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Hey Mister: After School Special

By Andy Doan
Jan 8, 2008 - 17:43


This novel is a collection of short stories about drinking depression and death. It is the assembly of the original five issue out of print mini series by author/illustrator Pete Sickman-Garner and two additional previously unpublished stories. It features a small cast of very bizarre characters who live in a place a little outside of reality. The characters in this book seemed to have been created for no other reason than for us (the readers) to take pleasure in the utter defeat and failure of others. Did I mention that this is a comedy?

Development and continuity are not important parts of what happens here. The personality traits of the characters are kind of hard to nail down from story to story with any amount of depth. There are a few hopeless losers and a suicidal youth with a group of generally depressed people making up the supporting cast. Victory and success are not in the cards for anyone in this book. Most of what you'll see will be sadness and defeat mixed with embarrassment and anger. The author seems to succeed in turning the depths of depression into a well of comedy. You may be sympathetic enough to feel sorry for some of the characters but for the most part the narrative turns out to be more of a parody of reality rather then a reflection of it.

The art ranges from the insanely surreal to the down right terrifying,with many stops in-between (e.g. See "Do Ponies Bite?"). The illustrations keep pace with story lines that scale from the destruction of a petri dish universe to a boy sitting alone with his dead hamster. You will see stark differences in the art as the book progresses but everything seems to match perfectly with the mood and theme of the individual segment.

This is not a book that I could recommend based on the strength of the story telling. Each segment alone is nothing more then the set up for a bizarre joke with the twisted punchline coming through in the last panel. Although there are a few unforgettable scenes most of the stories caused me to snort rather then laugh. If you were the type of person that grew up with Mad magazine in the 80's and 90's this novel will deliver.

Last Updated: Jun 26, 2018 - 9:28

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