I stumbled upon my friend John Thornton’s store a couple months back (January?), and came across his first publication for sale, “Glambourine”, for $5. In addition to a couple of short stories in comic format, it includes the first 84 strips of “The Man Who Hates Fun“, John’s current opus, a classically tounged main character who is an offshoot of an earlier project, “Old Bayou Man”.
I’m not really good at reviewing literature or movies, but I’ll say what I can. The first 84 strips deal with the introduction of The Man Who Hates Fun, and the back stories of Elvira and her insecurities, her brother who fights with the logistical fallacies of anarchy, and a sort of place holder relationship with Renard. Quite amusingly, he manages to work the American Monarchist Party in to the story. The back story gives excellent, satisfying, character development. Plot lines can reach a lull in some areas, but for the most part the story as a whole moves along at a pace promoting page turning, and sadly, at page 52, hoping for more.
The second half of the series, available online and presumeably to be published in Glambourine #2. It focuses on Elvira’s black magic hobby, the MWHF’s stint as a band manager, and a pair of breakout characters meant as a commentary on the Austin PD. The story really starts kicking around late December 2006, and reaches a climax towards the end of February 2007, the writing becoming really sharp and focused before we finally learn the MWHF’s real name, more than two years after the comic’s genesis.
Glambourine #1 can be purchased here for a mere $5.50, including shipping. Probably the smartest written comic available today.