Hyperbole and a Half
I’ve always been a sucker for comics that talk about ordinary, every day life. It’s one of those things you see altogether too much of when people are trying to break in, and I can’t tell you how many people have asked me to read their scripts and it’s a story about the time they did X. I’m not knocking that, though, because I’d be a hypocrite if I did. My first comic, the largely out of print autobigraphical tale of a time a crackhead made me give him a ride, is certainly autobiography.
The problem is, most good stories, I’ve found, tend to improve with a little exaggeration, and our lives are pretty boring compared to say, a Charlie Everett type.
That said, there are many, many exceptions. Harvey Pekar. The Alcoholic is a good notable example recently. I love Maus. Fun Home. I would say, when the medium transcends the potential mediocrity of the average person’s life, or when it embraces it in a beautiful way, there’s an exception to every rule.
Hyperbole and a Half does a beautiful job of blending humor, exaggeration, and humility in a way that makes me laugh my ass off. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spouted CLEAN ALL THE THINGS! when trying to win my adult prize, or how many times I think GO TO THE BANK LIKE A MOTHERFUCKING ADULT! when I’m doing some chore or another. Read this post, then come back (if you can).
More recently, I found the depression I experienced before writing Cura reflected profoundly in her newest entry, the first in a while (she’s working on a book, but there’s a ton of archival stuff to check out). It’s at the top of the site, and you should give it a read.
I remember that feeling, the walls closing around, the lack of a desire to do anything I didn’t have to, and then that sudden snap, from nowhere, that realization that there’s nothing but chaos theory to sadness, and how all you can really do is get angry at it.
Go. Look. Enjoy!