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The Comic You Should Be Reading This Week: ‘Happy!’ #1

By / 09.27.12

Grant Morrison, as we all know, is insane. Gloriously so. But even for him, this book seems like a bit of a stretch.

Nick Sax is a former police detective and current hitman. He’s just put all four sons of a Mafia family in the ground. The last one claimed to know a password that gave access to the family fortune, something Nick scoffed at right before he blew the guy away. Unfortunately, the guy was telling the truth and now everybody thinks he’s got the password.

Now he’s got a torture squad, his former police coworkers, and other assorted scumbags after him. All he has to count on is himself… and a blue flying unicorn that he may or may not be hallucinating, but very, very much wants him to help him track down somebody named Hailey.

In other words, it’s the funniest book I’ve read all year.

Morrison’s satire of the gritty, hard-boiled detective story is note perfect, but where this book really shines is the humor. Part of this is Darick Robertson’s art: Happy is the cheesiest thing you’ll ever see, slapped smack in the middle of a line-perfect satire of noir comics.

But another part is the writing. Many other writers would either make Happy painfully naive and cheerful, or a drunken cigar-smoking lout. Happy is neither. He’s just got a problem, and Nick is the only one other than Hailey who can see him, so he’s going to have to do.

Happy actually has some characterization: Morrison leaves it up in the air whether he’s a hallucination or something more, but he’s ironically not a cartoon. Morrison is smart enough to know this makes it even funnier. I dare you not to laugh at the last splash panel, or Nick’s various reaction. Robertson’s art just makes this funnier.

It’s a superb book and I can’t wait for the next issue. It may not be Grant Morrison’s crowning achievement… but goddamn is it one of his funniest.


TAGShappy!Imagethe comic you should be reading this week

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