Comic Review: Should You Be Laughing At This?

[Purchase Book]

Short answer: Yes.

Icelandic cartoonist Hugleikur Dagsson (and no, I have no idea how to pronounce that; you’ll have to ask Björk) does little one-panel cartoons in a very simplistic style. The cartoon on the cover of the book (for which the title serves double-duty as a caption), featuring a woman vomiting into a baby carriage is a pretty good example/warning of the contents. If you’re not amused by it, you’re probably not going to enjoy the contents of the book. If, however, you — for lack of a better word — get the cartoon, then it’s pretty safe.


Many of the cartoons are pantomime, though those that aren’t are translated into English. There are a few that I didn’t quite get, though they had the nature of it being a cultural issue rather than just not being funny. But those are a minority, and the bulk hit their target.

Dagsson doesn’t typically traffic in satire; he’s more of an absurdist. The cartoons don’t typically have larger targets than everyday life, but that’s OK. Many times, he leaves the interpretation open; one features a woman leaving a toilet, from which a word bubble reads “I love you, mommy” — did she have an abortion, or did her feces gain sentience? It’s left up in the air; admittedly, either way, the punchline isn’t for everyone, but it worked for me.

If there is a problem with the book — aside from it being too short — is that the font used in the translation is rather hideous; it’s quite similar to MS Comic Sans — I think it might actually be Comic Sans slightly vertically stretched. But then again, I’m a font snob, and it’s not like this really should ruin anyone’s enjoyment of the book. One minor flaw, but that’s pretty good — most books have way more than that!

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