Comic Review: House of Fun

Multiple Eisner Award winner, Evan Dorkin, shares his sense of humor in the one shot, House of Fun. Published by Dark Horse Comics, this compilation includes stories from Dark Horse Presents issues 10 through 12 along with multiple pages of Fun gag strips, the return of The Eltingville Comic Book, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Role-Playing Club, new Milk and Cheese strips, and a new Murder Family episode.

Dorkin has shown to be a diverse writer over the decades his career has spanned, but he’s definitely known for his comedy in both comics and in television; Milk and Cheese being one of his most notable works.  The series is based on characters Dorkin used to draw on napkins in clubs based on an inside joke between he and his friends. The two characters, Milk and Cheese, an anthropomorphic wedge of cheese and carton of milk, seem to have a general hatred and/or disregard for human life and really enjoy their alcohol. Understandably so, this sort of behavior puts them in the middle of disorienting and gratuitously violent situations they’ve instigated or started, themselves.

In the name of humor, that’s pretty dark. They actually laugh and sing as they slaughter people with baseball bats and broken bottles. If you find that funny, then you should have no problem with a little girl dressed like Charlie Brown stabbing her father’s secretary in the throat mid-interrogation. Those are the kind of antics you can expect from The Murder Family; a family sit-com sort of comic centered on a family of sociopaths that carry on as though the family that slays together, stays together.

The humor in Hose of Fun isn’t all death and darkness. If you’re into mean spirited jokes poked at just about everyone, then you’ll definitely find something here to your liking. There’s about twenty five strips chock full of parodies, poop jokes, and stiff jabs made at the comic industry. Mean spirited aside, they don’t feel malicious, and Dorkin doesn’t even exempt himself from the subject matter, which is pretty spread out; its all it good fun. Its just not for children, but with that said, its not all vulgar nor filled with just a bunch of uncreative toilet humor. I’d say roughly a third would be considered toilet humor.

Still, its funny, which is what really matters. Paired with Dorkin’s playful artwork (and the assist from Sarah Dyer), House of Fun makes for an entertaining read. You get about thirty gag strips, four Milk and Cheese shorts, an episode of The Murder Family, and a pretty big Eltingville Comic Book, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Role-Playing Club episode. That makes for a whole lot of reading within those twenty eight pages, and that’s twenty eight pages from the person Frank Miller considers to be the funniest man in comics.

You may or may not be sure on whether or not this comic is worth your three dollars and fifty cents. So, as yourself: do you enjoy Space Ghost: Coast to Coast or Shin Chan? If you’re a bit older, have you ever checked out Instant Piano? Are into Mad Magazine? Yes, maybe? Then seeing how Dorkin lent his humorous writing skills to all the above, you’ll enjoy House of Fun which is available today at your local comic book shop, or you can always check out the Dark Horse Comics website and buy it there.

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