What one finds funny another finds disturbing, insulting, upsetting and annoying. It’s just the way of humor and we all have different senses of humor because it’s something that’s so personal. Your life experience, it seems, dictates what you might find funny so when something extremely profane comes that some find funny one might wonder what their experience was to make it funny to them and not funny to so many others. I explore a new graphic novel from Fantagraphics that can get pretty darn profane, but oh is it so very funny.
Mox Nox (Fantagraphics Publishing)
If you flip through this 56 page book you’ll immediately notice there are no words. Joan Cornellà draws most of these strips in six panels, one story per page. The stories involve death, dismemberment and all kinds of inappropriate behavior. While most of these stories are more odd than upsetting there’s still some very disturbing stuff on the page. There’s no nudity to be had though, so I’m sure most American audiences will be fine with it. Sad but true, but then again Cornellà’s style is so simple it actually invokes some dark stuff. Facial expressions are simple—usually just a line—but they convey so much due to the scene in which the characters live. It’s in this simplicity that Cornellà captures a deep seated sense of the human condition. These characters are in pain, confused or at worst malicious, but at their core they are broken, damaged and hurt. This is where the comedy comes from and boy is it hilarious.
Cornellà does something quite a bit in this collection and that’s have characters smile. It’s a perfect toothy smile that seems to suggest they are having the time of their lives. Of course, when they’ve got broken legs, or just witnessed another character’s head explode and the smile doesn’t go away, you laugh. You laugh because it’s so damn weird and upsetting. This isn’t funny! But it is, because that simple smile suggests a complexity underneath that’s unnerving.
While the creepy smile is used a lot it’s not the only source of the weird comedy—there are some incredibly weird things in this book. From pink bears with glassy killer eyes to giant dumb dogs with their tongues out you will find all sorts of peculiarities in this volume to enjoy. Certainly not every strip will make you laugh, but you’ll most definitely be thinking hard on what the heck is going on every single time.
I myself laughed quite a bit while reading this book and found myself going back numerous times to share with friends. There’s stuff in this volume that is so darn weird you’ll want to sit on the page and just take it in because you won’t be sure you’re seeing it right. Cornellà has a wild imagination and while it’s weird and disturbed it’s also genuine.
I got a kick out of this page.
Is It Good?
If you enjoy weird, disturbing and profane humor you’ll love this book. If you appreciate a twisted sense of humor you will be mesmerized.