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Characters Profile:

Jay and Silent Bob aka Bluntman and Chronic hangout at the Quick Stop by day selling weed and harassing customers. Not to mention annoying the clerks any chance they get. But when evil step' out from the Shadows so do their super alter ego's. The "super-heroes" known as Bluntman and Chronic first appeared as a back-up story in Banky Edwards and Holden McNeil's indie comic 37. The duo were a surprise success, and Contender quickly signed on to publish a series. There was even talk of an MTV animated show. Unfortunately, creative and personal differences between Edwards and McNeil led to the series ending after just three issues.

In the introduction to the trade, Banky Edwards explains how the property was snatched up by Miramax following the success of X-Men and Spider-Man, which gave him the chance to convince Image to release the original series and back-up story ("The Derris Affair") as a collection. Edwards' introduction was obviously written long before the details of the movie were finalized (he says he's angling for Affleck and Damon as the stars), and his optimism comes across as naive and amusing given the awful movie (starring Dawson and the Piehumper) that Chaka Luther King eventually made.

The book begins by introducing us to Jay and Silent Bob, two vulgar, possibly gay stoners who spend their time hanging out in front of the local convenience store. The first issue follows the pair as they fail to get superpowers in all the usual ways (and often keep obvious stand-ins or well-known heroes from getting their own powers). Eventually, the pair wins the lottery and decide to use the money to become the Doobage Duo.

In the second issue, we are introduced to several of the duo's nemeses (all of whom became super-criminals after ending up in vats of stuff thanks to Bluntman and Chronic): D*ckhead, C*ck-knocker, The Diddler, Newsgoup, and the Lipstick Lesbian. These five villains team up to become the League of Sh*tters and plan their revenge on the Duo. The final issue shows the Duo's confrontation with the League, which leads to the untimely death of Chronic and the (obviously rushed) end of the series. The original back-up story from 37 completes the collection.

Bluntman and Chronic is a well-written, amusing book with lots of inside comic book jokes and silly situations. It is, however, very much an adult ("mature readers" is probably misleading, given the brand of humor) book not intended for youngsters. While the writing is typical of McNeil and Edwards, McNeil's art in this one is much improved. All three issues have a very cartoony, almost anime, style that's much better than the "stolen from Mike Allred" style used in 37 . Edwards tracing is also much better in the Challenger issues.

In the real world this book was written by Kevin Smith with Art by Michael Avon Oeming and Pat Garrahy (who also did the colors and lettering). The back-up story features art by Mike Allred with colors by Laura Allred. Ben "Holden McNeil" Affleck and Jason "Banky Edwards" Lee contribute afterthoughts to the collection. If you ever wanted to see a real-life version of the comic that provided a backdrop for Chasing Amy and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, this is your chance.

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