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Olson, Daniel J. & Niehaus, AJ – Super Maxi-Pad Girl #1



Super Maxi-Pad Girl #1

I have to be honest here: I really didn’t expect to like this one.  About the best I was hoping for was that it would be a funny concept for a bit, then it would get slowly beaten to death during the course of the comic, and that would be it.  I was, and not for the first time, completely wrong.  Things start off with a young girl coming home crying to her mother after she unexpectedly bled in her pants at school. This mother went on to tell the tale of Super Maxi-Pad Girl and her adventures against Bloating, Cramps and The Period.  While Super Maxi-Pad Girl is effective against The Period, two new heroes have to be introduced for the other problems: Pidol and Mamprin.  The day is saved and things are calm until the next adventure, which involves new villains: Migraine and Acne.  The heroes also get new members, such as the Reusable Menstrual Cup, the Preventative Ovulation Pill and Washable Cotton Maxi-Pad, or Eco-Pad.  Things are trickier this time around, as the villains have released a number of monkeys to eat all the bananas in the city, severely lowering the potassium intake, which leads to the creation of the Mega-Period.  As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a final, shorter adventure starring a giantess on her period and Thor.  As for any complaints from the ladies about this comic, and there probably will be a few, Daniel addresses them in the strip I sampled below.  Not sure if that will fix everything, but I thought it was a smart way to address it: show himself as more than a bit clueless about the whole thing but with good intentions.  If you’re thinking that this all sounds remarkably stupid, all I can say is that you have to read this to learn otherwise.  As a concept it’s bound to sound stupid, but the dialogue is never less than mildly funny (and often hilarious), the art doesn’t need to be great with the simple natures of the characters but it’s plenty good enough, and there were laughs to be found all over the place.  I can’t say that a Super Maxi-Pad Girl #2 would be great, but this one was so good that I actually think he’d have a shot at making it great, which I couldn’t have said before I actually read this.  Oh, and one disclaimer: obviously, if you’re completely unable to see any humor in “that time of the month” or anything associated with it, it’s best to stay away.  As it is, however, a fact of life, why not have a little fun with it?  $4


Big Funny



Big Funny #1

Oh sure, I could shrink that image down and make this page nice and pretty.  I choose not to because this comic is so vast that you need some visual representation, and it also serves as a handy explanation for why there are no samples from individual strips: this thing is too damned big for it.  This is a collection of newspaper-style comics, done in a newspaper-style format, with one notable exception: these are actually funny.  Kudos to these people (who are, it should be mentioned, mostly from Minnesota, or at least the planners seem to be) for being the first to send me a comic in a poster tube, or whatever those things are really called.  There’s a huge variety of strips in here, from parodies of early newspaper strips to “where are they now” versions of those strips to what appears to be honest homages to those strips.  Then there are a very few autobio strips, some gag strips (again, which are almost all funny), and one particularly memorable example of breaking the fourth wall.  Contributors include (but are not limited to, as this is 48 pages) Ryan Dow, Henry Chamberlain, Paul Fricke, Kevin McCarthy, D.C. McNamara, David Sandberg, Steve Mason, Stephanie Mannheim and Jenny Schmid, to pick a few names randomly.  Leaving aside the comics for just a second, I also enjoyed the actual newspaper articles, such as the one where they discussed who exactly killed the print medium, and they also did a great job with the classified ads in the back.  Highlights include (but are in no way limited to) Jesse Gillespie’s Little Emo in Slumbaland, Daniel Olson’s circular strip Hey Rube, Kevin Cannon’s Army Men (the second comic I’ve read today to mention an ankylosaurus), Kirk Anderson’s Banana Republic (about keeping torture light), Andy Singer’s strip about wealth redistribution called Middle Management, Madeline Queripel’s brilliant strip about how the old serials would just use the last panel of the previous strip as the first panel of the new strip to keep readers caught up, Kevin McCarthy’s creepy funnies (apparently breaking the rules of good taste for the strip, but it was worth it), and a good old fashioned donnybrook by Lonny Unitus.  I put a “#1” next to the title more because I’d like to see more of these than anything else.  It’s a remarkable achievement, and if anybody is going to be in Minneapolis on August 7th you should click that website for details on picking up a copy.  If you get one there, it’s a measly $5 for this beast.  If not you’ll have to pay for shipping, which just about doubles the price, but this thing is utterly unique in the comics world and worth the expense.  I’m old enough to remember pulling the funnies out of the Sunday paper, spreading them out on the ground, laying down to read them and have them actually be funny.  Of course, it’s possible I only thought they were funny because I was a kid, but thanks to them for giving me a good reason to relive that experience.  I didn’t even know I was missing it.  $5