I think we can alllll agree that comedy is hard. It’s subjective and varies in each persons’ mind, and in comics jokes risk being pandering or even worse… not funny at all. Unless, of course, you’re artist and writer Brandon Lehmann. My experiences with his titles have consistently resulted in laughter as he pumps out goofs and gaffs that are impossible not to grin at. Go back a bit further and you see that the humor is just one part of his enjoyable style. Let’s get into it with a few of his titles:
The first book in Brandon’s repertoire I’d like to discuss is a team up with Crust creator Sarah Romano Diehl. This one shot tells the story of some young folks who accidentally killed a lone fisherman wandering the road who now find themselves receiving ominous letters about what they had done… LAST SUMMER. Tensions are mounting as these poor innocent (I mean… minus the murder) teens are starting to fear they’re being hunted one by one. Amidst all of their fears they also have to deal with moms, teenage angst, and being way overdramatic. In case it isn’t clear, this book is 100% a spoof of the cult classic film of a similar plot, but under the pen of Sarah and Brandon we see a bit more of the melodramatic side making for a goofy nostalgic experience that is a real treat for horror fans. Look, we’ve all seen Scary Movie and the like and they are pretty hit or miss, but this actually manages to poke some fun and make it work. You can buy I Like Totally Know What You Did Last Summer here!
The first title I read by Brandon is his anthology of short stories, Womp Womp. These melancholic collections of Brandon’s short stories answer all of the questions you didn’t even know you needed answered: how accidental was bread? If you could swap out your legs what would you switch them to? What was the coolest phone in the year 2009? You know, the basics. Brandon has this way of drawing these interactions that are totally normal until they take a left turn, resulting in my uncontrollable laughter. He is able to put comedic timing into these shorts and in a visual medium that isn’t always an easy task. This magazine sized title puts stories into 9 panel events that all have something to contribute to the overall product. I really can’t wait for the 3rd issue of this book to come out, it’s witty, absurd, nihilistic, and an altogether engaging experience. If you’re looking for an anthology with no duds (a rarity in anthologies) then buy the first issue here or the second issue here.
The final title of Brandon’s I’d like to discuss collects the adventures of everyone’s favorite asshole magician, The Wizard (in 2 large issues). Magic is to be used responsibly, which makes The Wizard’s blatant misuse of his abilities even more hilarious. It’s not only his dickhead magic but also his knowledge of all things mystical that make him the unstoppable force of rudeness that he is. Throughout this book we see him convincing knights to bring him trash to stink bomb old gods, gaslighting crazy cat ladies, and pissing off owl bears, all for the sake of not being bored. You ever had that friend in your group who is definitely “one of the buds” but is also just this person looking to make themself (and if they’re lucky, others) laugh, typically at the expense of someone else in the group? That’s The Wizard for you in a nutshell, the difference is that it is ENTIRELY enjoyable from the outside looking in. Brandon channels so much creativity and humor into these small fantasy stories, and each one finds ways to use magic in new and inappropriate ways. You can buy The Wizard #1 here and #2 here.
Still not convinced? Well you should be. Wit is in the eye/ear of the beholder, but it was sure nice to read something that was just pure and funny. Brandon Lehmann’s got the timing, he has the stories, and he definitely has the laughs. Don’t believe me? Check out more of his titles from his publication, Bad Publisher Books.