Angry Youth Comics #8
By Johnny Ryan
Published by Fantagraphics Books; $3.50 USD each

I imagine it would be easy to work up a good bit of hate for Johnny Ryan's comics, but since one of my earliest memories is writing the word "fart" on a sheet of paper to get a laugh out of my mom as she drove us to the beach, well, I'm not going to be the guy to pass out pitchforks and torches to the crowd. Say what you will, Angry Youth Comics can be funny as hell, and right on the cover of this one it says "13 Nauseating Tales of Heart-Throbbing Filth," so, it's not like you weren't warned, Reverand Wildmon.

As hinted by the "13 Tales" part of that cover blurb, Ryan is working on short set pieces in this issue -- get in, get gross, get the fuck out. Next! It's a style that works well with Ryan's interests and areas of focus. I am sure you could do 32 pages about someone with a turd for a head, or whatever, but this issue seems jam-packed with laffs in large part because of the brevity of the material.

One standout this issue is "O'Pussy," which at two pages would be spoiled if I tried to explain anything about its absolutely daft premise, mined for every last possible chuckle by Ryan. God, there's so much good stuff in here, and all of it is just beyond the pale in the best possible way, from Loady hanging from a tree by his penis, to the assault on Matt Groening, it's just wall to wall black, dirty comedy. By now you know whether you like Ryan's stuff or not, so you'll know how to respond when I tell you that this is probably the best issue of the series yet, and perfectly in keeping with every previously established paradigm. F-A-R-T. Grade: 4/5

-- Alan David Doane

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