Short reviews of tv and film comedy old and new, and other bits of info which don’t fit anywhere else on the site, updated weekly.
Rick And Morty Issue 50
I’ve dipped in and out of this comic hoping that at some point it’d up it’s game rather than being a very pale (if almost ghostly) imitation of the tv series but it seems like it’s not to be. I can understand that echoing the brilliance of the tv show must be pretty goddamn hard given how amazing it (mostly) is, but whenever I’ve read an issue it seems to have misunderstood what makes the series so extremely funny. So while there’s a fair few storylines where something traumatic happens to Morty there’s no depth to proceedings, and Rick does his usual thing of not really giving a fuck to bland effect. If the tv show was just one wacky adventure after another it’d be fine if nothing special but it really makes you care for it’s characters, and shows their fucked up inner lives in detail, something this comic fails to do. Indeed it fails on pretty much every front, and none more so than with this fiftieth issue where Morty discovers a sub-sub basement where many of his traumatic memories have been removed and are stored in test tubes. He demands Rick reinstate them and so we get to see all of the horrible things that have either happened to him or that he’s done by accident (like destroying a tiny civilisation by knocking some coke over them, or bursting in to his parent’s room while they’re having weird sex) and there’s much death and destruction. But given how shallow these versions of Rick and Morty are it’s impossible to be affected by it, the events are portrayed in such a way that it’s just not that funny at all, and most damningly of all, lack even a slither of the imagination shown in the tv version. This being a fiftieth issue they’ve celebrated by bringing in some guest artists but unfortunately most of them are pretty poor and only make the whole thing less appetising, and I wouldn’t even recommend this to a die hard fan.
Spider-Man / Deadpool Issue 50
This is also celebrating it’s fiftieth issue though it’s also the very final one, and that’s probably no bad thing, it’s been enjoyable throughout but there’s not that much more they can do the concept considering how meta it’s become as Marvel’s favourite quipsters have teamed up to fight foes and banter away. Some critics have complained that the latest writer to take on the comic, Robbie Thompson, relied on fourth wall breaking a little too much at the expense of any other kind of humour but that hasn’t bothered me at all, though if he had continued he might have needed to shake it up a little. And for me at least he went out a high as he brought the “Infinite House Of Civil Yet Secret Crisis War Invasion” storyline to an end with Deadpool realising that the comic’s writer was the big bad, and dipped in and out of other comics to borrow their heroes in what must be the most meta ending to a series since Grant Morrison’s run on Animal Man. It’s nowhere near as good as that of course, but then that is one of my all time favourite comics series and very little touches it, but it still made me smile and laugh a fair amount and the photo strip ending is really lovely stuff, and made it a very memorable piece of closure that deserves more acclaim than it’s actually getting.
Lobo Goes To Hollywood
DC Comics’ murderous bastiche (their word, not mine) is being made in to a tv series so I thought I’d dive back in to the past to see how well the comics stand up, and this effort from 1996 by British writer Alan Grant is a pretty decent affair. After learning that Hollywood are to make a movie about him Lobo heads off to get his slice of the cash only to discover that the film’s a disaster with a preening actor who keeps improvising and a director who doesn’t give a fuck in the slightest. In amongst all the usual extreme violence there’s some decent satire of Hollywood ways with everyone bar the script writer portrayed as either an idiot or a greedy money obsessed bastard, and there’s also some fun cameos from the likes of Bill and Ted, Robocop, Batman and a couple of characters who look very similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Judge Dredd, all of whom are unsurprisingly soon covered in their own blood. Some of the references haven’t dated well but bar that it’s a likeable piece, though I have a feeling that 90’s Lobo was a lot more fun than the character he developed in to during the 2000’s, and I’ll be surprised if the tv series captures the lunacy of his early outings.
I know 99% of you will think I’m an idiot (and it probably is the case) but I quite enjoyed this. Sure there’s some weak and dodgy jokes, some of which are very childish, but there’s a fair few decent ones too, and the supporting cast includes Jeffrey Tambor, Brent Spiner, Keith David, Tracey Morgan, Leslie Nielsen and Ryan Hansen among others. It’s also short and tight at 70 minutes and so doesn’t outstay it’s welcome, though there’s a further 7 minutes of deleted scenes half way through the credits. A very guilty pleasure and then some, but if you’re fond of parody movies and superheroes and need to turn your brain off one evening then it’s probably something you’ll laugh at a good few times..
Video Of The Week
When Viz was extremely popular in the 1990’s it was selling over a million copies an issue, which is an amazing amount considering sales figures for series like 2000AD which is / was critically acclaimed. Around this time there were quite a few tv adaptations of strips from Viz which were of varying quality, and the less said about the Fat Slags television series and movie the better, but this is pretty fun, with Peter Cook providing the lead character and Harry Enfield many of the others, and it captures the feel of the strip effectively. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1OECociHh0
Link Of The Week
If you grew up in the UK and are a comics fan then you’ll probably know the name Lew Stringer as he was a greatly admired writer and artist who created some really fun strips for Oink, Buster, The Beano and Dandy, and his blog is always a fascinating read as he discusses his own work and that of others. http://lewstringer.blogspot.com/
Previous Comedy Snippets:
09/06/2019 – Archer, The Jellies, Mom, Bye Bye Birdie.
01/06/2019 – Rostered On, Historical Roasts, American Dad, The Phantom Of The Paradise
23/05/2019 – Barry, Urban Myths, Goatface, Shazam!
18/05/2019 – Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Taskmaster, Documentary Now, The History Of Future Folk
10/05/2019 – Dead Pixels, Santa Clarita Diet, Scot Squad, Lemon
03/05/2019 – What We Do In The Shadows, Lazor Wulf, Al Murray’s Great British Pub Quiz, Brigsby Bear
26/04/2019 – Barry, Bonding, Special, Repo The Genetic Opera
19/04/2019 – Hot Streets, Lazor Wulf, Tacoma FD, The Tick, Safety Last
12/04/2019 – The Unexplainers, The Tick, The Funny Women Awards 2019, Popstars Never Stop Popping
04/04/2019 – Santa Clarita Diet, Abby’s, This Time With Alan Partridge, Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein
28/03/2019 – Wayne, Blockbusters, Bill And Ted Face The Music, Hoodwinked
21/03/2019 – Shrill, A.P. Bio, One Red Nose Day And A Wedding, PK
14/03/2019 – Corporate, The Harry Hill Movie, CJ7, The Day Will Come
07/03/2019 – This Time With Alan Partridge, Frank Skinner On Demand, Girlfriend’s Day, Comic Relief
28/02/2019 – Hot Streets, Warren, Mom, Stage Fright
21/02/2019 – Jon Glaser Loves Gear, Corporate, Doom Patrol, Nudist Colony Of The Dead
14/02/2019 – American Dad, Pen15, Afterlife, The Return Of Captain Invincible
07/02/2019 – The Other Two, Hannah Gadsby’s Douglas, Roast Battle, Guys And Dolls
31/01/2019 – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Tigtone, Angie Tribeca, Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life, Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Podcast
24/01/2019 – Oh Lucy!, Blark And Son, Angie Tribeca
17/01/2019 – The Day Shall Come, Family Guy, Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Podcast, Jon Glaser Loves Gear
10/01/2018- Best Week Ever With Paul F. Tompkins, Vice, Catastrophe, Angie Tribeca