Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fred the Clown by Rodger Langridge YP FIC LANGRIDG

Fred is a clown. He is a sad clown. He is also a very, very dumb clown. All Fred wants is to make people laugh, find love, and not be hit in the face with pies. Unfortunately for Fred the world has little use for a clown except as the butt of a joke, so his descent into loneliness and alcoholism keep his dreams further and further away in this absurd and hilarious love letter to the history of comics…and clowns too.

This is an oddball comic that takes the central character of a luckless clown and throws him through classic comic strip styles and bizarre misadventures. The art changes wildly as the comic parodies several styles. My favorite chapter was the 50 year fictional history of the character of Fred throughout the history of funny pages. It has some of the best jokes in the book, especially for fans of old comics. And that is where the main appeal of this book is: fans of old comics. However, it has a fun art style, super quick stories, and loads of darkly humorous gags that could appeal to just about anyone. So if you like classic comics, but want to see them weirdly reinterpreted by an alcoholic clown or if you just think that sounds kind of funny. Give Fred a chance. He’s very lonely.

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