Up for grabs this week is a copy of Joseph Larkin’s “Arcade of Cruelty. You know the drill email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and lucky number 11 will get the book.
via William Jones for Graphic Novel Reporter
“Crass-for-the-sake-of-crass comics usually go one way or the other; there isnâ€™t much middle ground. Either the author has a special touch that somehow makes the work funny despite the readerâ€™s better judgment or he doesnâ€™t, leaving a book filled with racist, homophobic, and/or simply offensive material, not only to the subject matter but good taste.
Joseph Patrick Larkin knows this, if the comic on page 237 of his Arcade of Cruelty is an indication. The comic is titled â€œJohnny Ryanâ€™s Response to 9/11,â€ and it takes the aforementioned cartoonist of Angry Youth Comix to task for missing the point, this time without the apologies Larkin often offers with his style-imitation strips. It features a disgusting character pointlessly spewing the dirtiest possible language and really has nothing to do with 9/11, or anything else for that matter.
Thatâ€™s not to say Larkin is an upstanding member of the comics world himself. The strip in question appears in a section devoted to 9/11 comics, and not in the artsy Art Spiegelman sense, but in the making-jokes-about-it-and-peopleâ€™s-opinions-of-it sort of way. The rest of the book is littered with his deranged sexual ponderings (including a slew of jokes about rape), defacement of childhood yearbooks, and plenty of self-loathing. But Larkin seems to have the touch, using a tongue-in-cheek approach to give many of his strips a heavy helping of irony, with many of them truly at the expense of their author.”