Gardenfors, Simon – The 120 Days of Simon

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The 120 Days of Simon

Simon is apparently a bit of a celebrity in Sweden, as he also raps and it looks like comics as a whole are a bit more respectable around those parts.  So he figured that he would ask people around the country if they’d be willing to let him crash at their place and occasionally buy his plane tickets. and enough people responded to make it happen.  His only rules were that he couldn’t return home and he couldn’t stay in one place for more than two days.  Things start off awkwardly for him, as he is falling in love with a girl but doesn’t want to be tied down with a relationship while he’s traveling.  He wanders around Sweden, playing gigs every so often, taking as many drugs as possible, and having sex with various fans.  Oh sure, he also got beat up and had almost all of his stuff stolen (luckily he did manage to recover his travel diary) and dealt with what he thought was a serious death threat, but overall he was having a grand old time.  Then word came back to him that his hoped-for girlfriend when he got back had something else serious going on.  Simon is broken up about this for a day or so, but it didn’t stop his interest in other ladies and hey, maybe things turn out OK in the end after all.  This isn’t going to be very helpful if you were looking to explore Sweden in comics form, but it’s an absolutely engrossing story.  Simon is very honest about his problems before, during and after the trip, and he shares more than a few details that make me wonder how this was received when it was released in Sweden.  Sure, he often changes names/faces, but he does list the number of each stop, and how hard could it be for the people who live in any given place to piece it all together?  Him hitting on the 16 year old daughter of a family he was staying with, talking about his various conquests and constant drug use with all sorts of people can’t have gone over well everywhere.  It does say on the back cover that it caused a “scandal,” but that can mean a lot of things these days.  Oh well, I’m glad he was fearless in his recounting of the story, as it made for a fascinating comic.  Also, this thing may be as thick as a brick but it moves right along.  It’s just about the right size for a train or plane right, which is exactly where you should probably be reading something like this anyway.  $14.95

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