Being how I only use YouTube for watching music videos and game play, I may be one of the few who has no idea what the hell Smosh is or who Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla are. The duo, who have 36 million combined subscribers, are working alongside Dynamite Comics editor Rich Young to bring their comedy sensibilities to the comic world.
The book is split into two parts; part one features “The Super Virgin Squad” who are a trio of planners and nerds looking to defend the rights of the socially awkward and geeky; part two features “That Damn Neighbour”, the title of which explains the premise.
Written by Michael McDermot, of zombie anthology FUBAR fame, The Super Virgin Squad are called upon by a love-struck Amanda “warpony-1” Cuddy, to help her woo her man crush. What follows is a complicated series of mis-events that have a certain level of humour to the calamitous, leading to the creation of a possible uber-enemy. The “fun” part of the book is the relationship between the “stooge-like” squad and their need to interact with parents in order to fulfil their mission and the fact that despite their “super-heroics”, they are just as geeky as those they seek to help. Amanda is likeable enough, after all we have all had that school crush that we just can’t seem to get to notice us!. The art from Franco Viglino works well enough throughout the book. The faces have that wide-eyed look which conveys the majority of the emotions. The Squad is well realized and the cartoon element only add to the fun vibe. Colors by Mohan work equally as well, giving a real world feel to book.
“That Damn Neighbour” is written, drawn and coloured by Yale Stewart. The story is pretty simple; man gets a badass swimming pool that he bans his neighbour from. Said neighbour then uses the pool and then the “hilarity” begins. As simple stories go, it does what it says on the cover. As such, with no surprises the humour falls a little flat for me. I was expecting a major punchline, rather than the obvious one I received. This then falls into repetition, a failing of a number of comic strips, which counter this with likeable characters. I guess that the fact the protagonist is unlikeable means that you can decide for yourself which of the two men is “That Damn Neighbour”.
Funny books are tricky. Its all well and good, but if you don’t get the punchline, then you wasted your time and money. This book is far from a waste of time, but whilst there are quiet funny moments, the loud laughs I was expecting fail to appear. However, the YouTube duo have such a following that there will be a number of fans that will love this book.
|The Super Virgin Squad||That Damn Neighbour|
|Writing – 3.5 Stars||Writing – 3 Stars|
|Art – 3.5 Stars||Art – 3 Stars|
|Colors – 4 Stars||Colors – 3 Stars|