Just a Little Boy provides a rigorously rendered satiric portrait of growing up amidst the psychic ravages of the decaying capitalist order of early-21st century America that is simultaneously terrifyingly horrific and hysterically funny. An inside-out Christian doctrine holds up a mirror to the inversion of democratic values embodied in the current state of our capitalist ethos, revealing its inherent moral bankruptcy.
Nate produced this work at a fever pitch of intensity, yet managed to sustain a high level of artistry throughout the work’s nearly 100 magazine-size ( 8.5” x 11”) pages. Just a Little Boy incorporates many tropes and caricatures that will be familiar to Grixly readers, while also managing at times to read like an extended – and harshly caustic – contemporary comics riff on Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights – with a special focus on the darker final panel of the triptych (although he tips his hand by quoting one of the key paintings of the Romantic Era, Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog in a nice homage).
The tag line of the George Miller film, Babe is employed as a leitmotif and simultaneously serves as a sort of ironic Greek chorus, providing a paean to the unnamed protagonist, asserting – against all odds – that he retains his innocence throughout his epic travails amidst the all-pervasive corruption of his environment.
Just a Little Boy is a strong contender for being Nate McDonough’s most fully realized work to date.
Includes an afterword by Luke Geddes and eight bonus pin-ups by Friends of Nate!