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Box Office Poison

(Box Office Poison #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  3,988 ratings  ·  201 reviews
This epic story of Sherman, Dorothy, Ed, Stephen, Jane, and Mr. Flavor is not to be missed. Alex Robinson's completely natural and inspiring knack for dialogue has made his story of dreary jobs, comic books, love, sex, messy apartments, girlfriends (and the lack thereof), undisclosed pasts, and crusty old professionals one of the most delightful and whimsical graphic novel ...more
Paperback, New Edition, 602 pages
Published December 8th 2015 by Top Shelf Productions (first published 2001)
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May 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
I don't understand what the fuck people like about this book. Here's what I got from the first 150 pages (of 600), before I gave up: people who go to book stores are idiots; smugness is a virtue, as is feeling superior to everyone else all the time; misogyny is no reason not to publish a book; who cares if you spell a word wrong every few pages; Pete Bagge's art has been extremely influential; and transsexuals aren't real people, they're punchlines. Good work, Alex Robinson. Fuck all of these th ...more
Sam Quixote
Aug 06, 2011 rated it did not like it
I love comics and thought this'd be fantastic but man is it anything but. Two friends out of uni hit the city, get crappy jobs, one of them works in a bookshop and wants to be a writer. He makes fun of customers in the bookshop behind their backs for not knowing anything about books. Fair enough, I've met librarians who thought Charles Dickens was a novel by David Copperfield. But come on, easy target! Hardly engaging. Then we have the foreign landlady who shouts a lot of pidgen english, the cra ...more
Jul 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
I grabbed this book when I saw it in the library the other day because Imogen was so vitriolic about it, and I expected it to be deliciously awful.

Instead, it was just mediocre. The art was pretty okay, and I liked a few of the characters. But the overall plot was boring and had no real point or resolution, the main dude (Sherman) was a jackass and his girlfriend was unlikable, and there were goddamned spelling errors. Like, homophone confusion. Like, "your" when he meant "you're." And he thinks
Dec 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Remember the last time you were falling out of love that too with a person who you really thought was "your person?" Remember feeling attracted to random people just because you were so unhappy in your own relationship ? Remember doubting yourself ? Remember wondering if this other attraction was the real thing or it was just another distraction courtesy your "sinful" hormones ?

Remember trying to break up but failing all the time ?

Remember sitting alone and telling yourself you are a jackass -
Mar 20, 2015 rated it liked it
The dreaded 3 star rating. I always hate giving a three star because it always looks like a book was just average. Sometimes it is the case, but what about when you really enjoy a book, it’s just not necessarily earth shattering or important enough to make the 4 star or 5 star rating? So for purposes of distinction this one merits a 3.5 star rating from me.

This was like watching a marathon of Friends or any such twenty-something/relationship sitcom. I was sad when it came to an end because at th
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Reminds me a lot of many other pseudo autobiographical graphics that I can't even name at the moment. Great illustration, but a sort of mundane and soap opera storyline. Engaging enough, but after a while I found myself thinking "I'm only reading this to finish it -- I kind of don't care what happens". I need a way to describe that feeling... you know, the one you get when you're half way into a TV series and you just keep watching it because you're comfortable but not still interested. The bana ...more
Rinda Elwakil
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
الكوميك فن جميل محبب مقرب للنفس مهضوم حقه في مصر و الشرق الأوسط بشكل عام

لنا في المانجا اليابانية و التطور المذهل فيها و في إيراداتها لليابان عبرة و عظة و حسرة

الرسوم هنا جميلة جدا، لكن القصة سيئة

لو حد من محبي الكوميك أو المانجا يعرف سلسلة معينة بالاسم حلوة و متوفرة أونلاين فضلًا يرشحهالي و هكون في غاية الامتنان :)
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
After 600 pages, I guess I was just hoping for more. The plot was uninspiring, the characters were either meh or annoying and the ending was super rushed. I didn't hate it and there were definitely moments which I enjoyed but it just wasn't for me.
Alex Panagiotopoulos
Δεν συμμερίζομαι τους γενικούς διθυράμβους που άκουσα/διάβασα. Ναι δεν λέω, είναι ένα πιο ρεαλιστικό και σκληρό sitcom απλά σε μορφή κόμικ. Και ευκολοδιάβαστο (αν και η ροή του είχε μεγάλα σκαμπανεβάσματα και ανά σημεία απλά ήταν τόσο ανελέητα φορτωμένο με κείμενα στην προσπάθεια του να μεταφέρει το άγχος των σκέψεων του εκάστοτε πρωταγωνιστή που απλά τα προσπερνούσα γιατί δεν είχαν κανένα απολύτως νόημα) και συμπαθητικό στο σκίτσο. Μ'άρεσε το πόσο ευδιάκριτοι ήταν οι χαρακτήρες και ξεχωριστοί, ...more
Jeff Lanter
Oct 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I have been wanting to read a "slice of life" or more memoir focused graphic novel for a while and happened to see Box Office Poison on sale in the Google Play Store so I picked it up. I really enjoy this type of story and as a result, found Box Office Poison to be very enjoyable. The story focuses on a group of geeky 20-something year olds in New York in the 90's. As someone who has been to New York, was once a geeky 20 year old, and am interested in comics and the comics industry, Box Office P ...more
I would have enjoyed this book a lot more in the early '90s, back when college-age twentysomethings seemed like attractive, carefree jokesters as opposed to entitled, good-for-nothing space-wasters. As such types go, however, they're well-developed, occasionally amusing, and compelling enough to propel one through all googolplex pages of this graphic monster.

Peripheral stories often leave more of a lasting impression than the main narratives, such as a brief but rather wonderful vingette in whi
This is a prime instance of the elusive comic you needn't be ashamed of reading. It's a graphic novel in the truest sense of the word; it's just regular novel with pictures instead of prose. It contains no men of steel or supervillains hellbent on blowing up Metropolis. Instead, it consists of well-conceived and -developed characters, emotional resonance, and true-to-life plot.

It's also an incredibly ambitious project. He's juggling a lot of characters and several storylines. It's the kind of b
Art the Turtle of Amazing Girth
I started reading this a few hours ago, and could not put it down until I was done.

It was like reading a more adult, wittier, more sarcastic, better version of Friends.

How this is only #89 on the top 100 graphic novel list is far beyond me. These books are so damn good, I'm wondering what I've been doing wasting my life not reading them instead.

Fair warning, there is a lot of nudity, and swearing.

Sometimes, I guess, life just takes you in a path you aren't expected to take.
Like, Red and Andy s
Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
jel zbog strip tematike ili zbog tih svakodnevnih muško ženskih odnosa te raznoraznih referenci na kultne filmove i knjige ofucani holivudski film me podsjeća na Chasing Amy Kevina Smitha,a Chasing Amy mi je jedan od dražih filmova. preporuka za više popodnevnih uživanja uz kavu na balkoniću dok se na playeru vrte the beatles i the police. 600 stranica zabavnog crteža s masu dragih likova i nekoliko iritantnih. Obavezna lektira za fanove dobrog stripa
Aug 20, 2017 rated it liked it
The style is visually beautiful and I love the way the text is integrated into the page design. I like the mis-direct setting up Ed in the "best friend" role when it turns out he's hero material and no one knew it, not even himself. The ending puts a lot of things into a more impactful context but it comes too late. The pacing runs a little long for me-- a lot of the drama is pretty petty, I think in an effort to convey more realistic relationship dynamics, but it gets exhausting. As an outsider ...more
Jack Silbert
May 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Hey, I read 602 pages in less than a week! OK, fine, it was a graphic novel, your point is? So, this was published in 2005 but is set in 1994. And on the positive side, it's a pretty accurate depiction of twentysomethings in NYC in the mid-90s: bars, parties, bookstores, roommates, struggling writers, varying levels of romantic success, etc. etc. I got a bit nostalgic, shall we say? On the negative side of the ledger: I prefer comics to be on the edgier side, and this isn't. I'm a Daniel Clowes ...more
TJ Shelby
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I got totally hooked on the lives and inner workings of the characters and enjoyed the story.
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is my fourth time through (and second time while wicked sick, funny how that goes.) I don't think I've ever spent more than three days; it's pretty close to all-consuming. So of course my thoughts about the book are tied up with my thoughts about my life when I first read it and particularly the (failing) relationship I was in at the time. While we're on the caveats, it is sadly starting to be a bit dated: cell phones being the hilarious part. More disturbing, at the time a guy in his early ...more
Bob Dobbs
May 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
Box Office Poison is one of the worst comic books I've ever skimmed. Its art is extremely simple and ugly, for starters. It looks like something a child would draw. All I got from it was that it was about this loser getting into a dysfunctional relationship with an alcoholic, all the while living in a shitty apartment in shitty New York City and holding down a soul-crushingly tedious job to support this lifestyle. Just page after page of crudely drawn characters in an ugly world of unhappiness, ...more
Sep 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I think it perfectly captures a group of imperfect, flawed but relatable people, growing up and making choices that define us in our twenties to thirties. The characters reminded me of real people i knew, myself included. It depicted them unflinchingly, with compassion but also with clarity about people's limitations. The graphic novel definitely improved (especially the art) as it went along and the pacing feels odd but I felt this was something you just have to delve into. It had a Dickensian ...more
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Wonderful graphic novel. Box Office Poison follows a few years in the lives of a group of loosely connected New Yorkers. Lots of relationship and professional angst. It feels so very real; lies do not usually get uncovered to dramatic effect, fights and misunderstandings do not always get resolved, the hero does not always get the girl. People don't usually grow and change very much; who they are is who they are.

And the nudity is extremely UNflattering.
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics-etc
i am smarter than everyone else, men who are better looking than me are dumb, women who are out of my league are the same, immigrant new yorkers have funny accents, some dudes date high schoolers and use date rape drugs and that's not my problem, etc etc

didn't really Get anywhere

art was okay, i liked how many characters were introduced, the little tidbits and multiple storylines were cool
Dec 29, 2014 rated it did not like it
I just don't get it. Drawing is lackluster and the story is boring. I wasn't expecting superheroes or anything but zzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Derek Royal
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Reread to prepare for my interview with Alex Robinson, It's been much too long since I last read this book. Outstanding!
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
loved this book. if you like indie, slice of life, character driven stories, then this is for you.
Sep 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Been 4 years, decided to give this a re-read. Still fantastic, and leaves me quite inspired to tell a story like this myself.
Klaas Roggeman
Jan 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-finished
This is a slice-of-life graphic novel, but what a boring slice it is!
All customers at a bookshop are annoying and incredibly dumb. Way to go to basically insult your potential readers. The protagonists are mainly twentysomethings with shitty jobs, who try to make it as artists (writer or comic book artist) and their daily struggles. But these struggles are hardly interesting, poetic or poignant. Just mainly boring.

Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Yeah. The reviews on this are mixed. I get it. Think High Fidelity, but with comics. Sorta. If you're not relating to these people, it will be a total slog at 600 pages. I found it funny and bittersweet. it might be more instructive if people gave their ages with their reviews. I am about two years younger than Alex Robinson.
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fully realized characters and credible plot lines. I wonder how the real life wife liked her portrayal as a smokes and drinks too much insecure hottie. I hope somebody actually does a graphic novel about Emma Goldman. I enjoyed all the stupid questions asked of Sherman the protagonist bookstore clerk, but it made me wonder if my store clerk questions are any better.
Arunava Banerjee
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There are people there are ways there's writing there's thinking there's drawing there's art there's listening there's framing there's comics there's heart there's crushing belittling quiet unspeakable unsurprising yet sudden shifts of empathy.

Such is Alex Robinson.
Such is the towering grounded ensemble of highs and sighs that is Box Office Poison.
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Alex Robinson was born in the Bronx on 8 August. He grew up in Yorktown Heights, New York where he graduated high school in 1987. His first job upon graduation was washing dishes in a gourmet deli and it was while working there he decided that maybe college was a pretty good idea afterall.

He spent one year at SUNY Brockport and then transferred to an art school in New York City, where he majored

Other books in the series

Box Office Poison (6 books)
  • Bop!: More Box Office Poison
  • Malas Ventas 1 - ¡Ríndete Dorothy!
  • Malas Ventas 3 - La casa de Tweed
  • Malas Ventas 2 - El regreso de Irving Flavor
  • Malas ventas 4 - La despedida de Jane y Stephen
“Most friendships, if the end at all, end not by earthquake, but by erosion. Your time together, which you used to take for granted, becomes something you need to schedule.
Slowly you're aware that the easy intimacy you shared got lost somewhere. You talk more and more about the past.”
More quotes…