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posted January 2, 2007
Fantagraphics, softcover trade, 144 pages, February 2006, $16.95
I really liked the 2003 mini-comic and the on-line versions of this work I'd seen, and this volume, although largely ignored when it came out, is just as good if not better. This is Jason's funny work, the laugh out loud oddball stuff. Mostly silent, like much of Jason's work, this is gag stuff starring Jason's anthropomorphic creatures joined by various monsters. In Jason's case, classic monsters like the mummy, skeletons and werewolves are joined by Elvis, Darth Vader and the Terminator. Something about the way Jason plays Elvis -- and Jesus, for that matter -- as another walking stereotypes prone to acting out his identity like any old vampire strikes me as deeply amusing.
There's also something to Jason's deadpan presentation, particularly when he takes his stories that extra step. He has a gag where a mummy pops a cloth-wrapped boner that's funny enough, but then when he gets rid of it the mummy remembers his Mom scolding him for masturbating and starts crying. Most of the gags are like that, trots through the pathetic nature of monsters' secondary characteristics, how we all have our shticks that don't seem to be making us any happier. If there's a downside to the book, it's the old collection thing: some of the gags are a little ordinary compared to others, and those end up being not quite as funny after you've seen thirty or so better developed ones.