13 February 2009

Just Enough Adventure

I own thousands of books. However, I'm close to 100% certain that Hsu and Chan: Too Much Adventure is the only one with this blurb on the front cover: "from the pages of Electronic Gaming Monthly." (I'd have to dig out that copy of Turgenev's Fathers and Children to be completely sure.)

Norm Scott's comic is about two brothers from eastern Ohio who produce shoddy videogames. When, that is, they aren't fighting off ancient demons, the Russian mafia, or rival game lords.

I don't play videogames, shoddy or not; they've never held much interest for me. As I understand it, the short Hsu and Chan comics that appear in Electronic Gaming Monthly have much more videogame content than this volume.

On the other hand, I haven't fought demons or Russians, peddled movie merchandise, or liberated carnival freaks, either. So I shouldn't relate to these adventures any more than the videogames. But this book had me quaking with laughter.

I first got a taste of Hsu and Chan in a "best graphic novels of the year (okay, the last eighteen months--so sue us)" volume from the library. Then I spent a couple of months asking comic-shop owners if they carried Hsu and Chan, which meant a couple of months of spelling out "Hsu." Finally I used the internets.

And I'm delighted I did. I won't claim that Norm Scott's sense of humor is a match for everyone, but it sure hit a chord with me. The only problem is that his lettering is small. Like, smaller than Laika.

There's a five-page preview of Hsu and Chan's next comical adventure here. A smaller-scale story here. A Hsu and Chan adventure from "2003, 2004-ish" here. Turgenev's Fathers and Children here.

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