Remember how I said reddit is a bad place to find webcomics? Well, I’m a glutton for punishment because I still check it. While doing so recently I came across this little Team Fortress 2 gem, which now that I think about it was actually in the gaming reddit. But anyway, I liked it and wanted to find the author because the poster just shoved it into his imgur account and gave us all the finger. To make a long story short I was directed to K.C. Green. And while I didn’t find the comic I was looking for right away, I did find Gunshow.
But what is Gunshow? Well, you remember Pictures For Sad Children? Imagine that with less plot and more interesting characters. Oh, and better art.
This sounds like something I would enjoy, but as I began to read through the archives I came to a horrifying realization. Gunshow is a partial biography of Tophat and I’s lives. Well, our imaginary lives at least. You see, life is so much cooler in our heads. We dash out to the news chopper when a tornado starts kickboxing hurricane Ike, or when that crappy little river town finally sinks into the Ohio as the county commissioners cheer in delight. Local mayor Bruce closely resembles Bruce Campbell and fights off the local restauranteur who seeks to unseat him as king of this growing metropolis with the help of his boomstick. And of course there is the new judge in town. He has earned the nickname Judge Dredd for his quiet but imposing presence and is proclivity for the phrase “I AM THE LAW.” He carries open animosity for the county prosecutor and rules his court with an iron fist. Like this, actually:
We are very much looking forward to the upcoming title bout between local favorite U.S. Grant and Ronald Reagan, the winner gets his face on a $50. Tophat is very much backing Reagan. For spite. There are very few acceptable restaurants in our back water little town and so we developed a weekly ritual. Wednesday was Burger King day. On occasion we would get bored and try one of their stupid new burgers and this was usually the result:
There was a Long John Silver’s in town as well, but that place fills Tophat with a great sadness and destroys my will to live. And yet their chicken is so tasty! Why? Why must I be tormented this way? I just want to eat my crumblies in peace. But no, there’s always some crazy lady wanting to talk about how all the cops are racist pigs because they won’t let her drink on the sidewalk or some guy who wants you to review his children’s book but you have to go to his little apartment above the bar where that girl got arrested for doing things in the bathroom because he’s afraid to leave his house. Fortunately you can always count on the local environmental activists to protest the landfill by crashing a UFO into it and blaming the builders for faulty dirt piling or something.
Right. Perhaps I should return to reality to talk about the rabbitsbent on killing each other over a stock pile of carrots. No, that wasn’t it. Oh! Anime Club. I don’t like anime. Tophat, doesn’t like anime. And yet here we have an epic and well done story line featuring some nerds, who Green is bent on killing for the record, well to be exact he wants to kill all nerds, which puts him in an awkward position. Gunshow is mostly a collection of non-sequitars but there are recurring characters with their own plots. Anime Club is the shining star of the bunch. It features great character dynamics and the story flows nicely. So even though I don’t get the anime references, I can appreciate a connoisseur’s passion. I would do well to issue you a warning. Gunshow is occasionally not safe for work and makes liberal use of swears and full frontal male nudity. What’s amusing is Green actually recognizes the offensive nature of some of his work and warns his relatives not to read them.
Another recurring character is the Hairy Criminal, who plays host to the Tales From a Creep portion of the comic. While the tales are an homage to Tales From the Crypt, one particular tale was so engaging and bizarre it should have been made into a Twighlight Zone. No, they’re not the same thing. They aren’t! Anyway, this little story sold me on Green. It drew me in so completely that by the time I got to the end the hairy criminal startled me. I completely forgot he was even in it. I am a fan of Green’s work because of this story. I’ve made comparisons to Green’s friend John Campbell and his comic PFSC, but the fact is Green surpasses Campbell in every way. Green’s stories are better, his art is far better, and his non-sequiturs are at times more creepy. Campbell wins on depressing, however. And honestly I could do without Green’s dick jokes. I mean, the well endowed mummy is just Conan O’Brian’s masturbating bear skit taken to its completion. And this guy? Just why? But what do I expect from a guy who made a comic about two girls one cup. (Editor’s note: For the love of all that is sacred and holy do not google that phrase. It will change you in ways I can only imagine.)
The early archives include some comics that predate the current website so Green has begun going back and adding commentary to them, which I enjoyed. In fact when i ran out of commentary while reading through the archives I suddenly found myself a little sad and alone. So I started e-mailing Tophat links and forcing him to read the strip with me. He didn’t reciprocate the discussion though, because he’s a jerk like that.
Many of the low brow comics are limited to the early stages of the comic, so if you want to join the comic when it starts to come into its own click here. I’m sure you will enjoy it, and beginning in 2011 Green started publishing the comics in color, so that’s fun.
Before I leave, to all the ladies out there I just want to say, welcome to the gun show.