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Funny Books - When Bad Things Happen To Stupid People - John McPherson

BUY Close To Home (cover)
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A Close To Home Collection
John McPherson
Andrews McMeel 2005
144 pages

Close To Home and John McPherson absolutely and totally rock! Close To Home is the first cartoon I read in the comics section of the paper and it very rarely if ever lets me down. When Bad Things Happen To Stupid People is the thirteenth collection of this very funny, sometimes dark, always enjoyable comic and, once again, McPherson is in fine form. For that one person in the solar system not familiar with Close To Home, and although comparisons are unfair, this comic strip takes off where Gary Larson left us when he stopped Far Side.

This comparison to Gary Larson and Far Side is not really fair to McPherson because the latter is not obsessed with cows and there are far fewer weird and talking animals in Close To Home. This comic panel is more observational humour and situational comedy featuring the kind of every day events and situations we all find ourselves in. McPherson also nails those things about stupid people that annoy all of us and through him we can get a modicum of revenge. When Bad Things Happen To Stupid People has to be taken tongue in cheek because many panels do not really feature bad things happening to idiots: Dropping water on a idiot whose cell phone rings in a theatre is not a bad thing and neither is getting a million dollars if you go trick or treating at Bill Gates' home -although McPherson's Gates looks a lot nicer than the real one.

When Bad Things Happen To Stupid People is an absolutely great collection of John McPherson's panel comics. An added bonus in this collection is the somewhat autobiographical introduction that gives you a bit of a background on the comic, the Angry Letters section where you get reader comments and the cartoon that set them off (my, my aren't chiropractors touchy -by the way, how many chiropractors does it take to change a light bulb? One, but it takes 8 visits--), a section on where ideas come from, and a really neat multiple-choice pick the caption section where the author and illustrator takes you through the editing process.

McPherson also includes in the thirteenth Close To Home collection a series of cartoons killed by the editor supposedly because they were inappropriate for a newspaper. Doh!

When Bad Things Happen To Stupid People? Not getting this collection as a Christmas or birthday present!



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