Americanjism Book 3

Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2006
By: Ruth Boyask

Cover of Americanjism Book 3 Creator(s): Joe Denny
Publishers: Pipe Dream Comics (Self Published)
From: USA
Price: $10(US)

“Unsavoury” said Darren Schroeder about Americanjism. “Trashy” said Steve Saville about Americanjism Book Two. The squeamishness associated with the arrival of Americanjism Book Three at the Small Press Review office meant it was time to get a woman on the job. My editor asked me to provide a female perspective on Joe Denny’s socio-psychotic family saga of incest, hard drugs and fundamentalist Christianity in middle America.

Well, the book is nicely tailored in a smooth, plain blue jacket, with a stylish and tasteful white font. Inside the pages are seductive to touch, exquisitely smooth. Some of the drawings are beautifully executed, with interesting variations in their lines, textures and well-considered compositions. However, that’s where taste ends in this book, and unfortunately, so does my interest. Obviously the tastelessness is part of Joe Denny’s agenda. As the reviewers who ventured before me pointed out, Americanjism pushes on every taste button and taboo. For example, as the wife of the messiah Don McRonald, and his daughter Veronica share the intimate knowledge of their dual pregnancies, they reflect that there is 50/50 chance that the father is one of the same two men – one of whom is Don.

But does this indecency rattle my feminist cage? Not really. It’s not very woman friendly. But then it’s not very man friendly either. The overwhelming legacy of this comic is apathy. The repetitive nudity, incessant copulation, drug guzzling and religious heresy bored me to tears, with the only relief coming from a male doctor more interested in the breast implants of the nurse than his patients (authentic lewdness) and a pipe smoking penis (absurdly amusing). Which just goes to show, what I really want from a social commentary about the immorality of middle America is something a bit more real or a bit funnier. And if this is my wish list, can I also have something a bit cleverer? Otherwise, rather than inciting me to join your cause Joe, it just comes off as the mindless, perhaps drug induced, fantasies of someone I really, really don’t want to meet.

In a Word: Dull.

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