From Publishers Weekly
Lester Biggs wants to become famous before turning 30, but the odds are not in his favor. He is shallow, narcissistic and not too bright. His 30th birthday is only four weeks away, and he's homeless, having lost his acting career, his agent and his fiancee all on the same day several years back. Luckily for him, a close encounter with a third rail enables him to see and communicate with a guardian angel, Stavros. Unluckily for him, Stavros has been actively sabotaging Lester's life for kicks. (Stavros, pictured as part buzzing insect, part paunchy, middle-aged man, has been a guardian angel about a thousand years too long to get attached to every "breather" he's responsible for helping.) Lester devises a plan to blackmail Stavros into helping him become famous, and a partnership is born. Clearly intended as broad satire, Templeton's results are as mixed as Lester's adventures are numerous. Lester is more than just unlucky; he's a lout. Even Stavros can hardly bear to put up with him. In the absence of a sympathetic character, episode reigns supreme, and Lester's path to glory is littered with aliens performing anal probes, celebrity stalkers, hair prostheses and game show sadism. As with all such scattershot approaches, the book's jokes tend to hit or miss. A much lauded cult favorite among comics aficionados in the 1980s, Templeton (Stig's World) opts for cruder, sloppier humor here. His gray and black drawings recall the bland goofiness of a Mad magazine parody, but this work only occasionally reaches a comparable level of wit.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The allure of fame and the futility of pursuing it are the themes of this bitterly satiric graphic novel. Homeless, hapless Lester Bigg--once an aspiring actor but now living on the street--discovers that he has a guardian angel, and the angel has been sabotaging his life out of sheer boredom. Lester (don't call him Les Bigg, he insists, because he isn't) forces the angel to make up for his breach of professional ethics by granting him the American Dream and making him famous. The angel leads Lester down the standard paths to contemporary fame--Hollywood, the Internet, TV game shows--before finally succeeding in an ironic denouement. Templeton's work combines alternative-comics attitude with mainstream-level visual slickness, and his appealing graphic style of exaggerated realism proves ideal for the subject matter. Templeton's point--fame ain't all it's cracked up to be--may not be particularly fresh or provocative, but he sells it with great humor. Readers should get a kick out of Lester's unavailing struggle for stardom. Gordon Flagg
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