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Usually presented in black and white six-panel strips, the comic is set in a typical American suburban neighbourhood backyard, and deals with a bad-tempered kid suffering from chronic migraine, and his interaction with his neighbour who constantly approaches him trying to befriend him.
The stories have a grim, sometimes absurd or surreal sense of humor, and often end up with Migraine Boy reacting violently to the irritation produced by his neighbour.
Over the course of the years, it was also published in other printed media, such as the Spy magazine, Flagpole Magazine, the Village Voice, UTNE Reader, The Baffler, Rolling Stone, and Entertainment Weekly.
In 1994, the US rock band R.E.M. chose Fiering to create the album cover for their album titled "Monster", after lead singer Michael Stipe saw Migraine Boy in the Flagpole magazine. This ultimately resulted in Flagpole introducing Stipe and Fiering to each other, and Migraine Boy being featured in the album's inside booklet.
A year later, in 1995 a 64-page book, called "Migraine Boy's Fairweather Friends" (ISBN 9780312143695), was published in the US by St. Martin's Griffin, featuring an introductory text written by Stipe.
- Migraine Boy
- Bearing gritted teeth and a permanent frown, Migraine Boy is the main character of the strip, and the one that gives it its name. Although his real name is never clearly stated, it is suggested to be "Joey" in the episode named "Blossom". He appears as a bad-tempered young boy with his migraine symbolized in the comic strips as wiggly lines around his head. In MTV's animated version, the migraine is also accompanied by a pulsating low sound, and the appearance of the wiggly lines and the intensity of the sound apparently respond to Migraine Boy's level of irritation.
- Migraine Boy's neighbour
- Appearing in mostly all of the strips, Migraine Boy's overjoyful neighbour is the most recurring character besides Migraine Boy himself. Despite his name never being mentioned, he has unofficially come to be known as Aspirin Boy. His interventions in the comic strips often consist of him trying to cheer up Migraine Boy, most frequently by trying to play games with him (usually dress-up ones), or trying to find ways to relieve him from his headache. He is also shown to frequently have the necessity to love and be loved by Migraine Boy. In numerous episodes, suggestions are even made that his feelings for Migraine Boy go beyond those of friendship and sometimes tend towards homosexual love, which disgusts Migraine Boy even more than usual.
Because there is seldom continuity or consistency in Migraine Boy, the strip can have him kill his neighbor in the last panel.
- named after the popular painkiller often used to treat migraines, is Migraine Boy's shih tzu pet dog. Although he is rarely seen, he has been shown to be able to perform human-like tasks such as talking or weightlifting.
- "MIGRAINE BOY". Mania.com. 2001-08-27. Retrieved 05-01-2010. Check date values in:
- "Migraine Boy". Everything2.com. Retrieved 09-03-09. Check date values in:
- "The R.E.M. Archive Database » Interview with Michael Stipe". 1994-09-21. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- "James Dean Conklin portfolio at GreenHead Media". Retrieved 09-03-2009. Check date values in:
- Migraine Boy: The Bet at YouTube Since June 2010, Fiering has been posting new Migraine Boy comics on the official Migraine Boy and Pals website.
- "1997 Webby Awards Nominees". Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- Migraine Boy - "Blossom"
- Migraine Boy - "Cupid"
- Migraine Boy - "X-tra Strength"