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Crum, Kel – Cornelia Cartoons #12


Cornelia Cartoons #12

You’ll most likely be a bit lost if you didn’t read the last issue of this series, as this is a rare two part story, but I can sum it up for you. A new drug has been introduced that makes people deliriously happy, which really screws up the profits of the drug companies and various other folks who make a living on treating the depressed. This issue starts off with our heroine forced to hand over the formula to this wonder drug to a masked figure, who then loses it to another masked figure, who then loses it to another masked figure. It turns out that each of these people represents one of the many interests that would be adversely effected if this drug goes into mass production, leading to a pretty damned funny scene of them all trying to figure out who would be the most damaged and what their options were. The real fun begins when they each realize that they’d like to try the drug out for themselves, which they all unfortunately do before learning of the many possible side effects from taking the drug. From there things get more or less happily wrapped up, including an incredibly awkward revelation from the woman who was tricked into psychiatric care in the last issue. There’s also a very short story at the end about a man who finds himself trapped in one of those comic pratfalls that happen every time somebody hears something truly shocking. You know, the famous Robert Crumb (among others) habit of having only the upraised feet visible on the panel when somebody faints dead away from shock/indignation/general astonishment. It’s a nice extra funny bit after things got a little heavy in the main story, so no complaints here. This two part story is really worth a look if you’re at all interested in what legal drugs are doing to people and what the next logical step to the whole thing is. Or even if you just like funny bits of conversation about such things, as it’s not all as heavy as I’m making it out to be. The man just had a point that he wanted to make and I think he made it very well. $2

Crum, Kel – Cornelia Cartoons #11


Cornelia Cartoons #11

Ah, the first of the random grabs from SPACE 2012. Random grabs for comics to review, that is, as I already have a few of Kel’s comics up here and I was actively looking for more of his work at the convention. This one is the first of two parts (which I believe is a first in this series, as there are usually a few shorter stories in each issue), and it deals with an interesting hypothetical discovery. A drug has been discovered that will “permanently remove all negative energies and self doubt.” Great, right? Not necessarily, especially if you take a step back and think of the many monied interests that would be affected. The drug companies are mad, the therapists are going out of business and there’s still the slight problem of a lack of overall testing on the drug and any possible side effects. So on the off chance that you bought past issues of this series and were wondering why it was mostly focused on a few characters (outside of the fact that it’s called “Cornelia Cartoons” and is mostly about Cornelia), well, this one is about the world in general and their reaction to this discovery. Mix in a fully automated therapist, a visit from a sleazy therapist that gets an old enemy drunk to trick her, a few belated ethical quandaries and a cliffhanger ending and you get this book. To be concluded in the next issue, so I’ll have more thoughts on the whole story then, but as the first part of a storyline this one had it all. All kinds of situations to be resolved and, while I have a few ideas of where this series will NOT be going based on that ending (just assuming from Kel’s past work on this front), I admit to have no idea of where it WILL be going, which is always nice. It’s worth a look, and if you’ve resisted trying his stuff over the years these two issues make up a nice hefty story for you to give it a shot. $2