Today, making use of my extensive collection in Santander, I bring you a selection of comic strips that I particularly enjoy. Unlike comic series, graphic novels or volumes, I like reading comic strips because of their humour. I mean that was the point when they starting coming out as cartoons in the newspapers, to cause an effect with their gags and sketches. The use of sarcasm, the familiarity of the scenes, etc. However, please do not understand this as me reading them lightly or using them as easy reading, or something just to go by. There is a well established tradition in my family of reading these comic strips just as seriously and with the same dedication as any other comic series. My dad is an avid reader and fan of classics such as Dilbert, or Pearls Before Swine, and many others – Calvin and Hobbs being an all time favourite. However, my selection of today will be something perhaps a bit less familiar, at least in some cases. So here I go:
Suicide Bunnies – these two volumes crack me up every time. With hardly any text, just images and a perfect sense of sequence, this title just achieves dark humour above anything. In case you are not aware of it, suicide bunnies is a series about, well, some rabbits trying to end their lives…In the most hilarious ways. If I had to pick a favourite…that would be difficult, bu the grated bunny is pretty brutal! I think the success of the series is the fact that most people imagine rabbits being fluffy cute things doing not much but eating and sleeping and running around. No one expects such cuteness to try to kill themselves, and most of the time in pretty painful and slow ways! Suicide Bunnies shocks you with the unexpected, hilarious ironies and brilliant facial expressions (what skilled people can do with eyes and mouths that are hardly dots and lines). Nevertheless, please beware, this is not for sensitive people and the faint of heart.
El Joven Lovecraft (Young Lovecraft) – this is a title which I believe is now available in English too, although it was originally just a publication in Spanish. In any case, you should be able to get this online without much trouble. The setting already gives you the perfect excuse to create a comedic environment, with its dark side: This is Lovecraft after all! But, with the narrative locating Lovecraft as young man, there is room for naivety, mistakes, issues and mishaps, which of course is exploited, along with the troubled stories created by the author, to create the most hilarious, tear dropping scenarios. I do sincerely recommend this to anyone who a)likes Lovecraft, b)whoever likes sarcasm, but not as dark as in Suicide Bunnies.
Les Blondes (The Blondes) – this is a french comic that was so popular it even got its own mini animated series in 2007 – which I believe is accessible via You Tube. The only issue is that I am not aware of an English translation. I personally own the series in Spanish and have read a few strips in French. The strips are about a few characters, all blonde, and the purpose is to exploit blonde stereotypes in ridiculous ways for the sake of the gag. And as a blonde, please do let me say they are just brutally amazing. I cried of laughter, it was brilliant. I didn’t think they were insulting or offensive, they were in truth honest, sometimes naive, most of the time pretty cheeky, but funny. So if you are the kind of person with a lighter kind of humour, and into perhaps more traditional sketches, this is for you. But don’t let its conventionalism undermine the content because the jokes are rather original.
So, if the new year hasn’t started quite as you expected it, or the cold and dark weather is getting you a bit blue…then fetch yourself some these comic strips, and let us know what you think.