This is going to be an interesting review because I have no idea how to talk about Johnny Viable and His Terse Friends. I rarely research comics, because really you shouldn’t have to in order to enjoy them. I attempted to research this comic from Steve Aylett but ran into the same kind of nonsensical humor to describe it as what takes place in the comic itself. From what I can gather Aylett has gathered old comics, we’re talking Golden Age era comics, and reworked them for a new story. He uses the same word balloons and makes slight if any alterations to the art. The best way I can think to describe it is if Sealab 2021 was a comic book.
The bizarre and often times hilarious thing about Aylett’s stories for Johnny Viable and His Terse Friends, is that they kind of work as a story. At times there are very MST 3000 style of jokes that take place, but overall it’s nonsensical humor. None of it really makes any sense on its own, but in the structure of the comic it does… and doesn’t.
The point is I laughed and enjoyed reading it.
I read it in small doses though which I think is the best recommendation because too much at once numbs you to the irrational nature of the stories. Things like “buy ten dollars of lard using lard” becomes just another crazy ass sentence when you’ve just finished reading a story about a demonic teen that fucks with everyone on the phone, especially his grandmother.
Does anything in Johnny Viable and His Terse Friends make sense? No. In fact you might get dumber while reading it, but at the same time there’s something really great about it and I’m glad that I read it and had more than few chuckles while doing so.
Johnny Viable and His Terse Friends Creator: Steve Aylett Publisher: Alternative Comics/Floating World Comics Price: $7.95 Format: One-Shot; Print