Viola, Jason – Herman the Manatee #3
Herman the Manatee #3
So much for all those boats hitting Herman on the head. Granted, Jason was able to make that running gag funnier for longer than I would have thought possible, and frankly he probably has it in him to make it funny again, but this issue veers away from that concept. In this one Herman is in jail. In case you were wondering why, it’s because he was hanging posters without a permit. Yes, the laws of the sea can be unduly harsh. Herman meets a couple of new friends in jail, one a self-loathing manatee (which is why he’s in jail) and a narwhal who is in jail because he killed other narwhals. Stories in here include a complicated escape plan, some time back out in the wild, and an even more complicated rescue plan. If I say any more than that this whole thing will get ruined, but I’m loving this change of direction. Sure, he still got hit on the head by a boat, but I think it was only the one time, and the individual strips are forming a cohesive narrative much more smoothly than they were in the first issue. Several strips don’t seem to have anything resembling a punchline, which is a welcome sight to me at least. And Jason’s art, even though he often doesn’t need to do much (what with it all taking place in the vast underwater ocean), is stellar everywhere. I was hesitant to go all in on this one because I was afraid it would get repetitive but you know what? Screw it. This is a damned fine comic book, and people who enjoy damned fine comic books should go out and spend some money on it. $3, or I just saw on his website that he’s selling the collection of #1-4 for $10, which is a steal.