REVIEW: ‘Haha,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

HaHa #1

Haha #1 is published by Image Comics, written by W. Maxwell Prince, art by Vanesa Del Rey, colors by Chris O’Halloran, and letters by Good Old Neon. Bartelby the Clown works at Funville Amusement Park. Sadly though, times are tough for Bartelby. The park doesn’t bring in the guests like it used to, and his wife’s frustrations with their mounting money problems grow with each day. But it’s ok because there could be something better right around the corner.

There is an old saying attached to a rather famous clown: “We are all just one bad day away.” One bad day away from snapping and losing it on a world that treats us unjustly. One bad day away from throwing our cares and morality to the wind and doing whatever our newly broken psyches should desire. But are we? No matter how bad the day is, do we ever not have a choice. Or can we always choose to push on and see the world for the miracle it can be?

Haha #1 introduces us to Bartelby the Clown just as he is about to have a terrible day. As the story opens, we see him having breakfast before going off to Funville for a day of clowning around. And already, the day isn’t going great. His wife vents her frustrations at him over the breakfast table as their kids sit between them. And the icing on the terrible morning cake? Just as he tries valiantly to defend the job that keeps the lights on, the lights go off. While the book doesn’t explicitly say, but this has got to be a Monday.

His arrival at work brings another blow to poor Bartelby; Funville is shutting its doors. What can ya do? The world changes. It’s tough, but his boss clearly feels bad and tries to lighten the blow the best he can. And even as he leaves his former place of employment, dejected and uncertain of what to do next, this day is only going to get worse.

As Haha #1’s story unfolds, we follow Bartelby through a running internal monologue. As his day twists and turns, we get to see how he processes and views every bump and bruise his day gives him. We see where he puts his focus on both his day and his life as a whole.  Will he choose to focus on the things going right for him, or will he see his cup as finally being empty.

Del Rey’s art does a great job of bringing the story’s heavy tones to every panel here. Heavy line work, combined with a scratchiness to the art, provides the visuals with an aesthetic that matches the story’s focus. Their dark visual look is furthered by the darker color palettes utilized by colorist O’Halloran.

Lastly, we have a solid delivery of letters from Good Old Neon. The letter work here flows nicely and never gets in the way of the art.

When all is said and done, Haha #1 provides readers with a curious look at a terrible day. What it ultimately says may be up for a measure of interpretation, but there is never anything wrong with that.

Haha #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 


Haha #1
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TL;DR

When all is said and done, Haha #1 provides readers with a curious look at a terrible day. What it ultimately says may be up for a measure of interpretation, but there is never anything wrong with that.