The high concept behind Onion Puss is that he is a guy with a face that may or may not be made out of an onion. That’s about it. Nothing moe to see here. But, as with Jakey the Jerk, creator Chris Garrison proves that just because the setup isn’t deep doesn’t mean that there are not some good stories to be had.
Onion Puss is a lovable loser. He lives in a ramshackle house, is unemployed, and always falls for girls who are way out of his league. There is something of a Michael Scott quality to him as he often misses out on obvious social cues, says unintentionally inappropriate things, and usually manages to come out on the losing end of a deal. But, like Michael Scott, you just can’t help loving the guy.
The art style falls somewhere between Pete Bagge and underground comix of the 70′s. The bodies have long legs, tiny waists, and the women have large, jiggly breasts. The facial features and expressions are cartoony and exaggerated, making the characters come alive. Onion Puss is the only anthropomorphic character of the bunch. However that doesn’t seem to be much of an issue as everyone just takes it in stride that there is a guy wandering among them who may or may not have an onion for a head.
The book is divided into roughly two sections. The first is a series of one and two page gag comics which introduce the reader to the world of Onion Puss. The comics are quite funny and probably my favorite part of the book. Chris Garrison has some real skill when it comes to putting together short gag strips.
The second part of the book, making up the bulk of the page count, is an extended story of Onion Puss as he joins a group of people on a ghost hunt. It is difficult for me to go into any real detail about the events of the story without ruining the fun. Suffice it to say that things do not go according to plan for anyone involved. The story is enjoyable and Garrison proves that Onion Puss works for more than just a page or two. Unfortunately he allows the story to go just a bit too long. There is a natural end point for the story as everyone gathers together to reveal their findings. But Garrison chooses to extend the story even further to show what happens when Onion Puss and one of the other characters head home for the night. Instead of ending on a high note, the story ends on kind of a dud as Garrison stretches for one more laugh.
Onion Puss is an enjoyable book with a fun character that cannot be found in any mainstream book. Independent comics are all about doing something different, and Onion Puss fits the bill!
Onion Puss is the second self-published book from Garrison and his Zoo Laffs crew. You can read further adventures of Onion Puss, Jakey the Jerk and many others in the Zoo Laffs archives at Dumm Comics. If you would like your very own copy of Onion Puss #1, it is available from Indy Planet.