Sunday, September 4, 2011

Why I Hate Saturn

Listed in "500 Essential Graphic Novels" as: Humor (Best of the Rest)
Contains: Why I Hate Saturn (Original Graphic Novel)
Year: 1990
Publisher: DC/Piranha (reprinted under Vertigo)
Writer: Kyle Baker
Artist: Kyle Baker

After stepping outside the ol' comfort zone with "It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken", I decided to keep going in the same direction with "Why I Hate Saturn".

Protagonist Anne is a New Yorker.  She writes for a little-read hipster magazine called Daddy-O.  She's lazy, belligerent, a bit of a slob and seemingly has no luck with guys.  She's prone to hanging out with her best friend Ricky at less than authentic Mexican restaurants and scrutinizing the other denziens of the Big Apple.  Despite her general laziness, she's landed a book deal based on the relative success of her column in Daddy-O.  She's yet to begin writing said book.

As if she didn't have enough to worry about, her sister Laura shows up late one night with a gunshot wound.  To add even further difficulty into the mix, the gunshot wounded Laura also believes that she's Queen of the Leather Astro-Girls of Saturn.

This sets the stage for a very different kind of adventure...

While the book was said to bring nonstop laughs, I don't think I once laughed out loud.  Some of the gags might have brought a smirk to my face, but the bulk of this book brought characters haggling about things that I really couldn't care less about.  Relationships, dive clubs in New York, the cleanliness (or lack thereof) of a living space, etc.

The art style was like nothing I'd ever seen before, more akin to comic STRIPS than almost all my other experience in the medium, but with its scratchy lines, less-than-flashy black-and-white style, and overall cartoony take on things, it left me wanting a bit more.

Some of the jokes were funny.  Commentary on pop culture, the way society pigeonholes things, society in general...  Some of the stuff was clever.

But, all things considered, this work left me (after having just read "It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken) with two books in a row that were decent, but not works that I'd call "essential" reads representing the medium. 

Mr. Kannenberg's rating: 5 out of 5
My rating: 2 out of 5
4 down, 496 to go


  1. Sounds kinda' cruddy. Oh well. I realized early on when doing the "1001 Movies..." book that you're simply not going to like them all. No one's tastes are THAT flexible. Hopefully it smartened you up even more in your knowledge of comics and broadened your spectrum a little.

    Hopefully that first TOP 10 pick holds up. I'll keep my eyes open for it!

  2. Yeah, I really didn't enjoy this one. Not to say it's not well done and that someone out there couldn't enjoy it, but definitely not a comic that's for me.

    And yeah, bro... Don't get discouraged if you don't see that Top Ten pick for a bit. I mean I guess it's possible that I could go on a huge reading tear this evening and get that posted, but "Blankets" (which, as I mentioned, will be that first Top Ten pick) is some 600 pages long.

    Just wanted to let you know so you hadn't thought I'd given up already... ;)