Crowded humor, non-sequitors and sexy, deadly vixens are just a few of the things you'll find in Brendan McGinley’s reviews this week. Discover for yourself the fan appeal of Josh Howard's Hips & Crossbones, or be prepared to break a funnybone for Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle.
Tales Designed to Thrizzle
Blast the copywriters that made cliché terms out of "oddball, wacky, zany" and other such cheese-invoking triggerwords. They've mutilated all the terms that should be saved for Michael Kupperman without negative connotation.
A beautiful, pop cover seals a collection of mostly non-sequiteur humor that anyone should be able to appreciate for the art even if their funnybone is broken. If the book has a weakness, it's staying in a tight confine of punchlines, and while one can never predict what that payoff will be, and it's always good, the reader risks a little desensitization to the out-of-left-field humor.
Perhaps smaller doses are better, but by no means should you miss a single gag from the creator of Snake 'n' Bacon. It takes a steely character to stifle a guffaw at running gags like "Sex Blimp" and "Jesus' Half-Brother Pagus," who looks like an extra from Jack Kirby or He-Man.
It's true laughter, and we need more of it in comics… and life.
Hips & Crossbones: The Art of Josh Howard
Josh Howard, breakout star of Dead@17, feeds his growing fanbase with a sketchbook that's exclusively pin-ups of goth and punky girls. There's no denying Howard's talent for the female form, nor the prettiness of his idiosyncratic art style. Even though the girls are almost all short-haired brunettes, they have their own faces. When is he going to realize the killing he could make with Hot Topic merchandise?
The same fanbase that found his comics is just a segment of the demographic parading through malls to coordinate their appearances to those of the fantasy femmes in this book. Who wouldn't want to be, date or sport a Howard girl? They're dangerous little vixens, but there's not a one you couldn't wrap in your hoodie sweatshirt and scoop up for a hug.
The work itself is divided into five sections. “Hearts and Violence” is tied together by anime-style, hard-edge airbrushing. “Blood and Lace” has the same contourless, paper-cut look of Kyle Baker's Plastic Man. “Bullets and Blush” is raw sketches with a grayscale digital wash. “Scars and Rose Petals” are grayscale hard-edge airbrush, and “Lies and Neckties” are pure sketch with a touch of real wash.
Brendan McGinley is a long-time writer for ComicBase. His comic favorites include anything featuring Grim Jack, Punisher, Guy Gardner, Green Lantern, or written buy Evan Dorkin, Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, Deadpool… and the list goes on. But he insists he is of discriminating tastes.