Review: HaHa #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: W. Maxwell Prince
Artist: Zoe Thorogood
Colors: Chris O’Halloran
Letters: Good Old Neon
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
“Every little girl and boy needs a momma. That’s just the God’s honest truth.” – Rudolph
HAHA #2 – “RUDOLPH ON THE ROAD TO FUNVILLE” Every boy and girl needs a momma, like a puppy needs a bowl.
The funny-sad clown series for a funny-sad clown world continues with a mother-daughter road trip illustrated by ZOE THOROGOOD (The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott).
HAHA is a genre-jumping, throat-lumping look at the sad, scary, hilarious life of those who get paid to play the fool—but these ain’t your typical jokers.
With issues drawn by VANESA DEL REY (REDLANDS), GABRIEL WALTA (Vision), ROGER LANGRIDGE (Thor), and more, HAHA peeks under the big top, over the rainbow, and even inside a balloon to tell a wide-ranging slew of stories about “funny” men and women, proving that some things are so sad you just have to laugh.
The inaugural issue of Haha #1, this six issue mini-series had too many nods to well….you know who. Issue #2 directs its scope on perhaps a combination of Joker and Harley Quinn in the form of Rudolph, a mentally ill housewife who turns tricks to fund her trip with her daughter to get to Funville.
W. Maxwell Prince appears to be an avid Stephen King fan as well as a fan of The Joker. He takes on a very difficult task of telling sad stories with clowns that are comparable to The Joker, Harley Quinn, and Pennywise.
This tale is one that combines elements of a good old fashioned road trip with daughter and mom. It might ring of National Lampoon’s Vacation (spoiler alert…sorry Funville!) but it is morbid.
Rights of passage such as learning how to shave your legs with Mom turns ugly when a “trick” goes too far in wanting prostitute favors from Rudolph’s Mom.
This story has a domino effect. What daughter survives watching her mentally ill prostitute mother kill a john, then subsequently is arrested, and has a stroke that kills her.
Where do you go from there…. the stripper pole. Sad.
Zoe Thorogood‘s work is solid as an artist. There are some perspectives that are off and some frames that look rushed. I don’t know if this book needs clean art though. It is clowns gone wrong. Nothing funny. Nothing humorous. Just the saddest smile you can muster.
The story had a foregone conclusion before it started. It was the ultimate foreshadow given the elements. It is not that the writing is bad…it’s just been done so much in the clown genre by authors that have used some of the same devices.
It’s not plagiarism, but basically an entire generation has been ruined by The Joker, Pennywise, and John Wayne Gacy.
Again…Send Away the Clowns…!
Prince’s second issue is a tragedy. Perhaps when all issues are published and are connected, we will see a six series of short stories that are more designed for pity on these characters than a connection. Again, I commend anyone that tries to infuse energy into a tired theme. DC has all the angles covered in comics with The Joker, Harley Quinn, Punchline, The Clown Killer, etc. Stephen King destroyed Barnum and Bailey’s clowns through his work in IT. I’m in for the long haul, but I am not laughing at HaHa!