Box Office Poison

Box Office Poison

"Box Office Poison" is an acclaimed series of comic books by Alex Robinson and published by Top Shelf Productions.

The story concerns the life and trials of a group of young people in New York City. It has been translated into Spanish, titled "Malas Ventas" and French, titled "De mal en pis", which won the Prix du premier album (Prize for First Comic Book) at the 2005 Angoulême International Comics Festival.


BOP features a wide array of major, supporting, and minor characters from many walks of life.

Lead characters

*Sherman, a bookstore clerk. His hatred of his job is never "quite" enough to get him to quit.
*Ed: Sherman's friend. Ed has aspirations of being a major cartoonist, which are hampered by the various twists and turns of the industry.
*Beatrice Dorothy Lestrade, who goes exclusively by her middle name. Works at a magazine. Sherman's girlfriend throughout the book.
*Stephen Gaedel, history professor. Stephen is living in the same apartment building with Sherman.
*Jane Pekar, cartoonist, and Stephen's longtime girlfriend. Her hatred for Dorothy is a recurring characteristic. (Also, her last name appears to reference famous underground comics writer Harvey Pekar.)
*Irving Flavor, a cartoonist and creator of the fantastically popular 'Nightstalker' character. With some help from Ed, he is coaxed into fighting Zoom Comics, the owner of the Nightstalker, for some payback on the profitable franchise.

upporting characters

*"The Dragon", Sherman's superior. She calls him into her office multiple times to reprimand him against various mess-ups.
*Sora Tweed, owner of the apartment building Sherman lives in. She ultimately dies of a heart attack.

Minor characters

*Emil and Mora Yossarian, residents of the aforementioned apartment building. Their last name appears to be a nod to Joseph Heller's "Catch-22", featuring a man named Yossarian (and whose first name is later revealed to be John). The book "Catch-22" is featured later in the story, reinforcing this idea. Emil appears to be on probation. The Yossarians have a dog and a baby.


The 605 page volume of the series was nominated for the Harvey Award for Best Graphic Album of Previously Published Work in 2000, and an Eisner Award, Ignatz Award and a Firecracker Award in 2001 and 2002. The French version of Box Office Poison called "De Mal En Pis," won the Prix Du Premier Album at Angouleme, France in 2005.

Media referenced in "Box Office Poison"

BOP references a large and eclectic body of media. Below is a partial list:

*"Betty Boop"
*"Breakfast of Champions"
*"Dick Tracy"
*"Judge Judy"
*"The Jungle Book"
*"The Kids in the Hall"
*"The Simpsons"
*"Sophie's World"
*"South Park"
*"Spinal Tap"
*"Star Trek"
*"Star Wars"
*"Venus on the Half-Shell"
*"Wallace and Gromit"
*"Where's Waldo?"

External links

* [ Box Office Poison website]
* [ Comic Book Awards Almanac]

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