Angry Youth Comix #14 (Fantagraphics)

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ayc14-header.jpgBoobs Pooter offers up "The World's Funniest Joke," a magnum opus of poop and vomit jokes, in this latest offering from gross-out king Johnny Ryan.



24 pgs. B&W; $3.50

(W / A: Johnny Ryan)


From a technical standpoint, what makes Angry Youth #14 a bit different from the usual is that Johnny Ryan tells a single story that goes for the full 24 pages of the issue. From a gross-out standpoint, that gives him the opportunity to craft a sort of magnum opus of poop and vomit jokes that crescendo in the story, "The World's Funniest Joke."

The cover to Angry Youth Comix #14 by Johnny Ryan. Click for a larger image.This is going to sound like a bit much, but AY#14 would seem to draw from the tale of Job. Deranged comedian Boobs Pooter, who thrives on causing average folks horrific pain and death, begins by innocently taking a crap on the street. A pedestrian slips in it, breaks his neck and becomes paralyzed. After suffering various indignities in the hospital (a nurse levers his ankles up to his ears to get at his impacted turds), the man begins a new life inside a rolling bionic suit. His robot shlong offers new worlds of pleasure, but not so fast, my horny half-robot friend—Boobs Pooter's sinister plan is just getting started.

The tale of Job concerns faith, and how it will be rewarded through the very worst of trials. The tales of Boobs Pooter concern average Joes and how they will die horrible, painful, humiliating deaths that serve as the punchlines for the jokes that are their pathetic lives. Job's suffering doesn't make sense, and that's the problem - he doesn't deserve it. Oh yes, he does, says Boobs Pooter—everyone's a jerk, and everyone deserves punishment. The "World's Funniest Joke" is this life.

My favorite part of the new issue is when one of Pooter's fans mentions some of the schlocky films he's appeared in, including "Death in Venice II: The Quickening" "Shitstab III," and "Oops, I Married the Toilet." (Still think we're not a bunch of jerks who deserve to suffer?)

That's when I laughed out loud and immediately looked up to see if anyone else could actually see what I was reading. Johnny Ryan fans know the drill. | Byron Kerman

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