Existing as an artist or writer on the Internet can sometimes be very irritating. Anyone can become a blogger nowadays, thanks to BlogSpot and WordPress, even if they have absolutely no content with actual substance to contribute to the web. Likewise, this is said the same for artists and hand-drawn comics. Tumblr makes throwing content and original photography/artwork around much easier, and somewhere between the reblogging and “liking,” credit is loss and art is somewhat devalued, as it becomes merely a pretty image to gawk over for a split second of an attention span. This can be especially true with web-comics.
I’m not very fond of web-comics, but I have read plenty to make me laugh. Great web-comics tend to get lost in the slew of clones and cookie-cutter copy art presented, while some creators have issues being consistent with humor and content that can ultimately lose the attention they deserve at times. For the most part though, I’ve seen too many comics on the Internet that aren’t amusing at all and plain out suck total ass.
Thankfully, Lauren Barnett’s web-comics don’t suck total ass and are actually pretty damn funny. Her collection of hand-drawn comics are presented on her blog and her archives date back all the way to 2007. Fortunately, Hic & Hoc Publications released a huge chunk of those comics in a collection titled Me Likes You Very Much, featuring multiple comics by Lauren from 2008 through 2012.
What kind of comics am I talking here? Cute ones. Lauren Barnett draws various fruits and animals throughout her 1-4 panel comics, each with its own little face and an adorable stance. She also throws in a couple of curse words in some panels to turn the cuteness factor up a bit. That doesn’t distract from the actual content though, as Lauren pokes fun in each comic at everyday situations and clumsiness in short, tiny conversations. She also flawlessly showcases these daily awkward affairs in a very simple way, conveying sometimes hard to explain happenings in an effortless fashion.
Through each page’s few panels and talk bubbles, Barnett exploits conversations that most experience every day through witty comments and snappy remarks. These comics include certain “I wish I would’ve said that,” moments and real life frustrations. Hell, as adorable as the comics may seem, Barnett still comes across as a realist, lacing complicated thoughts and emotion behind adorable animals and characters.
It does seem odd and a bit out of place as an idea, but combining cute animals and fruits with real life stories of sarcasm and crudeness really just flow natural with Barnett. Because of this, Me Likes You Very Much is an exceptionally charming collection of comics (or web-comics, whatever you may see them as in book form) presented in a pretty unique way that needs all the praise it can get. This comic will go under the radar for sure, but this comic collection is something you surely do not want to miss. Her 187-page book contains enough laughter to motivate readers to share with friends and re-read over and over again, while the blog will definitely become a new addiction for new fans to hold over until a new effort arises.
Writing by Kevin Cortez
Illustrations by Estevan Sanchez