By Geoff Hoppe
Jan 13, 2008 - 15:34
Happy contains three stories. Planet Soft is the bizarre tale of a planet full of one-eyed bunnies whose love and good feelings overpower even the angriest invaders. Classroom Hi-Jinx is a satiric jab at the shallowness of high school life. Boy and Girl in Love depicts two attractive young people caught in the throes of romance.
The writing in all three stories shows potential. With more focus, Simmons could become a talented satirist. Too much anger infects the stories in Happy, though, and keeps them from being effective. There’s no subtlety to Simmons’ approach, and while bitter straightforwardness works in some cases—moments of Classroom Hi-Jinx are hilarious—it falls flat more often, and makes a story feel more like a rant.
The art is garish, but it’s clearly meant to be. Simmons’ ability to cause disgust with his illustrations is, in a sense, good. It shows he can elicit a definite reaction in the reader. That said, the pictures are annoying to look at. Furthermore, they aren’t funny. There are plenty of examples of funny-yet-demented art (Ren and Stimpy, at its best, does this), but Simmons isn’t one. His drawing, like his writing, is too overbearing.
Worth the money? Again, no.