As I noted in my review of Redhead Tales 3, the character of Brandi Bare debuted in a 4-issue miniseries in 2010, which I bought at the time on Amazon. But it’s no longer available for sale there, and I don’t like reviewing anything that readers can’t buy. Well, as it turns out, the first two issues of the series are still available on IndyPlanet, so here we go!
Written by co-creators Joe Pekar and Jeff Outlaw, and drawn by Pekar, the story begins with Brandi talking to her best friend Xian via webcam. They’re in college together, but Brandi is living at home with her father, who doesn’t want her to live on campus. But Brandi really wants to move into the dorms with Xian and her other roommate Rosie. So Xian comes up with a plan where they invite Brandi’s father over to help them move some furniture in their room, and while he’s there both girls prance around in various stages of undress, implying to him that if Brandi moved in with them then he’d have an excuse to visit and they would also call on him to help with fixing things from time to time, so he’d see them like that more often. Although Brandi doesn’t like this approach, it works, and she gets to move in. But since they already had a designated third roommate, Xian hacks the college computer records, getting that girl switched with Brandi. That girl is Dylan, and when she finds out that she’s been switched to share a room with an annoying talkative fat girl named Alice, she vows to get revenge on the girls.
The book takes an unexpected turn in the second half, where it turns out that one of the Deans at the college is a witch, who senses Dylan’s anger and wants to exploit it for some ulterior motive. She takes the form of an old woman running a local Wiccan shop, and Dylan happens to go to the shop where the witch gives her a magic potion to use saying it will help her get what she wants, somehow. But later when Dylan tries to sneak and use the potion on Brandi and Xian, she ends up getting it on herself instead and it makes her clothes disappear, leaving her buck naked on campus in broad daylight.
And that’s the cliffhanger ending.
It had been a long time since I’d last read this comic, so revisiting it after all these years I was surprised to notice that, unlike Pekar’s later work, there is no adult content. The art is heavy on the cheesecake, a lot of girls in lingerie and skimpy outfits, but all nudity is implied, not explicit. Perhaps that’s why Pekar took the books off Amazon, as it doesn’t fit his “brand” anymore? I don’t know, I’m just speculating.
Basically, this issue comes off as a slightly more risque version of a classic Archie comic. Brandi and Xian could be Betty and Veronica. And as someone who grew up on Archie comics, I was entertained by this. It’s a fun little story with an interesting group of characters. Pekar’s art is not quite as refined as his current work, but it’s still nice to look at, and I recommend it. Chacebook rating: FOUR STAR
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