Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Comic Review: Almost Silent
We here at In the Mouth of Dorkness can not get enough of the mad Norwegian comic creator Jason. Almost Silent is another large anthology, with lots and lots of shorts, and a couple longer stories. And it’s all kinds of twisted, hysterical, sad, and awkward fun.
‘Meow, Baby’ starts things off, and it’s primarily very short bits. A lot of them feature mummies, vampires, Frankenstein monsters, and Elvis. All with old-timey looking animal heads. You know, Jason style! You know what’s sad? A vampire that can’t score. Then gets staked. That’s sad. A mummy that feels guilty about masturbating. That’s sad. A Frankenstein’s monster doing…well, just about anything. That’s sad. Why can’t he just enjoy himself without a crowd of torch bearing peasants out for blood? And a terminator who isn’t very quick with a comeback. Sad. Next up is ‘Tell Me Something,’ which is just a darned depressing story about two couples, murder, and rain. How does this stuff make me smile, even while making me feel bad? The third section is ‘You Can’t Get There From Here,’ another story of love among lonely people. Two hunchbacked henchmen having coffee, an evil scientist, his male creation, and female creation in a love triangle. And then another female creation…what’s her deal? Torch bearing peasants, betrayal, kidnapping, and unexpected love. Wow. Lastly there’s ‘The Living and the Dead,’ a very, very sad story about love during a zombie apocalypse. A dishwasher who is trying to save up for a visit with a prostitute manages to save her from flesh eaters, and take her on a run for their lives. Again, it’s weird to find such awful things so cute and funny, while also finding them melancholic. But that’s what Jason does. That’s his gift, I guess. Mad bastard.
If you haven’t read Jason before…well, you’re not living your life correctly. But this isn’t the place to start. It’s not bad. If you’ve bought this book already, I’m not saying don’t read it. But if you haven’t (and you should), I would start with something like ‘The Left Bank Gang’ or ‘I Killed Adolf Hitler.’ Every time I read Jason, I feel good and bad, happy and sad. I think of old loves, and the ass I’ve made of myself. I think of all the things I wish I’d said, and all the things I really wish I hadn’t. But I also think of the bittersweet ecstasy of danger that comes with love. And sometimes, that’s what I need. Also, I like seeing Elvis and Godzilla fight.
Author & Artist: Jason
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books