Happy Town #7
So there I was at SPACE, trying to remember which issues of this series I already had laying around. I panicked and just got the latest issue, knowing that I couldn’t have that one… but I missed a lot of the story that leads up to this. Not to worry, there’s a graphic novel coming out from Justin in the summer and I can only hope that everything gets collected in there. In this story the town has been in the middle of a blizzard for three days and tempers are getting frayed all over the place. People are floating for no reason, the flight to Saturn has been postponed and there are more characters than you can shake the proverbial stick at. I won’t try and pretend to understand most of what was going on, but the bits with making robots and their creator being recently out of prison were great. Phenomenal art and a story that’s quickly turning into a saga, this is a book to watch out for in the next couple of years. Mark my words, he will be published soon (assuming that his graphic novel isn’t published by someone other than him) and I’d recommend seeing what he’s all about here so you can see what there is to see. Contact info is above, check the descriptions of the issues so you don’t get the wrong ones and end up lost like me…
Happy Town #5
Uh…. oops. This is a story in the middle of a long story arc and, while the recap at the start was helpful, the truth of the matter is that I have very little idea of what’s going on here. There’s real life conversation over here, there’s a man with a metal arm chopping the head off a demon over there… What I can tell you is that I love the ear for dialogue that this guy has, and there’s something about the look of his characters that just makes them endearing. Don’t worry, when I get my next batch of USS Catastrophe stuff, I’ll get caught up on this series, and I’ll be able to tell you what’s up. Until then, try to start off with an earlier issue than this so you’re not as lost as I was, OK? Contact info is above, and you already know where the USS Catastrophe page is, don’t you? Oh, fine, it’s right here.
Anybody who picks this up thinking of the Mr. Show skits involving World’s Greatest Grandpa and expect to be laughing out loud at this has a big surprise in store. This is a genuinely moving tale of a father looking for his missing daughter years after he has given up hope of ever seeing her again. Justin does an incredible job of making you feel what the man is going through, and what he’s been going through in the years since her disappearance. It’s $2 and not on his website that I can see, but that’s probably because he hasn’t updated in a while. I’m sure if you e-mail him that he’ll scrounge up a copy. In the meantime, get some copies of his Happy Town books. I’ll probably get around to reviewing more of them one of these days when I’m not so lazy, but he really has a command of his craft that is rarely seen in minis these days. Might have something to do with the fact that he’s been doing this for years. Anyway, this story could ham it up or fail in several ways, and it’s rare to see something succeed this completely. Did I mention yet that you should buy it?
Happy Town Vs. Neil Jam
If you have “vs.” right in the title, doesn’t that mean that there has to be some sort of an epic battle in the book? Maybe I’ve just read too many superhero comics when I was a kid, but having a “vs.” in the title just screams out for mayhem. Not so much with the mayhem here, as it’s mostly about the some of the main characters from either creator (Justin Madson with Happy Town And Neil Fitzpatrick from Neil Jam) trying either to spend some alone time with the girlfriend or just getting away from it all. It turns into a giant web of deceit and lies, and proves once again that the best thing might not be getting what you want. I thought it was a fun little book, but only essential if you were already big fans of both books, for the sheer “gee whiz” factor of seeing these worlds crammed together. If you’ve never heard of one or both of these series, please remove yourself from your cave and check them out, as they’re both consistently wonderful. Then come back to check this out so you can see what it’s like when they’re all in one place. Contact info is around here somewhere, Justin Madson has a page on this website if you want to learn more about the man, and this one is oh, let’s say $3.
Happy Town #11
It’s like a yearly ritual at SPACE for me, or at least it is when I see Justin there: I get to his table, see all these gorgeous Happy Town books… and draw a complete blank on where I’m at in the series, as in most cases I haven’t read it since the year before. Lovely! So this year it was even worse than usual, as the last issue I got before this one was #7, leaving quite a continuity gap. So how do you write a review without actually giving anything away regarding the contents? Luckily I perfected this years ago, so I can give it a shot. In here you have a botched launch, an attempted suicide, robot love, a punched Mayor, jetpacks, a robot with a gun and a blizzard. One of these days (and if I had a nickel for every time I said this I would have a whole lot of nickels) I’ll get all of these and get a solid idea of what’s going on here, but until then you’ll just have to settle for a yearly blast of incomprehensibleness. Oh, Justin did make it clear in the back of this that he has no idea how this story is going to end, and if you look at his website you can see that he has a lot of books available, not all of them having anything to do with Happy Town. Check it out, if you’re smart you’ll buy a collection of the stories (if such a thing exists yet) and get caught up, as the sheer fact that this is a great comic every time even though I have little idea of what’s going on is an excellent mark of quality…