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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ralph Snart Adventures #1 -- Ralph Snart has apparently been around since 1986, but this is my first exposure to the character, and I hope, my last. I'm stunned to see in the ads in the back that there are multiple trade paperback collections of earlier stories. Is there a possibility that those stories are somehow more nuanced than the overblown, one-note vapidity I found in this issue? Is it possible that people actually love this stuff enough to spend money on it? Repeatedly?

Marc Hansen is a serviceable enough cartoonist with a style somewhat reminiscent of Evan Dorkin. But this issue contains not one joke I found funny, or one sequence I found entertaining, or one panel that held my attention. Ralph is a stupid alcoholic who becomes famous (on "UTOOB," which is as sophisticated as the yocks get here, folks) and goes to Hollywood and drinks and goes to jail and becomes someone's bitch. Ralph says "I'm your bitch, aren't I?" His cellmate responds, "Yeah, pretty much." At one point Ralph observes "My butt itches." Hey, if that sounds TEH AWESOME to you, go buy some Ralph Snart Comics.

Ralph Snart Adventures #1 is all hysterics, all the knobs set to 11, apparently intended to be satire, but with no wit and really not even an apparent target; society at large, I guess. Waterboarding is mentioned on the back cover, as if at the last minute Hansen decided to get political and topical, but it's a throwaway reference in a comic that, at my house anyway, actually will be thrown away.

I don't mean to be a prick, and if this character has fans, they're free to enjoy all the Snart they can get with my blessing. But I am about as far from the target audience for this comic as it is possible to imagine.



Blogger Roger Green said...

"I don't mean to be a prick..." Since when? We EXPECT you be a prick, when it's warranted.

Seems that FantaCo caried at least one of these issues, sight unseen. But I have no recollection except of the logo; there was a LOT of product in the day.

15 July, 2008 17:21  
Blogger Alan David Doane said...

I don't mind being a prick, as you say, when it's warranted, in this case I just want to be clear that I'm not trying to be. This seems to want to be the sort of thing that I would like, but man, there's not a damned thing in it I liked.

15 July, 2008 17:26  
Blogger d. emerson eddy said...

Ralph Snart used to be published by Now Comics. I remember seeing ads for it in the back of the Green Hornet, Ghostbusters, and Fright Night comics I used to read when I was a kid. Beyond that, I couldn't say much other than that I thought the art in the ads was horrible.

15 July, 2008 23:24  
Blogger d. emerson eddy said...

...and, of course, had I actually followed the link, that was already pointed out. I call shenanigans on the heat currently roasting parts of Vancouver. That and lack of sleep.

16 July, 2008 01:10  
Blogger Alan David Doane said...

d., your comments are always welcome, no matter how redundant or addle-pated they might be. ;-)

16 July, 2008 01:23  
Blogger Jason Marcy said...

Ummm, I used to LOVE Ralph Snart. I even had a "Gangway Fathead!" t-shirt and button.
I don't know how my "fine tuned comic sensibilities" (HAR!!!) would like him now, but when I was 19-24, Ralph was too awesome.

16 July, 2008 07:44  
Blogger John Platt said...

I've got dozens of Ralph Snart comics from the NOW days. They're sometimes funny, sometimes brilliant, sometimes neither.

What's really worth tracking down is Marc Hansen's work on Weird Melvin. Twisted, and perfect for any comics fan.

BTW, Evan Dorkin? Seriously? Hansen owes more to bigfoot cartoonists like Crumb and Roth than anyone else.

16 July, 2008 08:14  
Blogger Alan David Doane said...

There's a big splash panel in the first three or four pages that looks very much like Dorkin's work, and the hyperactive goings on also reminded me of Dorkin, except he knows when to turn it down for maximum effect.

16 July, 2008 08:16  
Blogger FJ said...

it's supposed to be goofball comedy; guess you missed the point. if you didn't find it funny, that's one thing, but you can't deny marc's talents as an artist. you really have to know the character to appreciate the book, and yes, Snart had a pretty decent following from the 80s to the early 90s, which petered out only because NOW comics went down the tubes. Marc has since resurrected the character numerous times and each time he seems to still have it. i enjoy it anyway - this is the spot for comments, yes? :)

17 July, 2008 14:12  
Blogger alex-ness said...

on the whole I like Ralph Snart. I find him funny.

I cannot say why even, but taste is such a weird thing in comedy, I know people I share a lot of taste with, and we despise the other's taste in comedy.

For every hardcore Dennis Miller fan there is an equally hardcore Rob Schneider fan, and I happen to enjoy both comedians, for perhaps different reasons..

30 July, 2008 21:28  

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