Graphic Novel Threefer: Jack of Fables Vol. 9 & The Fart Party, Vol. 1 & 2
Length: 136 pages
Started / Finished: 11 August 2011
Where did it come from? The library.
Summary: Everyone from previous volumes of Jack of Fables – the Page sisters, the Fables from the Golden Bough Retirement Center, Jack Frost, etc. – all converge on Jack (even more annoying now that he’s turned into a dragon) with their own scores to settle. Everyone dies.
Review: I know I said I gave up after the previous volume, but I saw this was the last one, and I’m still apparently secretly clinging to my completist habits. I think part of the problem with the Jack of Fables series was that it was so all over the place – one storyline in one issue, another in the next, something else in the one after that, etc. – that it was hard to get too attached to any one character or involved in any one plotline… particularly after the Literals storyline ended. So, when all of the storylines that I’d mostly forgotten about converged… there were a few funny bits, and a few good lines, but on the whole, it was pretty boring – way more so than a battle royale involving a dragon ought to be. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
98 & 111. The Fart Party, Vol. 1 & 2 by Julia Wertz (2011)
Length: 178 & 192 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction, Humor
Started / Finished: 28 July 11 and 27 August 11
Where did it come from? Bought from the author.
Summary: The Fart Party is the unfortunately named but frequently hilarious autobiographical comic of twenty-something smartass San Franciscan Julia Wertz. Volume 1 is less of a graphic novel and more of a collection of one-off comics on the daily absurdities of life and relationships, although the end of the collection deals with her boyfriend Oliver leaving for law school in Vermont. Volume 2 takes up the fall-out from the end of their relationship, and Wertz’s subsequent decision to move to New York City, including fewer one-off comics but a lot of travel sketches.
Review: Wertz’s humor is not for everyone; it is unapologetically crass, and it features a fair amount of swearing, booze, sexytimes, and fantasizing about ripping off the limbs of that one really annoying person at work. But if all of that is a-okay by you, then Wertz’s comics are hilarious, and what’s better, hilariously recognizable. Her vignettes mostly feature things that happen to everyone: getting mad at someone because of something they did in a dream, dancing around your house in your pajamas, making big plans for the day but getting sidetracked and suddenly realizing it’s midnight… but somehow they’re much funnier when they’re happening to her. Her artwork is black & white pen and ink, uncomplicated and straightforward in a way that works really well with the comic timing of her strips. Most of the stuff in these two volumes I’d already read on her website, but I didn’t mind revisiting them… and it all still made me giggle, even the second time around. 4 out of 5 stars.
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