Published on May 16th, 2014 | by JCDoyle0
Tales From The Con – Comic Review
Brad Guigar and Chris Giarrusso plate up a compilation of cartoons all relating to Comic Convention Experiences. They dish out clichés and stereotypes liberally with a side order of insider gags. There isn’t a story as it’s a collection of cartoon strips and single panel gags which is fine but it feels like there isn’t much structure to the comic. Short cartoons work well on the internet or in daily newspapers but in this format it seems a bit pointless. A big collection in book format, which Image do so well with other strips, would at least give it some collectability.
The artwork by Chris Giarrusso is bold and humorous. He draws a collection of characters which are easily recognisable to anyone who has been to a Comic Convention, however not all the representations are flattering. The jokes themselves range from outright funny through groaningly obvious to almost offensive. There are a number of very clever and insightful gags but these are separated by cheesy one liners which some will find funny, especially if you are a fan of The Big Bang Theory, and some jokes that are a little bit uncomfortable. At times it feels like they are laughing at the fans expense instead of laughing along with a clever in joke.
In the light of recent controversies, such as offending t-shirt slogans, a number of the cartoons already seem dated even before they have been published and have an element of bad taste. When the comic industry needs to embrace inclusion and widen its audience, making fun of cosplayers and leacherous men seems mistimed at best. This is a shame because there is a lot to like about this comic and there are some genuine funny cartoons. Gags like the Boba Fete and the Paranoia comic book stand (where all the pictures are of heads staring at the uncomfortable man behind the desk) are witty and laugh out loud funny. These can also be shared around you’re group of friends in the knowledge that the worst case scenario is they just don’t get it. However jokes about hiding the ‘sexy ‘ assistant while the stall holders send photos’ to their wives would be more at home in a copy of Top Gear magazine.
There will be defenders of these cartoons, people who chant ‘it’s just a joke’ and I would agree with them up to a point, everyone has a different sense of humour. However I think we should be parodying our collective experiences without singling out a group to ridicule, especially in products created in our favourite medium. Comedy is difficult, it’s hard to get the right balance and sometimes the target audience can be difficult to find. Image have put this comic out in connection with the Emerald City Comicon and I think that some of the readers may be expecting something smarter, something that they can relate to. Unfortunately this appears to be aimed only at a particular element of comic book fandom and not as inclusive as it could have been. With a little bit more care over the editing, this comic would have been something to take home and cherish, to remind you of those times you were at a convention. As it stands it is a few good gags mixed in a bowl of ‘easy targets’ and mocking nerd references.
Title: Tales From The Con
Writer: Brad Guigar
Artist: Chris Giarrusso.