Altergott, Rick – The Doofus Omnibus
There must have been an exact point in this book where I went from not being all that sure about it to loving it, but I’m not sure where that was. I do remember the strip that kicked away the last few doubts from my head though. Doofus has a friend named Henry Hotchkiss. He’s swimming in the ocean but realizes that he’s forgotten his bathing suit. Meanwhile, a couple on the beach have a young woman in a tiny biking pass by and they remark on how her bathing suit couldn’t get much smaller… and then Henry walks by, wearing a used condom as a bathing suit. It’s not like everything in here is quite that crude, but if that’s the kind of thing you find funny, you’re in luck. This book has all sorts of stories in it, ranging from the newspaper strip style (I guess he had a weekly strip for a while) to regular comic stories. There’s also a colorful, if relatively similar, cast of characters that I’m going to let you discover for yourself, and stories written by various other Fantagraphics people like Dan Clowes. They also all absolutely loved the book, at least judging by the quotes on the back cover. I feel like I’ve just discovered a new world, but in reading this book I’ve already come to the end of it. Here’s hoping there’s more out there because I want more! And did I mention how incredible this guy is as an artist? That’s something that wasn’t really touched on in all the quotes, but his ability with backgrounds (seriously, if you have a copy of this book, just check out some of the larger panels. Look around in the backgrounds and see what you can see. A few that I noticed had definite subtle themes that had nothing to do with the comic, or I’m going insane) is just phenomenal. When am I going to learn to stop doing parentheses anyway? Sorry. The book is $16.95 and, though it might look short, a lot of it is newspaper strips and it’s a dense read. Check it out and see what impresses the best folk that comics has to offer!