Well, this is a whole new experience for me. This is not your typical comic book. Nor is it a typical publication. Remember your father's comic strip? Or your grandfather's? The one that occurred daily in "newspapers?" Today?
Get your daily dose of the best daily strip via the tubes, man.
Well, I've never actually visited the site. I've had snippets read to me, sent to me, hither and yon. Now that the first ever "trade" of the infamous Great Outdoor Fight is out, I figured: have to read it.
How do I write about Achewood? It's mind-blowing. It's like nothing I've ever read. It's laugh-out-loud funny, the real kind of laugh-out-loud funny, not the abbreviated variety. It's completely absurd--somehow, it's Brechtian, although I have no idea how. It just FEELS Brechtian. (I laugh at Achewood the same way I laughed while watching the play "Cooking With Elvis.")
Seriously, I don't even know how to write about this comic strip in a way to make a non-reader understand how great it is, or to make a reader even more of a fan. It's so odd, so sick, so hilarious. I went to Dictionary.com for some definitions that might help me form this lil' piece here. First, I looked up the following word:
REVIEW: a critical article or report, as in a periodical, on a book, play, recital, or the like; critique; evaluation.
Well, we know that already. What exactly is a critique, really?
CRITIQUE: the art or practice of criticism.
Don't you hate it when definitions don't really do the "defining" thing you're looking for? In grade school, I was taught that you can NOT use a form of the word that you are defining in the definition. That's, basically, cheating. Ugh. So...
CRITICISM: the act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything.
Well. That is a new way to look at it. Whereas I usually pass judgment and have a hard time defending the merits...in this case, all I want to do is sing the praises. I have a friend who often talks about how it's so much easier to go into detail about how awful something is, and how it's much harder to write cleverly about the positives. I completely agree. So, let me try an exercise here: I'm going to try and describe the merits of Achewood using some literary conventions. Here goes!
The feeling I got from reading Achewood is similar to the first time my best friend and I laughed so hard that soda came out my nose, and then I farted, which made us laugh harder, and then she peed herself.
Achewood: The Great Outdoor Fight is to comic books as Steve Buscemi is to Orlando Bloom.
Sporting a thong, Raymond just rocked my world.
With a cleverness as cunning as a virgin on prom night, Achewood surprises the reader at every turn with shock and awe.
With proper proportion pleasingly placed between hilarious housecat hi-jinks and absoliutely absurd ostentations of bravado boldly belabored, The Great Outdoor Fight rises rather raucously with wild wins while creating a comic that transcends tradition.
I still haven't gotten my point across. Don't worry. I don't need to. It's something that one has to experience for themselves. Please do.
-Nina Stone, 2008