Boris The Bear
July 10, 2013 7:46 PM   Subscribe

Boris The Bear was the second original series to be released on the Dark Horse Comics imprint. A meta-referential comedic take on the the independant comics of the era, the series was about a comic book obsessed bear who, three or four frames into the first issue learned he was in fact a robot. What proceeded was one of the all time greatest mass-slaughters of popular comic characters. Copyright be damned.
posted by mediocre (21 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
When I was a kid, this series especially the debut issue with the incredibly high body count and wildly over the top violence (even if it was black and white) was something of a taboo. It was hard to find just because it was a minor release, and the kids who did get it often had it snatched away by parents after they saw he was hunting down the Care Bears one by one. So if you had that first issue, you were something of a god. At least, to other second graders in 1987 Eugene.
posted by mediocre at 7:48 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I remember this. Especially when he gunned down the Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters. Those guys pillaged the Lower East Side and blew up the Statue of Liberty. Qadaffi sent them, I bet!
posted by enamon at 7:57 PM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

I vaguely recall seeing this at Starbase, back when that store existed. Wait, was it Starbase 21? Starbase 18? There was a number in there, I'm sure...
posted by aramaic at 8:00 PM on July 10, 2013

Wow, I loved this - as well as Adolescent Radioactive Blackbelt Hamsters and the whole ridiculous TMNT-spawned anthropomorphic animal parody genre of the 80's! I wonder how well it's held up over the years. Boris the Bear was really the icing on the genre cake and a good way to say "ok, that's it...".
posted by melt away at 8:08 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I swear there was a videogame with this premise.

Also, Boris the Bear = Minus the Bear/Boris supergroup?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:21 PM on July 10, 2013

I remember seeing this and thinking "Welp, the [age bracket] [superpower] [profession] [animal] craze is just about over." And it sort of was, until Eastman and Laird turned TMNT into a cartoon empire.
posted by jiawen at 8:30 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh man, I remember this. I loved it when I read them back as a 14 or 15 year old at my cousins house one summer. Of course I could never remember the name of it, I just remembered this bear killing the Ninja Turtles and Snake Eyes from G.I.Joe and I loved it in all of it's subversity.
posted by daq at 9:01 PM on July 10, 2013

man I had the first couple issues of this.

And thinking about it makes me want to re-read the absolute best (IMHO) of the various TMNT parodies that inspired Boris, the Pre-Teen Dirty-Gene Kung-Fu Kangaroos. But my collection of eighties B&W comics is long gone. 15-year-old me thought it had a certain graphic something, with its use of walls of sound effects as occasional backgrounds, though 42-year-old me would probably pick up on lots of things it was ripping off of other comics of the day and the past that I hadn't heard of yet when it first came out.
posted by egypturnash at 9:12 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

blows my mind that there were all those TMNT parodies, since TMNT was itself a parody
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:40 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Almost embarrassed to admit I still own the entire run of Boris. Loved it from the beginning, and am glad to see so many people recall it with such fondness.
posted by Quasimike at 10:12 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Here is issue number 6 of "Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters", which contains a backup story where one of the Hamsters kills Boris.

I am shocked to see that the main story was drawn by Sam Kieth rather than Parsonavich, the original artist for the book. (Parsonavich drew the backup; you can see how huge a quality jump it was to go from him to Kieth.)
posted by egypturnash at 11:50 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

The sad thing is, no one gives Boris his proper appellation. For he is truly, Boris The Bear Of Steel.
posted by Samizdata at 1:12 AM on July 11, 2013

All I remember about Boris at this point was that it's where I first heard about Kate Bush. Either the writer or the artist was a huge fan and was always finding ways to mention her in the letters column.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:16 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

I remember this as the violent funny-animal parody that went around killing all the other violent funny-animal parodies in the best fight-not-with-monsters-lest-you-know-what fashion.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:04 AM on July 11, 2013

Did Morris the Moose go on a rampage, too?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:04 AM on July 11, 2013

Is this where I post my love for Samurai Penguin?
posted by jeribus at 6:49 AM on July 11, 2013

This was the era when independent comics discovered postmodernism, and used it to mock themselves mercilessly. There was one comic, whose name escapes me, that had a single issue priced at $1,000,000 and lampooned the "Collector's 1st Issue" craze. It was a golden age for cheap sarcasm, and I miss it.
posted by lekvar at 10:22 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

I haven't thought about Boris in a long time. Maybe it's time to go longbox-spelunking.
posted by Zed at 10:58 AM on July 11, 2013

it's where I first heard about Kate Bush.

Me too! I went out and bought 'Hounds of Love' just to see what Boris was always going on about. It wasn't anything like I was expecting-- I think I was expecting Punk, or Pop, or maybe even Pop-Punk. It took me a few years to grow into it, but grow into it I did. Thanks for broadening my musical horizons, Boris!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 11:10 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wow, totally forgot I have this. As well as the entire run of ARBH
posted by ericbop at 12:09 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

I love the scene when Boris confronts the Cerebus parody and shouts "You! You're the one that started all this!"
posted by quartzcity at 5:44 AM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

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