Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
Yeah, I know, old news. I'm not worried about being up-to-date or cutting edge or anything like that. I'm here because I read something and I am going to write about it.
I've been aware of Hyperbole and a Half as a webcomic for some years. It's hard to be online and not be aware of it. However, its rise to Bestseller heights took place during the period of my own struggle with depression, so I was in no way able to, you know, be cognizant of much of anything. Depression keeps a person very busy being depressed.
Allie Brosh talks about this. Indeed, the chapters on depression were terribly familiar to me.
However, the other chapters -- some of which I had seen online, usually passed to me by my beloved friend Jammies of Curmugeonette infamy because she always knows about this stuff before I do -- had me laughing so very hard I flopped bonelessly on the couch and flapped my hands at The Husband. I know I drooled a bit. I might have peed a teeny amount, but that could also be because I've turned 50 now and everything is out of warranty and thus prone to malfunction. Still, there was much, much laughing helplessly.
I love that much laughing.
I did a quicky search online for Allie Brosh and Hyperbole and a Half. The weblog still exists, but it is static and silent. I wonder what she's doing now, and how publishing a book (and all the other marketing items -- calendars! Note cards! Date books!) has altered her life.
I also read two other webcomics-turned-books: Cyanide & Happiness, and Ice Cream & Sadness: More Comics from Cyanide & Happiness. Again, this is a webcomic I see from time to time but do not follow myself. I read the books with a sort of fascinated horror. My sense of humor, I will admit, is, ah, very individual. I often watch and enjoy comedy without ever laughing. I also do not enjoy some kinds of comedy which others find hilarious (for example, almost every sit-com in the last 10 years. In fact, I think the last such show I did enjoy was Northern Exposure, and even that wore out by 1994). I didn't find much in the books that was funny, although absurd humor usually appeals to me. Yet I read them, lingering over particular strips and puzzling over text. I don't feel much draw to read more, yet I do see why people read and link to the comics. Just because I don't get it doesn't mean they have nothing to give. Like I said, I spent some time on them myself. Still, they don't excite me much.