Dr. Id, Psychologist of the Supernatural

At first, it seems that the high concept of this one-shot is summed up in the title, but there’s more to it than just wacky horror — Dr. Id is living firmly in the 70s, with all the overwrought dialogue and classic mainstream comic stylings that implies.

The Doctor resembles Samuel Jackson drawn by a claustrophobic Steve Ditko. Think of this as “what if Dr. Strange was created in the self-help 70s”, only with more self-aware sarcasm in the writer, who’s willing to break the story mood for a one-liner. He’s also clearly familiar with industry jargon, as Dr. Id uses his mystical powers to understand the mental problems of his clients but then resolves them with psychiatric explanations.

Dr. Id cover
Dr. Id

With six stories and two bonus features, this one-shot provides great value, and it’s the kind of idea mashup that can only happen in comics, where imagination reigns and costs are minimal. The prose is florid, with Dr. Id and the other characters declaiming mightily. Everything’s quickly tied up in 4-6 pages, another throwback.

The artist is capable of varying styles, although all feature crowded pages and panels. There’s a lot to cram into these short pieces, and that’s also in keeping with the “old days” approach. Flipping through the book is fatiguing to the eye, with such density and only black and white for emphasis.

As satire, the stories are shallow, with obvious targets: a man with domineering parents, another frigid because of guilt over sex (refreshingly, the author didn’t make this patient female), a third split into irresponsible and overly responsible duplicates. They have to be, given the format. An attack on Dr. Phil is wearying (I’ve seen too many already), and parodying a critic as the monster tormenting a playwright is cliché. The last story, about a telepath who’s trying to create world peace through connecting the minds of world leaders, reminds me of a classic Shooter Avengers story, especially with the “did we really do the right thing in stopping her?” ending.

I suspect this will be of interest as a novelty to those not very familiar with today’s comics. They’ll find it a hoot to see a retro psychologist acting like what they think superheroes are like.

For sample pages or more information, visit the comic’s website. (This review is based on a preview ashcan provided by the publisher.)


One Response to “Dr. Id, Psychologist of the Supernatural”

  1. Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Big Time Attic mimics the look of an old romance comic with a bizarre re-imagining of Pygmalion, only with a post-war car designer instead of a sculptor. Hope Larson’s (Gray Horses) colorful story of college romance takes a more modern approach, told in part through instant messages. Adam McGovern and Paolo Leandri parody comics of the 1970s with their Dr. Id, who solves a case of sexual frigidity caused by guilt. […]




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