Join Joe Rock On His Deployment In Iraq

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Based mostly on real life events, author/artist CF Grant takes us along for the ride in a comical take on army life. That isn’t to say the comic disrespected the US Army Reserve. In fact, Grant has even been profiled in Stars & Stripes! While BOHICA Blues is a relatively newer web comic, the content within already has the makings of a classic comedy war movie. Personally I’ve always liked this sort of media because it shows the everyday side of the troops. You’re able to see who the characters are instead of just as action stars.

The story begins with combat engineer Joe Rock thinking he’s finally going to be free from active-duty “nonsense” as he puts it. Of course that doesn’t work out and he’s quickly put into training for 2003 deployment in Iraq. Beginning on Veteran’s Day last year, the comic began with presumably Joe’s elderly wife telling their grand kids what Grandpa did in the war. This is a nice start to the series, giving it a flashback feel.

As with many web comics I’ve read recently, BOHICA Blues is well paced. It really does feel like a military movie. There’s a creative cast of characters and the story highlights training stations Joe visits along the way to being deployed in Iraq. So instead of just rushing right ahead, we do get a nice enjoyable introduction to the cast. Of course, it’s all part of the history Grant is trying to convey in his comic referencing real life events. Including all this content is important and it’s good to see reflections of what Grant went through.

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Only recently has Joe reached Iraq with his platoon and the web comic is still staying well paced. The thing that keeps BOHICA Blues interesting to the readers is that it’s a very human story. As referenced above, the characters express themselves at the situations their involved in, and that’s where the majority of the comics comedy comes from. Grant isn’t trying to be political or make wild or offensive statements with his comic. The comic reads as if you were talking to a friend about their deployment.

Artistically the comic has a noticeable style that suits it well. Details like camo are something I wouldn’t want to be concerned with panel after panel, but Grant keeps things looking accurate. It’s these details that really show dedication to the comic. So much so that at one point Grant had to scale back color art and start releasing black and white pages. This was actually more accurate to the original BOHICA Blues art shown in his Stars and Stripes profile. Since then however, frequent color has made a return to all three weekly updates.

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One thing I did enjoy that I wish would make a return is small blurbs along with most of the comics. Earlier on in the comics, there was at least a small paragraph detailing some of the info included that civilians may not understand references to. These were fun as well because they tended to relate the comic to the real life events. The comic certainly doesn’t suffer for it, but they were a nice addition. Just something small gives readers a bit more insight into the creators inspiration with each update. For a comic like BOHICA Blues, this works well.

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It’s great that CF Grant is sharing his experiences with us through his comic. He obviously has a great understanding of the medium he’s telling his story through, and the life experience to tell it from a personal perspective. BOHICA Blues is an easy going read that would fit in nicely to your weekly web comic check ins. Lastly to explain the title, below is the creators own words on the acronym. I think it highlights the sort of comedy usually within the web comic nicely.

BOHICA, on the other hand, is an acronym. The Army loves its acronyms, but BOHICA stands out. It means Bend Over, Here It Comes Again. What “it” is can be anything from “a swift kick in the rear” (family-friendly) to other, far worse fates. Just when you think you are done for the day and can go back to the barracks for some hot pizza and cold beer, BOHICA –you’re not done. As soon as you get permission to get released for the weekend, the sudden discovery of a last-minute worn track shoe means BOHICA. When you swore up and down you were coming back in from the field on Friday, guess what? It’s not this Friday, it’s next Friday. Another week downrange and you just ran out of beef jerky and Skittles. BOHICA, son. When you get so used to bending over for another kick in the can that you don’t even notice it any more, guess what? You’ve got the BOHICA BLUES.

Lastly. I found this comic to be something I’m sure many of us can relate to with the up and down temperatures of this winter. BOHICA Blues is updated Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Coyote March 12, 2014 6:52 pm 

    Wow, that is awesome! I think you’re right about the little blurbs below– I hesitated to add them, since I felt I was “explaining the joke”, which is typically a big no-no in humor. I try to balance between filling in the gaps of information and avoiding “blah-blah-blah” explanations. I should bring some of those back.

    But the biggest things missing from a lot of war comics or even human comedies like M*A*S*H was a sense of “how they got here”, and pulling it all together and showing the adjustments made to peoples’ lives. I always felt that was missing, and in webcomics there’s time to develop that. So far I’ve managed to stick mostly to the 10-year anniversary cycle, although I may have to play some catch-up in April…

    Thanks for the great review!

    • Les Major March 13, 2014 11:04 pm 

      For sure! I’m glad you like it. :) I do agree, it is the every day sorts of details that make your comic so additively readable.

      I almost didn’t mention about the blurbs, but I did think that they were a nice touch earlier on. It’s like editors notes in print comics. Usually you’re explaining something that civilians may not get, not really telling the joke, so it’s all good. I liked it because those blurbs helped to me up to speed on the smaller details, instead of me just pretending I knew what various things meant. Hehe. It’s a way to fill in readers who may not look up what those details mean.

      Definitely great stuff though! Looking forward to seeing where the future takes Joe Rock! :D

  2. DemonDan March 12, 2014 9:26 pm 

    Yeah Underdogs represent! Coyote, you deserve this. That’s a good comic you’re making.

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