Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Darick Robertson
32 Pages / Color / $2.99
Geeks Unleashed has been lucky enough to read an advanced copy of Happy #1 written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Darick Robertson and has already been reported as having sold out at distributor level with a second printing on the way. Strangely I was having a conversation the other day about comics, comics in the UK are viewed very differently than they are in the USA – reading a comic book here or being seen with one in your possession has massive social stigmas attached to it and I think it’s because most people see comics as being (a) superheroes only and (b) for kids. For those people who think that; should go and pick up issue #1 of Happy. “Let me tell you something about the man we’re here to kill. Nick Sax is a C&^%. A C&^%.” This sentence was across panels three and four of the page and it would feel strange not to mention the swearing doesn’t ease off throughout the book and it’s not that I have a problem with swearing by any means – I struggle to watch my own tongue most days. Happy pushes the boundaries of violence and bad language with a heavy and dark tone throughout the book set during Christmas time but I know for one thing that this is (a) not a book with superheroes and (b) definitely not for kids.
The story follows the man who was referred to as a C^&% called Nick Sax a disgraced cop who ends up in the cross hairs of cops and criminals and an imaginary blue horse to keep him company. When I read this I didn’t know much about it going in – we had the setup, the introduction of the main character if you will. Then we met the man himself but the introduction of Happy – the blue talking horse came in later on and it made me think of an adult Scott Pilgrim book, what I mean by that is we assumed that we were reading graphic novel drama with some game like tendencies and then bam comes one of the evil ex-boyfriends and a video game style battle commences. That’s how I felt about the blue talking horse, he appears in this gangster world and although if you read any of the solicitations you would have known so I’m glad I didn’t. But the big question is does this blue talking horse feel out-of-place? Does it ruin the story of the gritty crime noir? The answer is no it doesn’t it truly adds another rich layer to this masterpiece.
Darick Robertson is no stranger to the darker tones of the comic book world with a 43 issue run along side Gareth Ennis on the Boys, the art work creates a truly wonderful and believable world. He shows of his skills here going from the already mentioned cartoon like talking horse the shootings and drunk santa. Darick has really put his pencils to good use on this book.
This book shows a lot of potential and I can’t wait to see more of Nick Sax and his talking horse. It’s gritty, shocking, incredibly well written with fantastic art work and over all this comic made me Happy, will it make you Happy?