A White-Gloved Middle Finger Up Pop-Culture’s Rectum: James Harvey’s ‘Luigi Mode’ Reviewed

by Tito W. James

Marcus Miskin is a geek with high ambitions and low self-esteem. When his life is at a crossroads, he asks for help from a certain video game icon. Much like Faust’s bargain with the Devil, Marcus’s dreams come true at a dark cost as he enters into Luigi Mode.

Many readers bemoan the sense of comics becoming sanitized and yearn for the subversive works once found in the likes of Vertigo titles, Heavy Metal magazine, and 2000 AD. To that end, James Harvey is carrying the torch with his own singular vision whilst putting a finger on the pulse of underground culture of today’s youth.

Harvey blends the eternally edgy anti-fashion of Jamie Hewlett and the bizarro storytelling of Kago Shintaro to deliver an anomalous Odyssey. It’s the perfect subversive story for those who grew up on Nintendo games and live under the threat of populist totalitarianism.

Due to the realtime release schedule of the webcomic, Harvey was able to incorporate and satirize current events as they occurred. No comic has so perfectly captured the zeitgeist of this crazy year quite like Luigi Mode. I will forever remember this page below which released on the eve of the 2020 election.

Luigi Mode marks a bold step for subversive comics of the new decade and a pivotal artistic evolution for Harvey. All the visual imperfections of vintage comics are remixed and used to unify the collage of deranged ideas. The complete saga is best described as a white-gloved middle finger up pop-culture’s rectum.

You can read Luigi Mode for free right now on James Harvey’s Website.

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