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Viola, Jason – Herman the Mantee #5


Herman the Manatee #5

Ah, Herman the Manatee. Is it a bad sign that a comic this grim always cheers me up? Most likely yes, but I can live with that. The subtitle to this one refers to the fact that Herman has had enough, but he’s pretty much “had enough” from the get-go, so there are less changes here than you might think. Well, outside of the death of one of the main characters. Spoiler alert! Ah, relax, I’m not going to tell you which one dies. So by now you know the drill, as these comics show Herman, either alone or with some of his friends, dealing with his predilection for hitting his head on passing boats. That and his severe lack of a will to live, although most of his friends aren’t much help in that regard. Topics this time around include another look at Herman’s early years, the advantages and hilarious side effects of social networking, how manatees can be mistaken for mermaids, all kinds of self-pity, learning to dance, hoping for a nice afterlife, relaxing yoga poses, and casual murder. Those are the strips in the first half anyway. The second half is when things really pick up steam, what with the assault on a seahorse compound and the death of that character I mentioned earlier. Jason’s art has been damned near perfect from the start, and if I’ve never mentioned his penmanship before, well consider it mentioned. Sloppy lettering can take you right out of a book (if you can’t understand the words, it’s a little difficult to get lost in a story), but the man never crams words into word balloons that are far too small for them, he always spells everything correctly (and you know that I can be a dick about that if it goes wrong) and it’s alarmingly neat. Also, I’m only mentioning his penmanship because I’ve already praised every other aspect of his books and assume that you’re all reading this series by now, especially considering the many free samples on his website. If not, go over to his website, read some strips, forget about your own mortality for a bit. It’ll brighten up your afternoon! $3