The Li’l Depressed Boy. LDB is drawn as a little rag doll of a boy with mitten hands. So pitiful and sad looking. He is oddly but intentionally juxtaposed with the “normally” drawn characters around him. I think most of us so-called nerds have been there. Feeling a little socially inept, out of place, different from those who surround us in our daily lives. LDB is here to assure us we are not alone. And introduce us to some new music (I had not idea who Childish Gambino were until I saw LDB’s shirt in this issue).
Written, colored and lettered by S. Steven Struble and penciled/inked by Sina Grace (my new comic book crush), June’s issue #11 of The Li’l Depressed Boy is titled “The Sketches of a Workplace Crush.” We drop in on LDB after he has gotten a new job at a movie theater. Being in a new environment led to a panic attacks, culminating in a black-out, but LDB is ready to give it another go.
LDB’s manager is a cute red-haired woman who has shown concern over his panic attacks and given him a ride home. Though nothing has been started or hinted at in the panels, it seems she is becoming his workplace crush. He has a coworker who has invited him to lunch and been nice. Another coworker, Toby, is not so nice but his grumpiness is directed to everyone, not just LDB.
Not sure why LDB is depressed. He comes off more as socially awkward. Many of us probably accept invitations to lunch but stumble over conversation, appreciate kindness shown to us but greet it with nervous energy, and just want to escape a world we feel uncomfortable in by putting on our headphones and listening to our favorite tunes. But we see LDB get into a philosophical conversation with a coworker about Fraggles and Doozers‘ symbiotic relationship (how many of us become fully animated when discussing a fandom of ours?) and accept a lunch invitation. He is not totally isolating himself. I see him as lonely because he hasn’t quite figured out how to navigate a social world but his wide open blank eyes seem full of hopefulness that good things will come. Will he find new love with his manager, get his heart broke, or stay quietly in the background?
LDB started life as a doodle on the back of Struble’s math test and in high-school became a three panel web comic he used to ask a girl out (she said yes). Cut to the present and he’s celebrating his 11th issue for Image Comics retailing at $2.99.
Most exciting though, if you purchase this issue, you get a sneak peak of the upcoming Revival- a Rural Noir by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton. This comic book is due out in July and looks creepy. A dead horse, a barn full of teeth, and mention of “Revival Day.” Zombies? Something creepier?