Daily Graphic Novel Recommendation 172

Never As Bad As You Think

by Kathryn and Stuart Immonen
ISBN: 1934506737 (Amazon)

Several years back, an interest in Stuart Immonen turned me on to a side project put together by him and his wife, Kathryn. Never As Bad As You Think developed as a participation in Illustration Friday, an exercise in which a word is proposed and artists created a drawing based on that word (as I write this, the week’s word is Three). For Never As Bad As You Think, Kathryn Immonen would roll the week’s word around in her head, jot down a script based on the word on a 3″x 5″ post-it, and hand it off to Stuart Immonen, who would then draw a vibrant several panels and the week’s comic would be done. Each week’s comic would flow out of the prior one, and while characters and settings would cycle through with some alacrity, the fifty-two comics really do flow pretty well from start to finish.

Never As Bad As You Think‘s humour is almost entirely reliant on Kathryn Immonen’s verbal wit (while the art is lively and fun, it mostly works to provide a safe harbour for the absurdities of the script). I haven’t read Kathryn Immonen’s superhero books, but a less-zany reflection of the style she uses in Never As Bad As You Think can be found in the funny-though-not-quite-as-funny Moving Pictures, a book that feels kin to the repartee found in 1940s Hollywood comedies. Lots of wordplay, lots of wit, lots of conversations that would probably never unfold between two people who weren’t being mediated by a script: that’s Moving Pictures. Now magnify that by ten and you’ve got a taste for Never As Bad As You Think.

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