NEVER AS BAD AS YOU THINK
Written by Kathryn Immonen and Drawn by Stuart Immonen
Published by Boom Studios
NEVER AS BAD AS YOU THINK is a unique and eclectic collection of comic strips which were originally created as online episodes based on a random word choice. The author received the word, wrote a story surrounding that word, and then given that story foundation her artiste husband would draw the strip.
Given this type of story origin there naturally is no conceivable set plot line for this collection of strips, but NABAYT isn’t supposed to be a typical beginning-middle-end sort of story. You never know exactly what you’re going to get out of each strip, whether it’s a laugh, a scratch on the head, or a thoughtful introspection of ‘Huh, now THAT was interesting.’
As the introduction points out, the best parts about this book are the one-liners. Random, hilarious and occasionally incomprehensible, there are many jewels to be found in this collection, some of which should make the segue into standard conversation. Standing on a beach, a member of a mariachi band utters “Let’s find some half drunk drinks and some all drunk co-eds.” Riding shotgun in an ambulance, a man trying to have a hypothetical conversation with his paramedic partner can’t help but notice “Your left boob is talking to me” before the boob in question starts talking back. These lines, and many others, are clear evidence of a comic genius. Some are delivered by people, some are spoken by animals, and both can be found in a range of settings from relatively normal to anything but. A couple gets a cup of coffee and confronts a man’s hypochondria in one strip while in another a trio of birds take a bath in some running water before flying off while discussing how you can’t keep your eyes open when you sneeze.
Not every page delivers a golden zinger and it can be difficult to see where a strip is going, but the random hilarity never ceases, keeping the reader excessively amused. The art is naturally a flawless fit to the story given the way each strip came to be. The basic pencils and simpler stick-like figures are the perfect complement to the haphazard scenarios created on each page, and Stuart manages to include all the fundamentals of a well-drawn comic in his designs while excluding unnecessary flotsam which would only bog down the pace of the story.
NEVER AS BAD AS YOU THINK is a humorous collection ideal for anyone looking for a comical book a bit off the beaten path. If you are hankering for a chuckle and find amusement in the nonsensical and bizarre, this is the book to satisfy that craving.