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Punk Rock and Trailer Parks

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Punk Rock & Trailer Parks conjures up the oppressive insanity of growing up in a small town, the day-to-day weirdness of the trailer parks tucked away therein, the magic allure of sex and the necessary comforts of friendship, the mystical power of the counter-culture to turn outcasts into heroes and, most of all, the transcendant power of music, specifically the punk r Punk Rock & Trailer Parks conjures up the oppressive insanity of growing up in a small town, the day-to-day weirdness of the trailer parks tucked away therein, the magic allure of sex and the necessary comforts of friendship, the mystical power of the counter-culture to turn outcasts into heroes and, most of all, the transcendant power of music, specifically the punk rock of the late 1970's which redefined, transported, and ultimately, perhaps, disappointed a generation.


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Punk Rock & Trailer Parks conjures up the oppressive insanity of growing up in a small town, the day-to-day weirdness of the trailer parks tucked away therein, the magic allure of sex and the necessary comforts of friendship, the mystical power of the counter-culture to turn outcasts into heroes and, most of all, the transcendant power of music, specifically the punk r Punk Rock & Trailer Parks conjures up the oppressive insanity of growing up in a small town, the day-to-day weirdness of the trailer parks tucked away therein, the magic allure of sex and the necessary comforts of friendship, the mystical power of the counter-culture to turn outcasts into heroes and, most of all, the transcendant power of music, specifically the punk rock of the late 1970's which redefined, transported, and ultimately, perhaps, disappointed a generation.

30 review for Punk Rock and Trailer Parks

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    I am interested in neither punk rock nor trailer parks, really, but this is my favorite Backderf book so far. [Okay, just for the sake of street cred, I did see the Clash with a former student, and she even took me to groups identified with punk who are as diverse as the Pogues and Scratch Acid, so there. Does this give me any credibility in writing this review? Okay, didn't think so.] I found his Dahmer book mostly creepy, and I wasn't engaged with his Trashed, but this one has his most endeari I am interested in neither punk rock nor trailer parks, really, but this is my favorite Backderf book so far. [Okay, just for the sake of street cred, I did see the Clash with a former student, and she even took me to groups identified with punk who are as diverse as the Pogues and Scratch Acid, so there. Does this give me any credibility in writing this review? Okay, didn't think so.] I found his Dahmer book mostly creepy, and I wasn't engaged with his Trashed, but this one has his most endearing and engaging character, Otto, and a complete wack-job cast of goofy punk-rock-loving folks, mostly guys. Told largely from a male perspective, so you are hereby forewarned, or invited, depending on your point of view and/or willingness to go into the minds of punk rock boys. It's not Proust, let me tell ya! It's sex, drugs, rock n roll, some sometimes raunchy humor, and a comics style somewhat like Peter Bagge's Buddy Bradley stories. Alt comix style. Not much of significance happens, of course, but if you don't mind a little foul-mouthed (but not TOO graphic) coming of age action, here ya are. Essentially it's about a bunch of goofy guys, outsiders, with no hope for any great relationships with women. Or any hopes for the future, which is in part what punk was about, that rage and explosive nihilistic partying. But it's mostly endearing and sort of nostalgic thanks to Derf.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    It’s the 1980s and punk’s heyday. Otto is a high school senior and a marching band nerd who lives and breathes Tolkien, lusting after the cheerleaders he’ll never have while getting beat up by the local bullies. Then one day he discovers punk at a local bar, The Bank, and Otto sees legendary performers first-hand like The Ramones and The Clash as well as lesser known artists like Klaus Nomi and Wendy O Williams. Otto’s life is about to change as punk music transforms this down-trodden trailer-pa It’s the 1980s and punk’s heyday. Otto is a high school senior and a marching band nerd who lives and breathes Tolkien, lusting after the cheerleaders he’ll never have while getting beat up by the local bullies. Then one day he discovers punk at a local bar, The Bank, and Otto sees legendary performers first-hand like The Ramones and The Clash as well as lesser known artists like Klaus Nomi and Wendy O Williams. Otto’s life is about to change as punk music transforms this down-trodden trailer-park kid into… The Baron! Punk Rock and Trailer Parks is the weakest comic I’ve read by Derf Backderf which isn’t to say it’s bad as his others have been really good. My Friend Dahmer was a dark and powerful glimpse into the life of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer while Trashed was an informative and entertaining look at the waste industry (the main characters of Trashed make a brief cameo in this comic too). Punk Rock and Trailer Parks isn’t really about anything at all except a fondness of punk music and a nostalgia for a time long past - not very gripping subject matter. That said, Otto is Backderf’s most memorable creation to date. He’s an eccentric loudmouth whose personality explodes off the page. At first he’s a bit off-putting – he records his farts on a tape-recorder for a senior project(?!) and he’s skulking about in the bushes outside his favourite cheerleader’s house trying to catch her topless – but he wins you over pretty quick with his indomitable positive outlook and demented charm. Otto’s bullied pretty harshly even though he’s had a growth spurt making him the tallest person in the school – his mentality of being the small, weak nerd keeps him from pushing back against the bullies. Slowly we see him gain confidence through his experiences at The Bank and it’s great to see. Punk is the music of the little guy fighting back and that’s mirrored in Otto’s journey here. Backderf throws a lot at this book but not much works too well. The comedy isn’t that funny – the crazy barking neighbour losing his rag over the Wonder Woman TV show, Otto’s Uncle Elmo driving his lawnmower to the bar and falling asleep on the way over – and the perviness of some of the scenes makes this feel like a cross between an indie movie and Porky’s. It did make me laugh a couple times though (the naked paper bag scene!). The maudlin incident at the end also doesn’t work. It comes out of nowhere and is wholly unconvincing – it’s an awkward gear-shift from baudy yuks to solemn drama. Punk Rock and Trailer Parks is a sometimes amusing comic with long stretches of mundanity. Otto’s a great character in an otherwise ordinary, meandering story. Check out Trashed or My Friend Dahmer to see this cartoonist’s better works.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Danger

    I loved this. This is the third graphic novel I’ve read by Backderf, and I’m gonna come right out and say it: I think this is his best - YES, even better than My Friend Dahmer. Chronicling the Akron punk scene in the early 80s, through the eyes of a larger-than-life weirdo who calls himself “The Baron” for some reason, we not only explore a cultural microcosm (apparently Akron was a punk hotspot in the 80s, the local club hosting bands like The Ramones and The Clash, amongst every other punk/new I loved this. This is the third graphic novel I’ve read by Backderf, and I’m gonna come right out and say it: I think this is his best - YES, even better than My Friend Dahmer. Chronicling the Akron punk scene in the early 80s, through the eyes of a larger-than-life weirdo who calls himself “The Baron” for some reason, we not only explore a cultural microcosm (apparently Akron was a punk hotspot in the 80s, the local club hosting bands like The Ramones and The Clash, amongst every other punk/new wave act you can think of) but it’s also a story about growing up and finding you place in the world. On top of all that, IT’S FUNNY! Yeah, I don’t think I’ve related to a comic book this much in a loooooong time. 5 STARS!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Zane

    Someone once told me that anthropologists don’t like to interview punks about their life histories, because they always change their coming of age to make it seem a bit extraordinary. Whether or not that’s true, I am a sucker for a punk coming of age story. Rejected and dejected, a teenage kid finds an aesthetic form through which to channel his or her anger, and it’s hard to go wrong. In ‘Punk Rock and Trailer Parks’, the author illustrator known only as Derf, presents us with one of these acco Someone once told me that anthropologists don’t like to interview punks about their life histories, because they always change their coming of age to make it seem a bit extraordinary. Whether or not that’s true, I am a sucker for a punk coming of age story. Rejected and dejected, a teenage kid finds an aesthetic form through which to channel his or her anger, and it’s hard to go wrong. In ‘Punk Rock and Trailer Parks’, the author illustrator known only as Derf, presents us with one of these accounts, albeit one of the historic fictional variety. The story is driven by a Tolkien-quoting, high school nerd, who burdens the name Otto Pizcock, as he discovers the birth of the local punk scene while living in a small town trailer park just outside of Akron, Ohio. Drawn in pen and ink, Derf’s art is in the same comix style of his weekly strip ‘The City’. The contrast between these comix-stylized characters and the realism of the high school alienation that gives material impetus for so many people to continue to seek out and create punk communities (and gangs) makes for a sad comedy. As I laughed through Otto’s misfortunes, I was driven to reflect on my own lack of confidence in those days and how becoming involved in punk gave me the youthful bravado and empowerment to fight back. The shows at ‘The Bank’ and interactions with musicians like Wendy O. Williams, Claus Nomi, and the Ramones serve as spaces to rethink the small town dramas that drive the narrative. Otto carries us through his all to familiar world where a pregnant fundamentalist Christian is mocked at school, the union grandfather has his driving privileges revoked for drunkenly running down the mayor’s racist ‘lawn jockey’, and a man who is tired of being forced to watch Hee-Haw fills his anal cavity with ‘plastic explosives.’ Otto isn’t a perfect anti-hero; most of his interactions with women classmates are not the most positive and in some cases come off a bit creepy. In attempting to interact with those who rejected him, he throws himself into voyeuristic and exhibitionist situations, which were unfortunate but funny. To add to the realism, one gets the impression the author was actually at ‘The Bank’ shows, if not because of his attention to the details of the setting, then for the fact that the work’s protagonist bares remarkable resemblance to the author himself. I think this adds an important value to the work, since it makes it more than just a funny book; it becomes a kind of history. For the most part, punk history has expanded over the years and gotten away from the New York and L.A. centrism that dominated the large publisher non-fiction that came out in the 90s. Even with the books, websites, and films that cover the early scenes of Austin, Chicago, and other cities around the world, however, histories of the small town punk scenes that thrive on road trips to the big city and shows in welding supply storage sheds have largely continued to go undocumented (with the exception of the epic stories that get passed down through oral tradition or zines to the youth imprisoned in those towns). ‘Punk Rock and Trailer Parks’ expands a little on that history by using a different medium with great success. With acknowledgment of the story’s partial truths, the humor takes on a tragic element that will probably leave small town ex-pats nostalgic and give everyone else a peek into what it might have been like. Over Christmas, I went to my hometown of Marshall, Texas to see my father. It’s a small town, so, of course, all the old punks know each other and, of course, most don’t visit there any more on account of it being too painful. One night, I met up with a couple of kids who were around, one who was stuck there on probation after doing time for a robbery and the other who was just passing through from Austin. On our way walking downtown to get some beers, some cowboys in a truck took the time to admire our fashion sensibilities and shower us with glass bottles, yelling as they drove away. It made me really sad for the kid who’s stuck there by order of the state because it was that kind of alienation that started his drug habit and situated his armed robbery to begin with. This is to say, I guess people are still threatened by punk in some places, and that is the joy and sadness of ‘Punk Rock and Trailer Parks.’

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    This review can also be found on my blog: https://graphicnovelty2.com/2018/10/1... After my positive review’s of Derf Backderf’s books My Friend Dahmer and Trashed, blogger Richard of From the Long Box, suggested I read Derf’s first book Punk Rock and Trailer Parks. Derf takes us back once again to Ohio during the late 1970’s. Although fictionalized I believe the main character Otto, also known as The Baron, is a version of the author himself. Otto is a band geek in his senior high of high school, This review can also be found on my blog: https://graphicnovelty2.com/2018/10/1... After my positive review’s of Derf Backderf’s books My Friend Dahmer and Trashed, blogger Richard of From the Long Box, suggested I read Derf’s first book Punk Rock and Trailer Parks. Derf takes us back once again to Ohio during the late 1970’s. Although fictionalized I believe the main character Otto, also known as The Baron, is a version of the author himself. Otto is a band geek in his senior high of high school, who lives in a trailer park with his alcoholic great uncle. A fan of the emerging punk rock scene, he often heads into nearby Akron to see concerts at The Bank. Told over the course of a school year, we follow Otto as he briefly fronts a punk band himself and interacts with real life singers and bands such as the Ramones, the Plasmatics and Klaus Nomi. This book was filled to the brim with different plot threads, and at times it veered between the mundane and pathos. In addition to his trips to The Bank, Otto moons over an unrequited love interest, participates in hijinks with his friends against other schoolmates and a pervy teacher, and endures the death of a close friend. For a self described nerd, he sure got some action, from two very unlikely women. There was a bit too much crammed into this graphic novel, and in future books he tightens his narrative. Derf’s artwork is very reminiscent of Robert Crumb and of Don Martin from Mad magazine, with people drawn in an unusual caricature-type manner. It is all drawn in black and white, and while not an attractive art style, it does get that underground comix vibe right. Despite Derf illustrating the comic The City for years, you can tell his style has evolved throughout his three books, as this book has the grittiest look. I’m assuming he slightly adjusted the next two books to make them more appealing to a larger audience. Although this was my least favorite of Derf’s three books, I still enjoyed the ride. He not only has a distinct voice and art style, he captures the nostalgia and allure of the punk rock scene in an authentic manner. If music helped define your teen years, give this book a read! Actual rating: 3.5/5 * Derf has since written an online sequel- you can follow Otto’s further adventures at The Baron of Prospect Ave. The Baron lives on! (http://www.derfcity.com/comix/Baron/B...)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Garden

    This guy's other book is terrific and i think my fondness for it carried over into this one a little, because i suspect i would not have really dug this without already thinking well of the author going in. This is kind of that classic narrative of picked on weirdo proves everyone else sucks and really he totally ruled underneath the whole time. Which is a great narrative, fine. Only not really because we have kind of heard that narrative fifty billion times at this point and our whole lives are This guy's other book is terrific and i think my fondness for it carried over into this one a little, because i suspect i would not have really dug this without already thinking well of the author going in. This is kind of that classic narrative of picked on weirdo proves everyone else sucks and really he totally ruled underneath the whole time. Which is a great narrative, fine. Only not really because we have kind of heard that narrative fifty billion times at this point and our whole lives are crammed to the gills with fucking idiots who think people don't like them because they're special, having digested aforesaid fifty billion narratives via looking at clips and memes on the Internet or watching revenge of the nerds or reading catcher in the rye or whatever the hell your damage is and that is basically unbearable because realistically a lot of the time if people do not like you it is due to a very simple reason, that being that you suck. Anyway. This book is fun and Otto is genuinely weird and i like Derf's grody art style so three stars. But when the fuck is this dumb narrative going to find its grave because sheesh. Stop feeding the deeply misplaced narcissism of dumbasses, books, it's not getting anyone anywhere anymore those times are behind us now.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    The art reminds me of R. Crumb, the content of so many coming of age stories. Some gross-out humor, some delusion, lots of criticism of everything typical, but also some heart. I didn't love it, but I'm not the target audience.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    Derf mixes one part coming of age story, one part underdog protagonist, one part small midwest town, two parts uncensored "guy humor", another part of situational humor, and two parts of PURE PUNK ROCK. He meticulously blends all of these elements together and spouts it out through his bizarre and grotesque art style. It's surprisingly so easy to digest that you must devour it all at once. Preferably while listening to the playlist Derf provides on the title page. And according to Derf himself, Derf mixes one part coming of age story, one part underdog protagonist, one part small midwest town, two parts uncensored "guy humor", another part of situational humor, and two parts of PURE PUNK ROCK. He meticulously blends all of these elements together and spouts it out through his bizarre and grotesque art style. It's surprisingly so easy to digest that you must devour it all at once. Preferably while listening to the playlist Derf provides on the title page. And according to Derf himself, "I think it's essential that you have music playing while reading this book. So I've assembled a 'soundtrack'." (The soundtrack includes the likes of: The Clash, Devo, The Ramones, The Pretenders, The Plastmatics, The New York Dolls, etc.) To find the playlist on YouTube just search for "Derf punk rock playlist". My favorite part of reading this book was the musical backdrop and how it slung a ruffian, punk shade over the plot. The cast of characters fit perfectly into the setting: Akron, Ohio in 1979-1980. While it wasn't really my cup of tea, it was cool to see the evolution of the punk scene and how it affected a fictional group of friends.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Deller

    So good! breathed it in in one sitting, no really I was standing part of the time because I was so excited. Captures the punk spirit perfectly, and the Baron is a compelling protag, a misfit-turned-hero you just want to see succeed as he kicks against the pricks. Didn't grow up in a small town myself, but I was there in that big crappy high school in the early 80's, with the jocks, the band geeks, the freaks, the mods, etc, etc. My soul was saved by The Clash and The Ramones. God bless 'em all - So good! breathed it in in one sitting, no really I was standing part of the time because I was so excited. Captures the punk spirit perfectly, and the Baron is a compelling protag, a misfit-turned-hero you just want to see succeed as he kicks against the pricks. Didn't grow up in a small town myself, but I was there in that big crappy high school in the early 80's, with the jocks, the band geeks, the freaks, the mods, etc, etc. My soul was saved by The Clash and The Ramones. God bless 'em all --- and Fuck Journey!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Raina

    Cool coming-of-age story for a kid in the midwest in the late 70s. He's into the punk scene when it was new. The illustration style is almost bizarre, and that makes it a little hard to take, but I love the story and the window into amerikan musical history. Includes a playlist for listening as you read. A little Napoleon Dynamite-ish, plus punk and some definite adult content.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    This is the funniest shit ever, a perfect blend of punk rock and Peter Bagge. Derf rules!! Long live the Baron!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Rollicking depiction of Akron's 1970s Punk/New Wave scene. It's by Derf, so of course it's kind of gross and weird.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michael Tildsley

    This is a collected volume of the six issues of Punk Rock and Trailer Parks, which tells the story of a band geek who slips into the punk rock scene of the early 80s and becomes something of a hero. It's fast moving, hilarious, and insightful. The author did a great job with the visuals and the dialogue, which really made me feel like I was transported back in time. It's surprisingly adult at times, which is definitely in keeping with the punk rock theme.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jana Eichhorn

    Well that was exactly what the doctor ordered. Absolutely essential that you pair this with the 'soundtrack' listed on the first page. It's listed as being on iTunes, but I found it on Spotify too. It is punk rock perfection, and makes the book even better.

  15. 4 out of 5

    A. Kaya

    I always like stories about punk rock, I think Derf also like and he wanted to make a comic book about it but this book just says "punk is dead" by making a comic book. As I see, the place where they were making concert was real, others were fantasy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Very funny, and loved the Akron punk scene details. The art is perfect for the story.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Kahn

    Fun graphic novel about growing up in Ohio in the '70s and Akron's punk scene. Backderf as usual does a good job of making the scene and characters come alive. A fun, satisfying read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    mica-micare

    I really can't say I liked this book as much as I've liked Backderf's other books. His art was still great; it was the story that I disliked, and the character of the Baron. I'm too young to have grown up in punk's original 1970s/80s heyday, but I grew up in a small town, and was sucked into the punk scene available to me in my late teens, like any pretentious outcast kid who hated all the crappy modern pop punk, etc, etc, all the while complaining how no one else knew what real music was like a I really can't say I liked this book as much as I've liked Backderf's other books. His art was still great; it was the story that I disliked, and the character of the Baron. I'm too young to have grown up in punk's original 1970s/80s heyday, but I grew up in a small town, and was sucked into the punk scene available to me in my late teens, like any pretentious outcast kid who hated all the crappy modern pop punk, etc, etc, all the while complaining how no one else knew what real music was like and blah blah blah. I didn't mind the "cameos" of dead punk rockers as much as I minded the cameos in Ann Tenna, but the story really didn't really resonate with me. This book, particularly its protagonist, the Baron, reminded me of all those straight white guys in the punk scene that I hated. And Backderf loves this fucking marching band geek cum punk rocker character so much so that he inspires (within the story) several punk rock greats with his general existence. (Excuse me while I vomit.) Here's my problem with the Baron: to me, he represents that fucking asshole white boy in the "outcast" communities who drives nonwhite/nonmale people out of that community. I think representation should be mentioned here. I get that this story is set in small town mid-USA, but that's not a good enough excuse. The Baron is presented as a bit of an outsider at school, which, cool, but we've heard and seen this story before, particularly from the white, male perspective. While I expected that (none of Backderf's books do much in terms of multicultural or, you know, multi-gender representation), there was one scene that stood our as particularly grating to me. You know that one scene, the peeping-tom scene that seemed to proliferate in so much media in the '70s and '80s, wherein teenage boys are spying into the windows of teenage girls as they are changing in their bedrooms? We get that scene in this book. The scene culminates with the Baron and friend fleeing from her older brother as he threatens to shoot them, but it's still presented as this hilarious, glorious coming-of-age thing that boys do. Boys will be boys. This is one of the ways you tell women and girls that they don't belong in your little scene, and how you tell women that they are sexual objects for heterosexual male gratification. (It's ok, though, they were spying on the bitchy cheerleader with big boobs, right? Fuck right off with that.) Here's precisely where that "poor outsider white boy" narrative really loses me - because, sure, he's a poor outsider nerd who gets beat up, but he's still decided that he's got a right to viewing this girl's body. (Which is, btw, still stalking and sexual harassment, and would be, whether she saw him or not). Sure, throw in punk rock, and I might like the soundtrack, but, well, it's still a white, heterosexual male coming of age story, with nostalgia for misogyny and holy shit have we all heard about that before. If you're looking for an awesome graphic novel about a punk scene, I would suggest the Dharma Punks by Ant Sang. Punk Rock and Trailer Parks was ok, but wasn't anywhere near as interesting or engaging as Backderf's Trashed (my favourite sequence in this book would have been the cameo of Backderf's semi-autobiographical character from "Trashed") or My Friend Dahmer.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Steve Chaput

    Okay, I’ll admit that this isn’t exactly one of those books that I’d normally pick up. I have been out of high school over forty years and my interest in ‘punk’ probably lasted only a couple of years during the late ‘70s. Even then I probably only had a few compilation albums or cassettes I bought, while attending college back in Connecticut. Those are long gone and I don’t even remember listening to them once I graduated. I also don’t recall ever seeing any work by the artist “Derf”, although i Okay, I’ll admit that this isn’t exactly one of those books that I’d normally pick up. I have been out of high school over forty years and my interest in ‘punk’ probably lasted only a couple of years during the late ‘70s. Even then I probably only had a few compilation albums or cassettes I bought, while attending college back in Connecticut. Those are long gone and I don’t even remember listening to them once I graduated. I also don’t recall ever seeing any work by the artist “Derf”, although it is possible I may have seen samples or a cover someplace. However, I have read reviews of the book by several folks, whose opinions I trust, so when I saw the TPB at San Diego, for about 50% off I figured I would give it a try. I’ glad I did. The self-named “The Baron” is a tall, geeky high school senior growing up in Akron, OH in the late 70s. Like many of his contemporaries he is going through hard times, being picked on both for his appearance, non-violent personality and just being a band “nerd”. He lives in a local trailer park, being raised by his uncle, a retired union organizer, who lost his driver’s license so much now go to the bar on his riding mower. The Baron, loves the then emerging ‘punk rock’ scene and believes he is destined to be a part of it. Getting a job in the local club, as bouncer and general clean up guy he finds himself in close contact with a number of the bands and individuals who are helping to make punk the driving force it would be for several years. Bands such as The Clash, The Ramones, The Plasmatics (specifically singer Wendy O. Williams) and others appear briefly and interact with The Baron, often giving him advice or just making his life more interesting. There is a great sequence with the late, rock critic Lester Bangs that shows a lot of respect for him and demonstrates just what a good writer Derf can be. The book ends with a page memorializing some of the real life personalities who appear in the story, who are no longer with us. It’s sad to realize how many of these very creative folks died at such a young age. Certainly NOT a book for kids or those offended by language, sexual situations or violence, I still have to recommend the book for those with a sense of humor. You would not have had to have much or any experience with ‘sex & drugs & rock ‘n roll’ but it couldn’t hurt! One of the best TPB’s I’ve read this year!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Scott Foshee

    Rubber City Rebels "Punk Rock and Trailer Parks" is cartoonist Derf's semiautobiographical homage to growing up a geek in the late 1970's in Akron, Ohio. Akron, a center of the tire industry and self-proclaimed "Rubber Capital of the World" does not sound like a hotbed for the Punk Rock movement of the late 1970's, but it is the home of such prominent musical figures as Devo, The Black Keys, The Dead Boys, The Cramps, The Waitresses, and Pretenders lead singer Chrissie Hynde. It was also home of Rubber City Rebels "Punk Rock and Trailer Parks" is cartoonist Derf's semiautobiographical homage to growing up a geek in the late 1970's in Akron, Ohio. Akron, a center of the tire industry and self-proclaimed "Rubber Capital of the World" does not sound like a hotbed for the Punk Rock movement of the late 1970's, but it is the home of such prominent musical figures as Devo, The Black Keys, The Dead Boys, The Cramps, The Waitresses, and Pretenders lead singer Chrissie Hynde. It was also home of The Bank New Music Club, an abandoned bank turned into a punk club during the late 70's recession, which went on to become one of the premiere venues of the international punk scene. The book details the lives of a group of high school misfits from the Akron suburb of Richford beginning around 1980. They end up being led by the strangest of them all, "The Baron," a trombone player in the school marching band who lives with his great uncle in a sketchy trailer park on the edge of town. The Baron (real name Otto) lands a job at The Bank and develops a legendary status with the bands that roll through. We meet Klaus Nomi (who uses the spats from Otto's band uniform onstage), the Ramones, the Plasmatics, and Ian Dury and the Blockheads. We even live a legendary night with the Clash and acclaimed music writer Lester Bangs, where after the show Otto takes them all bowling in a church basement and afterwards they all go in search of the corporate band Journey's tour bus armed with ice picks. Along the way the guys grow up, high school graduation approaches, and life decisions appear just around the corner. Derf is an excellent independent cartoonist. "Punk Rock and Trailer Parks" is a fascinating slice of Americana and music history filled with memorable, offbeat characters, all rendered in Derf's distinctive clean blocky-yet-gritty illustrative style. Derf paints a vivid picture of a unique time and place that makes you wish you were there. This is a fun, informative, fictionalized read. It is entertaining, if lacking a bit of the gravitas of Derf's fascinating book "My Friend Dahmer," and the critically acclaimed work of his fellow Ohioan Harvey Pekar in the "American Splendor" series.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Peter Landau

    PUNK ROCK AND TRAILER PARKS made me nostalgic for the time in which I came of age (late 1970s to 1980) and a place that I’ve never been to (Akron, Ohio). But the sense of being a teenaged outsider who discovered community through the burgeoning punk rock scene is universal. Cartoonist Derf creates an autobiographical-feeling fiction true to the awkwardness of being in high school, hating everything but girls and music, that put me right back in those wonderfully horrible years. He captures the s PUNK ROCK AND TRAILER PARKS made me nostalgic for the time in which I came of age (late 1970s to 1980) and a place that I’ve never been to (Akron, Ohio). But the sense of being a teenaged outsider who discovered community through the burgeoning punk rock scene is universal. Cartoonist Derf creates an autobiographical-feeling fiction true to the awkwardness of being in high school, hating everything but girls and music, that put me right back in those wonderfully horrible years. He captures the sense of something happening just beyond your reach and the liberating experience of those times when you feel as if a part of a greater whole. The story doesn’t obsess about punk as much as put it in its place as background for a diverse cast of freaks and bullies and geeks and stoners and eccentric elders and Jesus fanatic to play out their small stories. The protagonist self-nicknamed the Baron is a character as large as the punk stars who stop at the Bank in their crisscrossing tours of middle America. He shepherds readers through the narrative and provides a bridge affixing the various subsets. This is not the small old punk rock story and yet it rings a collective bell for anyone who’s been set free by punk rock. Derf offers a list of recordings to play as a soundtrack while reading. If those songs are evocative then you know what I mean.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

    An interesting coming of age tale of both an eccentric young man from Ohio, and the Punk Rock movement. Our main character, or "the Baron" as he calls himself, is a Tolkien loving band nerd by day, but by night he is a legend at the local punk venue "the Bank". Derf does a great job showcasing small town Midwestern life. It's not Derf's best graphic, but "the Baron" is a wonderful character you can't help but cheer for even if he is a bit odd. A fun read for fans of punk, or just fans of Derf's An interesting coming of age tale of both an eccentric young man from Ohio, and the Punk Rock movement. Our main character, or "the Baron" as he calls himself, is a Tolkien loving band nerd by day, but by night he is a legend at the local punk venue "the Bank". Derf does a great job showcasing small town Midwestern life. It's not Derf's best graphic, but "the Baron" is a wonderful character you can't help but cheer for even if he is a bit odd. A fun read for fans of punk, or just fans of Derf's fantastic graphics.

  23. 4 out of 5

    David James

    Oh man, this one channeled and purged some of my high school demons, the ones I thought I'd long since lost along the way. If you grew up in the late seventies/early eighties feeling like a misfit in a small town, Derf felt your pain. And if you hated the schlock rock all your classmates listened to, then the scene where the kids take ice picks to the tires of Journey's tour bus will warm your soul. Funny as hell, even during the tragic moments. This one captures high school like few books/movies Oh man, this one channeled and purged some of my high school demons, the ones I thought I'd long since lost along the way. If you grew up in the late seventies/early eighties feeling like a misfit in a small town, Derf felt your pain. And if you hated the schlock rock all your classmates listened to, then the scene where the kids take ice picks to the tires of Journey's tour bus will warm your soul. Funny as hell, even during the tragic moments. This one captures high school like few books/movies/songs I've ever encountered.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Lynn

    What a great story! I got on YouTube and made the playlist Derf designated on the inside cover to read with the book and I am so glad I did! I've never read a book where the author takes the time to make a playlist to read with it. I can't imagine how my experience would have been without the tunes. The playlist is still up if anybody wants to listen and read but doesn't feel like putting it together... it's really neat! Just YouTube Derf Backderf's punk rock and trailer parks, it will be there so What a great story! I got on YouTube and made the playlist Derf designated on the inside cover to read with the book and I am so glad I did! I've never read a book where the author takes the time to make a playlist to read with it. I can't imagine how my experience would have been without the tunes. The playlist is still up if anybody wants to listen and read but doesn't feel like putting it together... it's really neat! Just YouTube Derf Backderf's punk rock and trailer parks, it will be there somewhere

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

    If you like graphic novels, comix, or at all interested in the Punk & New Wave movement of the late 70's and 80's READ THIS BOOK. Discovering Derf was easily one of my reading highlights in 2010. Immediately after I read an excerpt from this book in Great American Comics 2010 I found www.derfcity.com and purchased all of Derf's books. (My Friend Dahmer, Trashed, The City (comic strip collection). Derf's unique often grotesque style fits perfectly with his stories of urban squalor, the trials o If you like graphic novels, comix, or at all interested in the Punk & New Wave movement of the late 70's and 80's READ THIS BOOK. Discovering Derf was easily one of my reading highlights in 2010. Immediately after I read an excerpt from this book in Great American Comics 2010 I found www.derfcity.com and purchased all of Derf's books. (My Friend Dahmer, Trashed, The City (comic strip collection). Derf's unique often grotesque style fits perfectly with his stories of urban squalor, the trials of growing up, often revealing the tragic comedy of everyday life.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Fantastic! Reminded me so much of Peter Bagge's Neat Stuff/Hate comix. Totally crazy. He has a similar spaghetti body style going as well. But it's distinctive and original it just has the same loose fluid feel to it. It was cool to learn American Punk Rock scene in Akron Ohio (who knew?). Ramones and Wendy O'Williams I knew but not the others. It's funny and sad that all of the real life punk folks are ALL DEAD! The Baron was also a fantastic character with those big clobberin hands. I plan on Fantastic! Reminded me so much of Peter Bagge's Neat Stuff/Hate comix. Totally crazy. He has a similar spaghetti body style going as well. But it's distinctive and original it just has the same loose fluid feel to it. It was cool to learn American Punk Rock scene in Akron Ohio (who knew?). Ramones and Wendy O'Williams I knew but not the others. It's funny and sad that all of the real life punk folks are ALL DEAD! The Baron was also a fantastic character with those big clobberin hands. I plan on making the playlist he suggests on Rdio. Better late than never.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Robbi Caldwell

    Fun story, great artwork. I especially love Derf's attention to detail. For example, when we first see The Baron's bedroom, I stopped reading, and took a minute to see what books were on his bookshelf, the posters on his wall, etc. Everything fit perfectly and made me wish I, too, had been fortunate enough to have been a young adult on the edge of the Punk Rock/New Wave scene. :) Really enjoyable, quick read!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Awesome. There just aren't enough comic books that have the Ramones in them, in my opinion. And I loved The Baron's rant, "It's the damn hippies! They are the first generation in human history that refuses to give way to the next generation! So it's their music that fills the airwaves. Because they own the fucking airwaves! The bitter truth is we'll be downwind of the great cultural fart of the baby boom our whole lives!"

  29. 4 out of 5

    Trashy Dreams

    yeah derf. harder gave me one of his prints a long time ago for chrismas. didn't know he was still around. didn't look either i suppose... this is about a weirdo-nerd turned punk-scene-awesome-party-dude in high school. lots guest appearances from the ramones, the plasmatics, stiv bators, and more. that's pretty cool. i'd compare it to HATE a little, but i didn't ever laugh out loud with this one. still good and funny tho. recommended fer sher.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I think I would have liked it better if I were a dude. That's not an insult, because I did enjoy the book. It just would have resonated with me more if I had a male perspective. It's definitely a book I'd recommend to others, just not for everyone. Loved the music perspective, but the toilet humor just wasn't for me.

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