Matt Furie, writer/artist
Teenage Dinosaur, 2006
This is one of the funniest comic books I’ve ever read. The closest thing I can compare it to is the music of the cock-mock-rock band Electric Six; both take the absolute lamest aspects of rokkin’-out culture–bad drugs, bad booze, bad food, bad jobs, bad taste–and po’-facedly present them like features of that lifestyle rather than bugs. Instead of phony rock gods, the main characters of Boy’s Club are a quartet of ’80s-style funny-animal cool dudes with all the right moves, like a cross between Bill & Ted, the Tri-Lams, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Many of the funniest gags center on their cliché-heavy responses to absurd situations–lots of big grins and thumbs up, statements like “oh snap!” and “it’s a free country” and “peace out!”, words like “amigo” and “awesome,” and so on. Meanwhile, the visuals come across like a sitcom version of Paper Rad, frequently riffing on drug experiences to pull of non sequitur sight gags like one character’s face melting off or morphing into Falcor from The Neverending Story. The best jokes–and in this book, that means they’re pretty goddamn great–combine goofball visuals with that deadpan duuuude humor: a six-panel grid of reaction shots to a particularly huge hero sandwich, a character’s response to finding another character’s vomit in the bathroom sink. They’re kind of like Achewood if that strip were done by the guy your roommate bought pot from in college rather than a software designer. It’s the kind of comic you’ll stick in friends’ hands and force them to read it. If you like humor comics I really can’t recommend it highly enough.