Americanjism Book 2

Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2005
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Americanjism Book 2 Creator(s): Joe Denny
Publishers: Pipe Dream Comics (Self Published)
From: USA
Price: $10(US)

Ah that proud American tradition of producing well- drawn comics on incest and oral sex. Yes R. Crumb has a lot to answer for.
Americanjism is a 72-page epic just crammed full of family love, homeless street bum love, vacuum cleaner love, homosexual love and then another helping of family love. Yep there sure is a lot of loving going on here folks. All of it twisted, all of it graphic and nearly all of it anatomically correct and precise.

This disturbing, sick and twisted volume [the creator's words not mine] manages to cram in well over 20 different sex acts into its 72 pages.
The comic actually contains three different stories featuring the same family but hey no matter how the different stories start it don't take long for everyone to get their kit off and explore new ways of debasing themselves and others. My only question is how come no animals are featured as every other act of depravity is trotted out? Maybe the goats are being saved for volume three, I can hardly wait.

The father of this screwed up little family is of course a Minister of the church, and doesn't that lend itself to some nice digs at religion. Especially the near death experience where Don meets Jesus. Yep religion features as does drug taking and becoming a citizen of the USA. You get the impression that nothing that remotely looks like conservative America is going to escape attack from Mr Denny.

While I find this comic offensive and unpleasant it is extremely well drawn and produced. The content is blatantly pornographic but in places it does get close to actually being funny. If I was being kind then I could go on about how Americanjism is a totally justified attack on the hypocrisy of the stereotyped all American suburban family. An attack at the hypocritical adherence to symbolic value systems like the church and the nuclear family. An attack that is valid and worthy of expression.

So the comic does have some redeeming values. After all surely one of the jobs of comics is to push against the boundaries, to hold a mirror up to society, to expose the rank underbelly of the world that surrounds us. In this way Americanjism is a proud son of the underground comic movement of the 70s. I know all this but I still end up feeling that this comic fails to do any more than show us Don's erect penis from a wide range of angles.

Overall then the redeeming qualities fail to save what is a perverted heap of porn. It's no wonder that the son is retarded and the daughter a slapper, neither parent is exactly sure who the real father of these "children" is. Yes I agree that it is clever to portray the father as a pipe smoking, clean cut, conservatively dressed middle aged ordinary family guy but that only works for so long. Eventually the comic runs out of steam.

In a Word: Trashy.

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