Here’s the last issue of Happy (he’s concentrating on putting one big book out a year instead, as most people seem either unable or unwilling to keep any kind of a regular series going), so enjoy it! In here is the last part of the Cirkus storyline, which has kind of an anticlimactic ending, but I can’t see how else it was going to end. More incredibly odd and/or offensive things happen, a visual smorgasbord, if you will, and then it’s over. Next is a series of monster pictures, showing how they’ve lost all power in the modern day. Then you have a tract about females in general, which I thought was a rambling piece that didn’t touch some of his previous rants, although a few good points were made. Finally you have a short story about dental floss (sort of) and another, better rant about how comics are the best thing in the universe and everybody who reads/writes comics is much better than everyone else. His tongue was just slightly in cheek for this one, in case you were wondering. So it’s $3.50, these issues are all going to be collector’s items one day (assuming that people are reading anything at all in ten years, but then maybe they’ll be collectors items as one of the last examples of naked people anywhere!), so buy them while you can!
For those of you who hated his mini a few years back about his time traveling with a “circus” (scroll to the top of the page to see what I’m talking about), well, this is a continuation of his travels, so don’t bother. For those of you who thought it was all too confusing to keep up with, I think he does a much better job in here of putting everything together. Hey, it is a story about a wide array of people doing a variety of things, you know, and he has to try and squeeze in a reaction or two of his own here and there. ots of the things you’d expect a traveling show to encounter are in here. Venereal disease, licking a dog’s butt, Sasquatch, a clown, pies, fights, and a lot of drinking. Which only scratches the surface, really, but why go on? If this is the kind of thing you’d want to read you already know it, and if you hated the other mini you probably won’t give this a chance no matter how much I tell you to (although you really should pick it up). I liked it, so should you! $3.50, contact info is around here somewhere…
Is it too much to hope that eventually comics will gain widespread acceptance? See, there are probably plenty of people who just don’t care, and I’m usually one of them. But I was struck last night by the fact that this is exactly the kind of comic that has all the potential to be read by all kinds of people and loved but just doesn’t quite pull it off. I should make one thing clear before you start to draw conclusions: I loved this comic. Absolutely thought it was one of the best things I’ve read in months, a whole lot better than the first issue. That being said, his 7 page intro to his autobio tale about a day at the baseball park with his Dad was sure to turn off everybody who didn’t have an in-depth knowledge of autobio comics. Does that matter? Should anybody ever cater to the possibility that non-comics people might pick up an issue? No, pretty much never, in my opinion, but this is just the kind of thing that cements the fact that comics are going to keep their tiny audience and probably go no farther. I don’t want to spoil anything because everybody should really buy this, but I think this issue by itself should establish Josh as a name in comics, whatever that means. I laughed out loud more than a few times. He raised a lot of good points about how self-absorbed autobio comics are, but… well, decide for yourself. Helping Hand was the highlight of the book but, again, I’m not going to tell you what it’s about. And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with a elephant, bunny or chicken. Read it!
This is what is known as a “mood comic”, at least in my own personal dictionary. I still think that there will be a time and place when I enjoy this comic quite a bit (or even a time, a few hours or a few days from now, when I laugh at loud at something in this), but I’m writing this review right now, and right now I’m disappointed. Hey, it just didn’t strike me as all that funny. Blame the fact that I just woke up and am too sober to appreciate it if you want, but there you go. This is the single happiest goddamn book on the planet, that much is true. The first story involves the happiest planet in the world with all the happy rabbits who live on it, the second has a high school student get up and explain why the dorks aren’t popular but that they’re OK too, and the third one has two people in love basically talking about that fact. If you think this all sounds funny, maybe you’re right and I just wasn’t reading it right. And there’s more to all the stories, obviously, but I’m not going to give anything away. It’s an OK book, basically, but I was expecting more after the last thing I saw from him. Still, e-mail him if you want or order this from Top Shelf. If you e-mail him he might have some other stuff available too, so go with that. If I change my mind about this in the next few days I’ll tack something on to the end of this, OK?