Comics on Fire #1
by Paul Hack
Paul Hack is a great name for a cartoonist. I hope he invented it for himself, but maybe he was just born lucky.
Comics on Fire #1 is full of short gag comics about outerspace, science, life and household objects. Basically it’s mash-up of different styles and ideas with the common thread of comedy.
The humor is what makes this a cohesive book, despite the diverse subjects and artistic styles. So whereas some first or experimental mini-comics come off as a jumble of dissimilar ideas leading you to different conclusions about the author’s intent or ability, the point of Comics on Fire #1 is always to make you laugh, and Hack hits the mark every time.
The delightful irony of Hack’s name comes from his strong voice as a writer. He picks situations and tells jokes that would be total groaners in the wrong hands, but the pace is so quick and his point so apparent, that he’s really right for…I hate to say it…”bad” comedy. Because he’s so GOOD at it! Like a favorite Uncle who turns all your anecdotes into puns at Thanksgiving dinner. Hack’s comics are witty, but so plentiful (at least one per page in this book) that it might be difficult for the reader to constantly appreciate it.
His comedic timing and wordplay come across even stronger because of his childish drawings. The words hang strong right on top of his simple art, make you laugh, and when your eye returns to the art for confirmation of the joke, you realize he’s actually pretty great at expressive communication as well. And because the art is kind of simple, your eye doesn’t linger too long on it, which keeps up the pace and makes the jokes punchy and fun. It’s a winning combination, and a good example of simplicity done well.
Comics on Fire #1 is a really enjoyable book. If it’s offered to you as a trade, snap it up. Otherwise, try getting it for $3 by contacting the author through his blog.
– Sarah Morean