Friday, January 30, 2015

Retrospective: Gunshow

When I decided to do this Retrospective, I didn't really think about it much.  After all, the comic was coming to an end, and I do these for those comics.

But the more I thought about it, the more I wasn't exactly sure what to write about Gunshow.  The problem isn't the comic, it's a pretty damn good comic, and I do recommend reading it.  The problem is that it's a Gag comic.  Gag comics are just that, a series of gags, jokes, typically once a strip or whatever.  They are the staple of the newspapers, and what everyone thinks when you say "comic" in reference to print for the most part.

And Gunshow very much is a gag comic.  Oh, there are a few stories over it's run, and I'll get to them in a moment, but for the most part this is just a comic about jokes.  So what is there to talk about really?  The comic is pretty funny, I think, but humor is subjective.

I could compare it to other gag comics, but even that's kind of hard.  Every gag comic is different.  Cyanide and Happiness typically goes for the shock and crude humor, and Gunshow did that, but not all the time.  Chainsawsuit goes for the completely absurd, and Gunshow did that too, but sometimes it wasn't that absurd, and it was clear it wasn't being very serious about it.  Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal often goes for the more cerebral jokes, and, yes, Gunshow did those, but not to the same extent.

Gunshow did it's own thing, as most gag comics do.  It never quite did the same joke twice, or if it did, it tried to put a new twist on it.  Sometimes the gag was visual, sometimes it wasn't.  It wasn't always flat out funny, but often enough that I enjoyed it.  There were some odd experiments, like the series of horror strips this past October, but that was about it.

There were a few storylines, but nothing that would elevate the comic beyond it's gag status.  The Anime Club, the rabbits and the Gravedigger story were vehicles for more jokes, and didn't mean anything to each other or the rest of the comic as a whole.  But they were good, in their own way.  The Gravedigger story, especially, was quite good, especially the ending.

It was a good comic, damn good, and again, I recommend it, and I'm saddened it is gone, but not so much because I love Gunshow so damn much.  I enjoyed it, yes, but it reminds me of the steady disappearance of good gag comics on my read lists.  Oh I still have Bob the Angry Flower and Wonderella (whenever he gets back to updating it), as well as the other three I mentioned, but their numbers are dwindling.  I don't know if it's because I do tend to look for more story driven comics than straight up gag strips or if there are just fewer gag comics out there.  The latter would not surprise me in the least, actually.

But Gunshow also reminds me that even gag comics can tell stories, have good, and interesting art, and occasionally hit that emotional button just right.  The artist is moving on to other projects, including a couple comics, and I will be trying to keep tabs on them.  In the meantime, I will remember Gunshow and maybe reread it at some point, and I think you guys should too.

Next time, I do a Not-So-Wild Review, but this one is kind of different.  Until then kiddies.

1 comment:

  1. Do you accept requests? (Sorry to ask you here, but I couldn't find any other way to contact you.)