Saturday, January 1, 2011

Guest Review: Johnny Ryan reviewed by Eric Nelson

Johnny Ryan, Comic Book Holocaust. Oakland, Ca.: Buenaventura Press, 2006. Comics. 128 pages. ISBN: 978-0976684893.

In the graphic, gleefully offensive world of Johnny Ryan, body parts fly through the air and all bodily orifices (both natural and unnatural) are ripe for penetration. From the creator of Angry Youth Comics comes this book of sketches skewering comics ranging from Krazy Kat to Hi and Lois. Many times the jokes have little to do with the original content or turn on a dime into a wild tangent, an interesting choice considering every comic is exactly one-page long.

While some criticism has pointed out the fact that for Ryan, the laugh lies in how horrible the joke is in the first place, leading to the question of "Why do we need a full book of this?" I think one thing that's neglected in that discussion is the amount of detail given to each piece. While obviously the jokes won't be for everyone (Archie tells Jughead about his plan to put a firework in poor Betty's ass for being "a bananahead"), enough darts are thrown at the board to make a reader (and especially a writer) go back at the end, knowing they missed something. Highly recommended for comics nerds and those with a nasty streak. Guaranteed to put you on anyone's naughty list.

Reviewed by
Eric Nelson, zinester and author of Silk City Series (Knickerbocker Circus Publishing, 2010)

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