Viola, Jason – Jay’s Brain #1

September 26, 2011


Jay’s Brain #1

Jason Viola seems to be on a quest to convince me to stop hating the weekly (or, Jeebus forbid, daily) comics. Granted, these comics weren’t produced for a weekly magazine or (as far as I can tell) on any kind of a timed basis. So no, I have no idea if he could physically pull off a weekly comic. There’s also the tiny fact that weekly comic artists seem to be a dying breed, so the guy almost certainly couldn’t make a living at it. Still, his comics have convinced me that he’d be perfect for it, and if I ever get this time machine working I’d be happy to send him back a couple of decades where he could have made a great living by being genuinely funny on a regular basis. Jason is the man responsible for Herman the Manatee (which he says he’s wrapping up) and Amy Amoeba, so yeah, he’s funny. Pretty much my only concern when getting a new book from somebody I already know is funny is “OK, so are they going serious (and, if so, can they pull it off)” or “can they still be funny with a new title?” That second thought is rarely a real concern, but it pops into this cynical brain of mine anyway. No worries at all for this comic. As you can tell from that cover, it’s all about Jay and his brain. I’m not sure if this is 100% autobiographical stuff, but Jason mentions on his website that it’s the most personal comic he’s made yet. Anyway, these are generally six panel strips, often with the last panel being some kind of a laugh line or an “oh you!” type finisher. And there isn’t a shitty one in the bunch, except for maybe the Twitter comic, which I didn’t understand enough to comment on either way. Topics in here (often in a roundabout way) are insomnia, guilt, going blank at the worst moments, being unable to stop thinking during sex, only having the good story ideas at inopportune times, drugs, hoarding, and thinking of himself as a fraud. That’s the first half of the book anyway, the rest is up to you. Your best bet is to just buy a bunch of his books, as he currently has the four issues of Herman the Manatee available for $10 total. $3