cover image Megahex


Simon Hanselmann. Fantagraphics, $29.99 (200p) ISBN 978-1-60699-743-7

The cast of this webcomic, now lovingly anthologized, is made up of those acquaintances from high school who never moved away—the ones you hope you don’t run into at the 7-Eleven when you go home for Thanksgiving. Or the freshman year college roommate for whom the phrase “wake and bake” is more than a silly rhyme, it’s a lifestyle choice. There are a few differences, of course—namely, the fact that the trio at the heart of these episodes are a witch, a black cat, and an anthropomorphic owl. They get high, sleep in, fool around with one another, and generally do terrible things to themselves and others. As the stories unfold like a stoner fantasy version of a sitcom, the trio flail and struggle with depression and begin to grow all too human. In his debut graphic novel, Tasmanian Hanselmann draws gridlike pages filled with simple flat shapes, given emphasis by a dulled palette of watercolors. The story is depressing as often as it is funny, a cautionary tale that’s at its best when Hanselmann spreads his writing wings, extending beyond a gag strip into an honest exploration of his deeply flawed leads. (Sept.)