Monday, 3 July 2017

One More Year by Simon Hanselmann Review


One More Year is Simon Hanselmann’s latest Megg & Mogg collection, full of new subversive stoner comedy stories. Like the last one, Megg & Mogg in Amsterdam, One More Year is pretty decent though unfortunately doesn’t reach the heights of Megahex. 

The thing is: three books in and the schtick is starting to feel stale. You know like how sometimes a sitcom becomes successful and then dips in quality - the characters become too well defined and don’t change, their catchphrases and storylines become overly familiar? That’s where Hanselmann’s Megg & Mogg is now. 

Megg is still a basket case, Owl is still the group’s punching bag, and Werewolf Jones remains outrageous as fuck. They get stoned, they do childish, reckless, silly shit, repeat, etc. and the artwork is the same, book in, book out. But Hanselmann’s created something great with this title and still manages to be entertaining every so often. 

WW Jones, that dirty bastard, had me genuinely laughing when he accidentally took viagra at the water park and was walking around with a huge boner that his banana hammock utterly failed to cover! And his birthday wish to take a “Boston Clanger” (a shit) on Owl’s pillow was ridiculously funny. That’s the level of humour but it works! 

The comedy walks the line between hilarious and unpleasant when it comes to how the group treat Owl, kinda like the way Family Guy escalated the violence against Meg by Peter and co. Sometimes it’s just funny because Owl’s a bit of a creep too but other times it can be off-putting where you just feel sorry for him and hate Megg & Mogg for being so cruel. 

The high school flashback was mildly interesting, as were the stories on the Zine Faire and the Ram Raids, but just as many stories failed to hit anywhere close to the target like when they got retail jobs and had a birthday dinner for Owl. There are also a large number of one or two pagers that are totally unmemorable and throwaway. 

I don’t know how many more of these Hanselmann can crank out before they become boring but it feels like he’s starting to run out of ideas and ending the series and trying something new might not be a bad idea. One More Year, as the title suggests, is basically more of the same but there’s enough good stuff here to satisfy fans - just don’t expect too much. If you’ve yet to experience Hanselmann’s Megg & Mogg comics, check out Megahex instead for an excellent knee-slapper of a read.

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