Ever wondered what it might be like to work as a bouncer in New York City? Cartoonist Chuck Collins has done it, and some of his experiences inform the alternately hilarious, distressing, and downright bizarre Bounce!, his webcomic about two sci-fi, anime, and movie geek bouncers who deal with some of the city’s wildest bar patrons. The Beat previously featured the Bounce! 2017 Halloween Special, which is excellent — but so is the entire comic.
Written and illustrated as a series of strips, many of them stand-alone, Bounce! uses timely pop culture references and slice-of-life interactions to tell its tale. Collins’ writing is super sharp, especially when paired with his harsh, angular artwork — which serves to beautifully emphasize his characters’ body language and expressions. Each update pops, whether it’s in color or black and white, and the ruthlessness with which Collins tackles current news is worthy of applause. It’s easy to believe that all of these moments have happened in real life, even when they clearly dive into the fantastical, science fictional, or just plain absurd.
Aggressive patrons are depicted as being possessed or demonic or just straight-up creepy; regulars slowly transform into lecherous goblins over the course of a few rounds; people call to complain about the bar not finding (or keeping) their illegal drugs. Through it all, the bouncers and bar staff at Ogun’s manage to stay sane through a rigorous application of video games, anime, and shit-talking.