“Went from bad to worse” is an overused phrase, and it the case of Gunshow it has the added benefit of being wrong. No, no, Gunshow went from horrible to mediocre.
I try not to judge a comic by its original pieces, but that’s more about the art. Plus, Gunshow‘s “original shittiness” extends for a very large portion of the archive. Frankly, the jokes are terrible and fall into a few catagories:
- Meta humor that ends with the phrase “that’s the joke”. This would be funny if it was done once but repeating it simply dulls it.
- Jokes that weren’t funny the first time they appeared and yet set the basis for three comics afterward. If a pun is used for a “hurr it’s a bad pun isn’t it durr” way then you probably lack a decent sense of humor. However, if you steep to such a thing then don’t use the same pun for the next comic as well, let alone the following one!
- Failed attempts at pop culture humor. You have to make a joke, folks, not just throw characters together and scream “COMEDY”!
- “Dark humor” that’s about as dark as day.
- “Look how oblivious he is! Isn’t that funny”? No, it’s not.
There are a few decent strips, I must say. The Skylar Popcollar series is decent, and the Hardly Boys strips pulled a slight smile from within, but they are few and far between.
The crowning achievement of Gunshow, a phrase I type with a smirk, is the Anime Club arc. Bascially, a bunch of kids who watch anime have to fight their tyrannical leader with horrid tastes. They leave the club, join up with one at school, there’s a showdown, blah blah blah. Brevity is the key to wit, friends, something that Mr. Green seems to have missed. The first couple are decent, I’ll admit that. However, when the arc really gets going… the Anime Club is a text story with pictures thrown in for “pizzaz”, nothing more, nothing less. And that’s perfectly fine, all of my crap is text-only as well. The problem is that his story is utterly inane. It’s not engaging, it’s not well-written, it’s not clever. In a word, it sucks.
The lovely thing about comics is that a horrid writer can cover up his spawn with decent art. For example, I would probably read Dresden Codak even if every word was “I hate Jews” because the art is so fantastic. However, combine bad writing and poor execution with the format and art… it doesn’t work, folks.
Overall, Gunshow has a few decent strips that are buried in mediocrity. Avoid it.