Much like his film career, Kevin Smith’s turn as comic scribe has produced a mixed bag in regards to quality of the finished (or unfinished as in the case of Daredevil/Bullseye: The Target) product. Sometimes Smith delivers portentous, world-expanding comics like his runs on Green Arrow and Daredevil, both of which add to rich well-established mythos without knocking out the pillars that hold their respective homes steady. But other times, Smith cranks out Spider-Man/Black Cat: The EThevil that Men Do, a book with good intentions that couldn’t stick the landing (delays be damned).
Oddly enough, Yoga Hosers doesn’t fall into either of these categories. This is a one-shot that acts as a promotional prequel to Smith’s upcoming movie and a world-building exercise to flesh out the True North cinematic universe he’s been obsessed with over the last few years. And I suppose the comic works on either of those levels, but its mere existence seems completely unnecessary.
Yoga Hosers follows two Canadian teenage girls both named Colleen (an idiosyncratic detail that should be cute, but is actually annoying) who work at a convenience store (sound familiar?) and are obsessed with Yoga as much as they are obsessed with each other. Out of context, none of the content in this comic makes sense. If you have not seen Tusk or are unaware of the basic plot to the upcoming film, you may not know what the hell is going on. But don’t despair, virgin Smithian, not much happens here.
The issue is made up of a handful of little vignettes that follow the day-to-day grind of the Colleens. We see the genesis of their relationship and how their latter teen years reflect the same dynamic, which is a bit perturbing when you consider neither character has grown in a decade’s time. We are also treated to allusions of past events that happen off page (and on screen) and a taste of what is to come for the Colleens. And still, none of it coalesces to make a cohesive narrative, making it an utterly infuriating read.
Look, I really like Kevin Smith. I’ve gone to bat for some of his lesser-loved movies (Jersey Girl is a kind-hearted flick and you people are monsters for hating it), but I find it hard to defend an artist when they are clearly spinning their wheels. Yoga Hoses has done nothing to entice my desire to see the film upon which it’s based nor does it make me want to read any future installments of other True North comic book tie-ins.
Jeff Quigley’s artwork is functional, but not much more than that. There are a few solid sequential layouts, but nothing about the art really pops. The only shining light in this comic is the Colleen’s yoga instructor, a man with the cringe-worthy name Yogi Bayer (I’ll wait to let that one sink in…done? Good.).
Despite Yogi’s awful moniker, he is instantly the most interesting character in the book. He is a hippie-dippy yogi who believes yoga is the ultimate form of martial arts. His speech about vanquishing your enemies through the power of yoga had a smile plastered across my face. When I read it, all I could image is some tatted-up MMA dude getting pinned down with a downward dog position. I was bummed to see him leave.
Ultimately, there isn’t much to like about this book. The dialogue is overbearing and the Canadian jokes become tedious to the point of nausea. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve read the word “aboot” more times in my life, and I’ve watched Strange Brew with subtitles on.
Maybe Smith needs more pages to flesh out this world. Or maybe if I see the film, Yoga Hosers will have more gravity. Either way, Yoga Hosers simply doesn’t work on its own.
- Yogi Bayer!
- Callbacks to Smith’s film work, if that’s your thing
- Bad Canadian jokes (how “aboot” ya stop?)
- Uninspired art and lack of any real story
- Everything feels out of context