Search This Blog

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Perry Bible Fellowship Almanack. Nicholas Gurewitch. Dark Horse Books (2009)


This collection of strips manages to be extremely funny without ever being humorous. The difference between comedy and humour has never been more starkly illustrated than in the strips written and illustrated by Nicholas Gurewitch. This is savage, biting comedy that will make a reader laugh out loud, it will never make a reader comfortable.

The content of the strips is varied, it is unified by a very bleak sensibility and a wonderful talent for compression. There are usually three or four panels to each strip and the set up and pay off have to be very skillfully composed to be effective within such a small space. The way that the strips impart the information that essentially lies between the panels is extraordinary, each strip has an unseen context that gives it an extra flavour and greater impact.

The figures are frequently white, mostly featureless, and human shaped. While this should drain some of the emotional content from the strips is manages to emphasise it instead which gives the frequently brutal pay-off an greater comedy impact. The strength of the writing is very impressive, the strips are all very tightly written, the ideas are unfurled with a strict economy of words and image and the pacing is crisp.

The layout of the book is excellent, there is a single strip per page so that each one is both of a size that is easy to read and none of the strips compete with each other. This is a great collection by a very talented creator, savage unconformable comedy with a bitter aftertaste that is truly and unforgivably funny.

No comments:

Post a Comment