwolf Speaks. I am here to…guest review I guess, a very strange indie comic for all of you. But first a bit about me:
[Editor’s Note] This section was about 2-3 pages long and consisted mainly of increasingly unlikely, self-aggrandizing stories. We decided, to save space, to delete this section and just skip straight to the actual review.
Which is why I helped steal the Declaration of Independence. But before we begin with the review, perhaps we could have a brief refresher on the comic’s subject matter, a strange little film called The Room. The Room is…a terrible film, from top to bottom. I really cannot stress that enough, if you’re looking for a good, or even passable, film, this should not be your port of call. Which isn’t to say it isn’t an oddly compelling movie. In fact, as something of an expert in truly awful cinema, I’d have to say The Room might be the perfect bad movie.
The Room is devoted to a man, played by Writer/Director/Producer/Possible Vampire Tommy Wiseau, whose life is a perfect cavalcade of wonderfulness until he discovers his fiancée is cheating on him with his best friend. Okay, so it’s a weak pitch, but the sheer bizarreness of the presentation is what makes it memorable. It seems to have been crafted, not by human hands, but by alien visitors with no conception of how human minds function. The plot is full of odd red herrings (at one point a character announces that she has breast cancer, which is never brought up again), continuity errors plague every scene, all of the actors are either hopelessly incompetent, or completely checked out, the script is clearly written by someone who doesn’t have a firm grasp of the English language and the lead looks like Gollum decided to take up a career as a professional wrestler and has a thick accent of unknown origins that makes nearly everything he says unintelligible.
All of this prevents The Room from being a good movie, but it does make it a hilarious one. And I’m not the only one who thinks so; The Room has a giant cult following. Theaters screen it at midnight showings with Rocky Horror style audience participation. And The Room’s cult following has only been growing lately, with the release of Greg Sestero’s (who plays the main character’s best friend) book on the making of it, The Disaster Artist, a must read for any fan of The Room. Which brings us finally to Phillip Haldiman and his comic My Big Break.
Phillip Haldiman plays Denny, possibly the strangest character in an incredibly strange movie. He is intended to be the youngest, although ironically his actor was older than the vast majority of the cast. Denny, the semi-adopted son of the lead character (who pays for his apartment and college tuition) serves no purpose, at one point being assaulted by a drug dealer and later declares his love for the lead character’s fiancée (which is, like always, is not brought up again). A story about the actor, forced to play such an odd character, is certain to be fascinating.
The first issue is…I’m not gonna lie, the first issue is on the slow side. It’s primarily a setup comic, designed to establish the basics, and get us used to the somewhat odd art style (in which Tommy Wiseau doesn’t actually look THAT weird). It’s also not, at least in the first issue, entirely about The Room. No, the first issue is about the audition.
It’s still funny mind, an interesting look into the often weird world of independent acting. The majority of the issue is given over an extended retelling of Haldiman’s extremely weird audition, and as someone who’s been involved in this sort of casting before I can tell you how depressingly accurate it is. The odd art style might take some getting used to, for people used to more realistic art styles, but I think it works well with the story. I’m definitely looking forward to upcoming issues, which will delve more into the actual production.
I wish I could tell you to go right out and buy it, but unfortunately the price might be a sticking point for people. The comic is 6 bucks and only 24 pages long, plus shipping (only available online), so it might be worth it to wait for a trade paperback (I assume they’ll be making a TPB). But, if you’re a fan of The Room, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. But, if you’re a fan of The Room, you’ve probably already bought it, read it and are waiting eagerly for the next issue. So if you’re not a fan of The Room, go out and watch it so you can be a fan. Then read this.
-esoteric subject matter
-off-putting art style