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Maandag, Nick – The Follies of Richard Wadsworth


The Follies of Richard Wadsworth

If you’re pressed for time, or just generally don’t want to know anything about this book, let me just say that I don’t think I’ve laughed this hard at a book this year, or possibly for the last few years. It caused me to head right to Spit and a Half and grab every other comics he’s done. If you need more, I’ll continue, but I wanted to get that out of the way up front. This is a collection of three stories, and in defiance of tradition I’m going to save the longest one for last. The third piece in here is about a Buddhist disciple who is in a desperate struggle with his own horniness. The traditional techniques aren’t working, the temple is integrated (which makes the temptation constantly present) and his friend the monkey isn’t helping one way or the other. Hijinx ensue, along with the questioning of faith and belief in authority figures. The second story is about a night school class, which is an escalating series of events that I’m not even going to talk about, because I’ve rarely laughed harder than I did at this story and I don’t want to give away a single thing. Every note hit, it was exactly as long as it should have been… if civilization survives, this may eventually be taught as the perfect comics story. Finally there’s the main story, the title of the book, which is almost as funny as the one about night school. Or is it funnier? That internal struggle should tell you something. Richard Wadsworth gets a job teaching his philosophy theory, but he’s obviously aware on some level that he’s a fraud and is in a constant state of trying to compensate for it. Once again I don’t want to say anything, but his method of pretending he wasn’t eavesdropping on a conversation (and how he was immediately caught) made me put the book down for a minute because I was literally crying from laughing. And it only got more ridiculous from there, with a series of cascading fuckups and brazen attempts to bluff his way through situations. If you’re never read one of Nick’s books it’s difficult to describe his utterly deadpan humor, how facial expressions and the things not said are every bit as important as the dialogue. I’ll just say that nobody does it better, and this guy had better not get covid. We need to see another few decades of his comics at a minimum. $19.95

Maandag, Nick – Facility Integrity



Facility Integrity

I read plenty of comics for this website that I enjoy, as it would be silly to keep going as long as I have if I hated comics. But perfect comics are rare, and this one is damned near perfect, outside of possibly that title, but even that is perfect once you know what it means. This comics starts simply enough, with a manager of some sort starting a meeting by saying “pooping.” It’s hard not to be instantly intrigued, and it turns out that this guy has just completed a study that shows that productivity in his office is being wasted by 4% because of all the time spent in the crapper. This leads him to conclude that the only way to address this problem is to ban pooping during office hours, magnanimously leaving them the lunch hour for their daily poop. Naturally, the question of enforcing this comes up, which leads to the hiring of a few security guards: one for each of the restrooms, and one outside the office to make sure nobody tries to sneak out to use other facilities during business hours. When I describe this book as perfect, I mean specifically in his use of corporate speak and the ideas that are considered logical only in the office world, as he has that nailed. There are the office drones who dream of hitting the lottery (and put up with almost any indignity because of that false hope), the varying opinions of the temps who are hired as security guards (the one outside the office was clearly living for the moment that he eventually gets to “save the day”), and the cold way in which this whole idea is described as a good and necessary thing (down to the manager berating lesser employees for not coming up with this themselves). Even while writing this I’m thinking of several little moments that’s probably best for you to discover, but trust me when I say that this book is packed full of them. Honestly, the corporate world will probably find a way to make this idea work eventually, so when they do we can all look back at this book as the prophetic masterpiece that it is. Meanwhile, it’s a hilarious work of fiction showing how badly things can go wrong when “productivity” is the only concern. $10