I remember when Bizarro comics first appeared in my local paper.
I had never read anything so wacked out before. At least, not in a newspaper’s comics page – which, at the time, was filled with Ziggy, Hagar, Andy Kapp, Blondie, Peanuts, Garfield, Cindy and many other tepid offerings.
I know it’s blasphemous to say this but, even Calvin and Hobbes wasn’t nearly a demented (although it remained funnier).
I had many fond memories of the strip so, when I got the opportunity to revisit Bizarro through this anthology, I jumped at the chance.
Wow… I was really disappointed. Either my recollections have been embellished over the years, my sense of humour has changed since, or Piraro’s writing got weaker as time went on (it is, after all, the ninth book – and rarely does a series get better as it stretches on).
The art is still quite excellent (Piraro’s an incredibly versatile and slick cartoonist), and the subjects remain eclectic, as he covers just about everything under the sun. But the jokes are not very funny. Some were, but I think that I only laughed out loud 10% of the time.
My favourite part of this book are these small graphics on both bottom corners of the book, which animate when you flip through it. They’re nutty little cartoons, but I found this amusing and I liked that Piraro took the time to add these to the anthology. It’s a very nice touch.
Still, it doesn’t make up for my overall impression of the book. Having said this, I am now quite curious to read some of the early volumes just to compare. As far as I’m concerned, it’s quite possible that Bizarro peaked at the 3-5 volume mark (just like some TV shows do). We’ll see…