Awful Lot collects the webcomic of the same name from Jon O’Briant. All of the characters are animals, but I’m not quite sure I would classify them as anthropomorphic. They do live lives similar to our own, but they resemble animals in nature. For instance snakes slide around like… well snakes they don’t have arms or anything. You’ll understand what the hell I mean when you read it. The story follows Awful, an opossum, on his dating life. That’s really all it is, but its O’Briant’s pseudo autobiographical storytelling that becomes the charm of the story. I say pseudo because it doesn’t outright say that this is biographical and it’s like made up stories with instances pulled from real life, but the personal nature of the story and relationships comes across biographical.
It reminded me a lot of Bug House which is a story that follows anthropomorphic bugs in a band. There are moments that really come across intimate. Awful has an interesting journey dating and growing as a character.
What was kind of funny and interesting to me was the metaphor for sex. Instead of saying sex the story says dancing and instead of drawing anything graphic it just shows the two characters actually dancing. I liked how O’Briant handled this because it can be both innocent and mature at the same time. The giveaway is when they start waking up in bed the next morning after “dancing.”
There isn’t a lot to say about the writing. It’s basically a series of conversations and that works for the theme of the story. Awful grows as a character and we see him go through several types of relationships and that makes him very relatable.
The art is in all black & white and works for the story. It’s not very detailed, but something about it is a perfect fit. I’m actually pretty impressed with the amount of animals O’Briant was able to convincingly illustrate.
Overall this was a fun read. The maturity of the story is relatable and stays with you after your done reading it, much in the way that Bug House stayed with me after reading that. I imagine you could check out the webcomic version and be satisfied, but reading it as one collection made for a better read.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Jon O’Briant Price: $8.99 Format: OGN Website