The name really says it all with this title. Psycho Gran follows the demented, dark comedy exploits of an elderly woman. The issue contains several short stories by David Leach staring the character Psycho Gran. Dark Comedy really is the best description I can think of for this story because each tale has some crazy aspect to it. In the first tale we find Psyho Gran standing on a pier yelling “159” over and over. Finally a man approaches her to see what all the fuss is about and why she’s yelling “159” continuously. Well he’ll never know the answer to that question because Gran shoulders him over the side of the pier and begins shouting “160.” This story sets the pace for the series as we see that this old lady has some incredible strength and isn’t all there.
They don’t all end with murder… a larger percentage of them do, but another one that illustrates the humor of the book shows Gran in a public bath in what looks like a Jacuzzi. The jets are blowing and Gran is enjoying herself until another woman gets in with her. The woman comments that she didn’t realize public baths had Jacuzzi’s and Gran gets out… the bubbles stop… and she informs the woman that they don’t.
Because of the short story nature there’s not a narrative or connecting story for all the shorts. Instead Leach has created a reoccurring character in the vein of MAD Magazine. Much like MAD, the humor is either something you’ll get and enjoy or be turned off by. I actually had a fun time reading Psycho Gran and think Titan has made a great decision in making it issues rather than a collected trade. Stories like this with a reoccurring comedic beat can lose their punch after so many pages.
The art is actually really crisp and detailed for series like this. It’s fully colored, but impressively colored at that. I’ve read a lot of collections of short stories and the coloring and art is usually where they suffer since they’re just trying to get the content out. It could be that it’s been cleaned up for Titan and if so that was a great choice as it adds to the story. Gran looks crazy. She never once looks like a helpless old granny, but rather the granny of a mad scientist. What’s interesting is that Leach gives Gran several costume changes which again is uncommon in the short story genre; however she does maintain her trademark bonnet, purplish hair and thick framed yellow glasses.
Psycho Gran is a lot of fun. It reminded me of the first time I read MAD and how much fun that was. Again this series isn’t going to be for everyone, but if you’re down with the humor that I’ve described then you’re going to enjoy reading Psycho Gran for sure.
Writer/Artist/Creator: David Leach Publisher: Titan Comics Price: $1.99 Release Date: 4/26/14 Format: Digital Comixology Link