June 23, 2014
Bob’s Burgers makes the leap from TV to comic books
by Nick Davies
Dynamite Entertainment has announced that it will be launching, in conjunction with Twentieth Century Fox, a new comic book series based on the animated show Bob’s Burgers. The website Comic Book Resources posted a press release from Dynamite about the new endeavor, and it features some hilariously generic language to describe the show: “Bob’s Burgers follows the ups and downs of Bob, who runs the Bob’s Burgers with the help of his wife and their three kids. Bob has big ideas about burgers, but his family falls short on service and sophistication.”
The real appeal of Bob’s Burgers is that it’s utterly weird. The members of the Belcher family love each other, but every one of them is an idiosyncratic oddball in one way or another, whether it’s adolescent Tina’s penchant for writing erotic fiction featuring her classmates (and zombies), or mom Linda’s tendency to burst into songs she makes up on the spot, such as her classic Valentine’s Day ditty: “Two people, together forever / Security in life, Someone to love ya / Instead of being all alone, such a lonely existence / I’d kill myself!”
Of course, songs won’t translate to the page, no matter how well they’re written, and the same goes for the great voice acting featured on the show. So it seems like a wise decision that show creator Loren Bouchard wants the comic books to be something of a departure, and for people who work on the show to have a strong creative voice in the process. In an interview with Comic Book Resources, he said that he didn’t want the comic to be a “sad knock-off,” adding, “We felt it was crucial to have people who live and breathe the show involved in the creation of the book. It’s hard, probably impossible to capture the exact tone of a show unless you live inside the world and inside the characters’ heads every day.”
Bouchard also said that the books will stay true to the canon of the show, but in a somewhat exaggerated reality:
The comic book is kind of “Bob’s Burgers” in its “dream state”—true to the tone, but heightened in its storytelling—like the fantasy sequences in the show. We’ve also given the characters a narrator’s voice in each section—which is very much inspired by Tina’s Erotic Friend Fiction, and also by an episode we did called “The Frond Files,” where each kid wrote a fantastical essay. We took an aspect of the show that we enjoy but only get to indulge in sometimes on TV and we’re just living there in the comic book.
Bob’s Burgers #1 will be published this August.
Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.