Sunday, March 09, 2008

Back to Normal

Well, my finger is, anyway. I seem to have not done any permanent damage, as usual... But otherwise, not a lot to report. I'd like to do one of my long ranting posts on why I hate DST today, just to celebrate the joy of having to suffer several weeks of painful internal clock adjustment; but out of consideration for my readers, such as they are, I'm instead doing another webcomic post. This week's bundle of joy is "How to be Happy," by Shannon Wheeler. I met Shannon at Comic Con this summer, and he's a fabulous guy, very friendly and enthusiastic--about his own comics, but also the topic of comics and comic books in general. He made me wish our upcoming exhibit weren't limited to comic books, I'd have loved to get him involved. Maybe the next time around.

As usual, you can click to view it big. Shannon's mainly known for his cult-status comic character, Too Much Coffee Man; but "How to be Happy" mostly centers on a guy, his cat, and the occasional giant space squid. I love his art. I love the very simple, very expressive black linework. The cat in panel 2 is awesome, with only a few lines and dots we have a very earnest expression as the cat peers down at his owner--"You awake? Hello?" The cat flying out the door in panel 6, with his little stick legs crossed as he flails (just as my cats do in this exact situation)--and then the completely unexpected punchline. Perfect. One of my complaints with some webcomics is the failure to understand timing between panels--building up to a good solid punchline isn't easy, after all. Standup comedians have trouble with this concept all the time, it's not surprising some cartoonists do too. But "How to be Happy" consistantly delivers, whether he's doing a serial plot or a one-off. Even when he's doing a "god, I have writer's block" comic, the art never fails to charm me. So this is another one I strongly recommend checking out, if you're up for another webcomic in your life.