published: 21 /
In ‘Gimme Indie Rock’, in which he looks for the best of alternative rock, Jamie Rowland examines Babak Ganjei’s graphic novel, ‘Hilarious Consequences’ and accompanying musical soundtrack which includes tracks from Ganjei's own band Wet Paint, Singing Adams and Bloc Party’s Matthew Tong
Babak Ganjei is a musician, a father, a boyfriend and a comic book artist. His first book 'Hilarious Consequences', which was released on Records Records Records records last year, is about a guy called Babak who is a musician, a father, a boyfriend and a comic book artist.
In the vein of autobiographical comics like 'American Splendor' and 'Peepshow', 'Hilarious Consequences' follows the day-to-day struggles Ganjei faces with his own crippling self-doubt and his decreasing confidence in the youth-orientated hipster scene as he attempts to find his feet as he moves into his 30s while the world around him gets younger and cooler.
At the heart of the story is Babak’s desire to be the best he can be for his family, which isn’t easy when his own insecurities refuse to stop plaguing him. His girlfriend is tired of his incessant complaining about his bald-spot – a fact that he realises, but can’t stop bringing up, so great is his fear of aging (when he eventually gets a job working in a bar, he wears a cap primarily to cover his bald patch).
'Hilarious Consequences' is an incredibly neurotic read, but it’s exactly that which makes it so funny and Babak so identifiable as a character. Just like all of us do, he over-thinks things; in his eyes he is a failure despite trying so hard to succeed. But that’s exactly what makes him and his book a success – no one wants to read about an amazing, successful, handsome hero and his journey through a seamless string of successes. People like that are twats. The people we want to read about are people like us – failures, losers, geeks, weirdos, plebs, dorks and nerds. These are the people who strive to succeed, who work hard to be better and who have the room to improve themselves and make us feel better about our own potential. Babak Ganjei is one of those people. Babak Ganjei is one of us. Fans of the work of Jeffrey Brown or Bryan Lee O’Malley should find a lot to like here (take the fantasy elements out of 'Scott Pilgrim' and this could be him ten years later).
'Hilarious Consequences' is extra special as it comes with a really brilliant soundtrack CD, featuring a number of British underground acts including Ganjei’s own band Wet Paint. Other acts include Broken Family Band spin-off Singing Adams, Cheatahs and Bloc Party’s Matthew Tong. It’s a great CD which really syncs well with the indie-feel of the comic; Ganjei’s drawings are simplistic and not heavy in detail, but the rough nature of the pictures matches up with the character Babak’s own disordered mind and his perhaps distorted view of the world around him and his own standing within it.