All this week we will be celebrating the true spirit of independence with self-published comics. These brave men and women have broken free of their corporate masters and have taken on all the risks and responsibilities of publishing their own books. Some will be successful. Some will not. But all represent the true spiriti of independence!
Today’s book is Jakey the Jerk by Chris Garrison.
Jakey is an anthropomorphic ram with anger management and control issues. It isn’t that he is a jerk down to the core…it is more that he just doesn’t know how to get along with other people. So, of course, hilarity ensues!
The book is divided in to roughly two sections. The first section is a series of short, one to two page, gag comics. These comics have a MAD Magazine feel to them and had me chuckling as things always seemed to have a way of going wrong for Jakey. Like a collection of Spy vs. Spy, I could read an entire collection of these stories and not get bored. Even though the reader knows things will not turn out well for Jakey, the joy is in discovering just how bad it will be!
The second section of the book is a longer story (eighteen pages or so) involving Jakey acting as a bodyguard for a famous singer while she goes on a hiking trip. the story fleshes out the Jakey character considerably. He goes from being a one-dimensional gag character to a character that has far more potential.
And therein lies the joy of Jakey the Jerk. He is the rare character that works as both a gag-strip type character and a character that can sustain a full story. I’m not sure that i want to read an entire Jakey graphic novel, but an occasional longer story would definitely be welcome.
The book is rounded out by a two page gag story involving characters other than Jakey. The cartooning style is a bit different, more akin to Peter Bagge, than the rest of the book, but the humor is still the same. It works well as a break between the gag strips and the longer story, but feels a bit out of place since these characters show up without any introduction.
It could be that the characters are from Zoo Laffs, the online comic where Jakey got his start. Zoo Laffs is an online anthology comic hosted at DummComics.com which stars Jakey as well as several other creations by Garrison. I have to say that all of the strips are pretty strong and stand up in their own right. It looks like Chris Garrison may just be someone to keep an eye on!
You can order Jakey the Jerk from Indy Planet. I recommend you do so immediately!