Misery A Go Go

Posted: Tuesday, November 9, 2004
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Misery A Go Go Writer(s): Mark Crnolatas and Douglas Paszkiewicz
Artist(s): Randy Crider
Publishers: AAA Milwaukee Publishing
From: USA
Price: $2.75 (US)

There's nothing too sad, sick, offensive or unseemly that Mark and Douglas won't have a go at turning into a punch-line in this collection of short strips. The range of material if fairly random, though readers of Douglas' Arsenic Lullabie will recognise the continuing exploits of the staff of a mysterious government department that specialises in trying out very 'alternative' strategies for dealing with criminals. every wondered just what you can do with a prostitute that you 'accidentally' killed? How would Hitler deal with an overly curious oven repairman?

If you can ignore just how offensive a lot of this material is there are quite a few laughs to be had at other peoples' expense. Just about every punch-line hits the mark and makes sense in its own twisted and shameful way. There is even a few quite thoughtful pieces thrown in to keep the reader awake, with a strip on the effects of free trade on a migrants looking for work being a great bit of economic satire.

There is certainly nothing to fault in the artwork, with each of Randy's panels a clean and polished visual treat. The simple charm of the artwork adds to a sense of irony in the strips, undercutting the repulsive events. All the really nasty events occur out of panel so the viewer's imagination gets to work overtime conceiving the horror.

For something to dip into this is a guilty pleasure. The creative team could easily take things too far, but in this issue they manages to keep things mildly repugnant. I can't say that I'd want to read this sort of thing very regularly or ever admit to having read it in a court of law: I'm so glad customs didn't inspect the package when it came into the country. This one is definitely for those of you whose sense of humor can deal with the black side of life. You make me sick!

In a Word: Creepy.

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