By Johnny Ryan (Fantagraphics Books)
Johnny Ryan is a comedian who uses comics as his medium of expression. Whether in his own Angry Youth Comix, or the many commissions for such varied clients as Nickelodeon, Hustler, Mad, LA Weekly and elsewhere, his job and mission is to make laughter. Depending on your point of view he is either a filth-obsessed pervert smut-monger or a social iconoclast using the same tactics as Lenny Bruce or Bill Hicks to assault the worst and/or most hidebound aspects of society.
His wild, loose cartoon drawing style is deceptively engrossing, and his seeming pictorial Tourette’s Syndrome of strips and gags involving such grotesque signature characters as Boobs Pooter (world’s most disgusting stand-up comedian), Loady McGee and Sinus O’Gynus will, frankly, appal many readers, but as with most questions of censorship in a Free Society, they are completely at liberty neither to buy nor read the stuff.
Ryan dubs his stinging graphic assaults on American culture ‘misanthropic comics’ and one of the most effective has been Blecky Yuckeralla. Originally running weekly in The Portland Mercury and Vice Magazine from 2003 before switching to Ryan’s own on-line site the strip was based on traditional, anodyne comics features and referenced many other popular art forms. This fourth bi-annual collection collects the last 99 four-panel pages up to and including the final episode which ran on www.johnnyryan.com on 30th July 2010.
Blecky is an ugly, unsavoury, unsanitary and very stupid girl: a cunning reinterpretation of Ernie Bushmiller’s beloved Nancy strip, with plenty of comics, movies and media pastiches thrown in too. There’s Bucksley – a ghastly, grotesque Richie Rich-clone, nerdy “boyfriend” Wedgie, guardian Aunt Jiggles and a host of guest-victims for the shocking puns and fouls antics of the little girl from hell …or maybe it’s New Jersey.
Here you’ll find gross, vulgar and shocking gags about sex, defecation, farting, bodily functions, feminine hygiene, and even the ultimate modern whited sepulchers, TV, money, religion, politics, race and sexual abuse. There are no safe areas or taboo subjects. Blecky and Co are equally free with cute animals, presidents, film stars, assorted Holy Books and even 9-11…
Depending on who you are and your social outlook this final collection is as brilliant or as appalling as the previous three so if you’re prudish, sensitive or concerned about moral standards – don’t buy this book. There’s plenty of us who will…
© 2010 Johnny Ryan. All Rights Reserved.