Comics Features

REVIEW: Square Eyed Stories #25

Written by Mark Russell

There is something quite fun and chaotic about anthologies, and this comic is among them. Square Eyed Stories is co-written and drawn by Jim McGee, David Goodman, and Arthur Goodman (who’s other anthology comic, Experience the Magic of Legend, was previously reviewed on the website). A collection of numerous, different short sequences with humourous characters and a lot of randomness.

The stories are a mix of different types of comedy like visual gags, silent comedy, parodies of popular culture, jokes of jokes (the first gag is a funny twist on the “spell ‘It’ after asking someone to spell a long word” joke) and others. Each of the three artists have their own drawing styles – McGee has a simple and quickly drawn style but the imagery is absolutely insane, David Goodman’s has a style that looks like it came straight out of Samurai Jack, and Arthur Goodman has the most detailed style that kind of resembles the drawing style of Archie Comics.

Anyway, let’s look at the various sketches. There is McGee’s very odd characters, the comedy duo called The Banana Brothers. It’s hard to actually tell what they are. They look like, well, I can’t really describe them – I can only assume they are two halves of one banana with funny faces and eyebrows. They are very strange characters, but their odd look and wacky behaviour is very entertaining. They appear in several individual sketches, and a funny walk on in another. The first one is a bit nonsensical with the two falling down a waterfall and it is a little hard to tell what happens after that. I think it is based on how the sketch’s small panels were designed, making it a little confusing. The other two are quite funny, though.

Arnold Goodman’s sketches take up most of the issue and I like them the best, and are mostly parodies or take thats to parts of internet or nerd culture – one is a take that to hostilities towards people who are categorised as “furries”, a pretty hilarious cosplay joke, and an RPG one which also appears in Experience the Magic of Legend making fun of the sometimes unfair puzzles of RPG quests. My favourite involves “Angry Nerd”, who seems to be a parody of internet trolls, spending most of time screaming at anything that resembles an animal and calls them a furry, then has dodgy dreams of My Little Pony, showing off how hypocritical he is.

Arnold also does several other sketches, like a brilliant one that demonstrates how a bumblebee flies, and an on-and-off funny parody of every adult animated family sitcoms all rolled into one with a touch of The Flintstones too. It has its quirks and I like the deadpan, fed up attitude of the idiot dad’s daughter, but it goes on a for a little too long, and I don’t really get the purpose of the two weird cat-monkey things. McGee has another sketch later on, which is really funny and very weird, telling an utterly random story of Beard Fly, who tours the world on his skateboard/ship, is possibly a superhero, murders geeks with his poison, and “Toast”.

David Goodman’s sketch is some sort of parody of the shonen manga genre, and jumps around a lot. There’s an evil businessman who is using child slavery to make money, but summons evil Nazis phantoms, and a guy named Diamond Joe with a quiff shaped like a blade comes to fight them after one Nazi eats his sandwich. There’s a Japanese lady there with a very geometric design shouting random things and stating the obvious, but it adds to the fun of the sketch.

All in all, Square Eyed Stories is a decent anthology comic, well-written, well-drawn and funny. At times the comedy can decline, but I suppose it all depends on a person’s sense of humour which can vary. The three authors do good jobs and I recommend the comic for other people. There is something very entertaining about anthologies, and those in digital comics have plenty to offer.

Are you a fan of anthology comics and what are your preferences for good humour? Sound off in the comments section below.

About the author

Mark Russell