Monday, December 08, 2014
On The Little World of Liz Climo
If you are not familiar with Liz Climo, you can familiarize yourself with her work quite quickly. You can read her comics on the Internet. Or you can read her new-ish book, a collection of 148 of her cartoons. That's the cover of her book up there.
When I checked it out from the library, I had every intention of writing a review of it, but I'm finding it somewhat challenging to do, particularly because Climo's comics are so short, sweet and simple that it's difficult to discuss any of them without ruining them, and it's far easier to simply point at examples and say, "Look at this comic" then to "review" them. I mean, if you read one, you'll get it; that's how universal most of the humor is.
So instead, I just thought I'd post scans of a few examples, none of which are among the better ones in the collection (that third one's not funny at all, really), but all of which feature jokes referencing comic book characters.
I also like that she chooses interesting animals to draw. Not just the ones you see on the cover, but also, in one instance, a capybara. I think capybara's are inherently funny, and the choice of a capybara is kind of funny because it appears in a strip that has no reason to have a capybara in it. It could literally be any other animal at all, as the joke in that strip is being generated by the presence of a badger.
I like the way she draws their eyes as little dots, too. You can't get much more deadpan than having no expression or animation at all...not even a pupil. It also helps them look like normal dumb animals, which makes it funnier still when they evince complex human emotions or reactions.
They are actually few and far between though. Climo favors a one-two punch, leading up to the gag, whereas Larson's gags were immediate, as he worked in single panels. Climo's sense of humor, in aggregate, seems much different as well; more observational comedy with animals.
Most of the characters in most of the strips are animals, but not all of them. One has mummies in it. Another little green Martians. Many of them have two green, bipedal lizards that look like super-cute Godzillas, although the little one refers to itself as a dinosaur in one strip, and plays Godzilla in another. I think they're supposed to be dinosaurs, based on the fact that Climo has an upcoming children's book featuring the characters on the cover and it's entitled Rory The Dinosaur: Me and My Dad.
Anyway, online or in print, Liz Climos's comics are worth seeking out. She draws good, and she tells funny jokes.