Sean Maher's Quality Control

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Great Crapper Comics, Day Two: Attitude

Okay, so we've taken a good hard look at comics you can read in "easily digestible chunks," as my man Zilla put it yesterday.

But here's the thing. Not every comic that I can read on the can can compel comfortable crapping. I need a comic with content that is condusive to the act, y'know? Something relaxing, something with a brisk pace, maybe something a little funny. I don't want a comic to make me wrinkle my brow so hard that I get constipated, you understand. Intelligent is nice, but pretentious or overly dense material is just gonna ruin my shit.

Good crapper comics have to have an appropriate Attitude.

Almost every AiT/Planet Lar book I've ever read made great toilet reading. Look at the characteristics of most of their stuff; action-packed, funny, clever without being snotty. It's basically all summed up on this page of their website; most recently I've read Smoke and Guns and Last of the Independents, and both books made excellent company in that most solitary of places. Johnny Dynamite, all three Couriers books... the list goes on.

Garth Ennis is a master of toilet humor, and where better to enjoy it than on the toilet? Arsefaces adventures throughout Preacher were custom-built to the task. I could say the same of the balls-to-the-wall antics in Fury, The Pro, and pretty much every collaboration with the brilliant Carlos Ezquerra, like Just A Pilgrim, Bloody Mary (soon to be released in trade by DC) and Adventures in the Rifle Brigade. All jam-packed with grossout humor and gutsy attitude.

A lot of folks on MillarWorld have suggested Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan, and I can't argue (especially considering the prominent role of the Bowel Disrupter in that book), but I'd say his run on The Authority is even more apropo. (Am I using that word right?) Again, totally insane comics with lots of humor and action and plenty of spunk.

And who could forget The Ultimates? I'd lay money on Mark Millar having come up with a lot of the Ultimate Captain America character notes while on the "bog" himself, the Scottish bastard. Pure entertainment with just the right notes to make me feel like I'm king on the porcelain throne. I still think the first trade collects the best of the series, when it still really had something to prove.

A lot of Peter Milligan's stuff from 2000 A.D. is great, too. I was a little disappointed by Bad Company, having spent the better part of two solid weeks reading it every morning at the beginning of The Three S's and finding it funny but a little empty, but Johnny Nemo delivers in spades. I have to warn you, though - if you have the option, pick up the one with the blue cover (with yellow stripes, published by Deadline), not the red cover (published by Cyberosia and much more readily available). I've been told the red cover has dumbass printing errors and is missing one of the best stories.

In straight-ahead humor, I can't forget Arsenic Lullaby (my first review here at Quality Control) or the works of Evan Dorkin. Milk and Cheese and Dork both suit my bowels just fine.

Wow. I'm naming nearly every comic on my shelves, feels like. Could it be that I'm addicted to comics on the crapper? Jesus. I was about to write "I hope not," but then I realized: how bad would that really be?

Tomorrow marks the third category of judgement. For now, I really need to grab one of these comics and drop some friends off at the pool.


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