Haha by W. Maxwell Prince (2021)

L: 5/10

M: 3/10

J: 5/10

Analysis from ten thousand hours of averageness at best, resulting in subpar performance:

The next comic pick was the recent Image Comics release, HAHA, the anthology series from the twisted mind of W. Maxwell Prince. I was pretty high on Prince’s other anthology series Ice Cream Man, before shuffling it out of my pull list. I like Prince’s writing style on the surface, but it burns out quickly, and I find myself bored with the shock and awe of it all. This is the same with HAHA; it’s a fun idea on the surface, but as pages turn, I find myself wanting to be somewhere else. 

This collection is all six issues of the limited series, with just a bit of connected fiber between. There are a few highlights of the series, with Ice Cream Man artist Martin Morazzo jumping on for the final and easily darkest of all the stories. Even that is marred in mystery, with not enough pages to really make sense of what the hell is going on. That’s the problem with most of HAHA; the brief anthology premise doesn’t yield enough time for each story to breathe. I’m not saying these stories deserve any additional time, though, because that doesn’t feel like a fun time either.

Half of these stories, like Road to Funville, Remi Says…, and A Casserole, don’t even have anting to do with clowns. Strip off the stupid face paint, and the story is the same. The other half is held back by brain-melting plot holes that took me out before I could even dip my toe in. If a man just suffered a bullet through his brain, how could he be cleared to drive home? If another man gets in a drunk driving accident, how is he simply discharged afterward? This whole anthology stresses how clowns are just as depressed and lonely as the rest of the world, yet they operate on a different set of rules, or maybe the writing is just not that great.

Analysis from a walking redheaded catastrophe:

It comes as no surprise that I, once again, picked a dud. I honestly did not enjoy this. The only saving grace was the artwork. Truly there were some beautiful and dark illustrations that I appreciated, and I look forward to seeing more from those artists. Other than that, it was a big flop for me.

The stories tied together in one way or another, and that was a nice touch, but honestly, they didn’t even need to. This felt like a rush job. Attention to detail did not exist, and there were so many inconsistencies that it took you completely out of the storylines.

Overall, don’t waste your time, and maybe one day I’ll stop picking books by the cover.

Analysis from a recipe that you know will please a crowd:

When I was little I would sometimes stay the night at my childhood bonus-mom’s parents’ house. Overall I would have fun there with their fluffy dog and big front yard. At night they would have me sleep alone in a (to my child-mind) gigantic bed in a room filled with ceramic, porcelain, and cloth clowns. Having no nightlight, I just would feel a little uneasy during my time there.

Reading this collection kind of felt like being back in that room.

W. Maxwell Prince

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