Haha #5 is published by Image Comics, written by W. Maxwell Prince, with art by Gabriel Hernández Walta and letters by Good Old Neon. After a surprising shift in tone in the last issue, I looked forward to seeing if this month’s tale would continue the positive trend. And I wasn’t disappointed. While not all rainbows and sunshine, this issue continues to provide a warm glow within its pages instead of the cold chill the first several stories provided.
The world is always changing. Whether we would will it or not, it is inevitable as the tide. And as these changes swirl around us, taking so much from us, sometimes all we can do is cling to the elements of the past that we can—the keepsakes, mementos, and rituals that bring us some comfort. The warmth of a good memory can help inspire us through many cold nights.
The above concept is best illustrated in this issue, as readers are introduced to the retired clown Pound Foolish. Once a star in one of the traveling carnivals of yesteryear, now she goes about her days grumbling about the ways the world has changed while still wearing her clown makeup. Needless to say, between her grumpy attitude and unusual makeup, Foolish has quite the reputation around town. As she walks home from the grocery store, the reactions of those around her range from concern to demeaning. And there are even stories about her house and what things may haunt its walls.
The second element of Haha #5‘s story comes with the introduction of the Mid-Yard Mischief Club. A group of foolish kids who are about to set out on their once-a-year mischief-making. Assigned tasks from the club leader, young Billy is told he must steal a scary object from the haunted domicile of one Pound Foolish! Billy is not thrilled.
Through the eventual meeting of these two unlikely characters, Haha #5 delivers a tale that looks at how perceptions and preconceived notions can truly deceive from the whats and whys of a person. How writer Prince reveals Foolish’s personality gradually across the issue’s story allows the reader to firmly appreciate how who she is, gets confused with what people see. The fact that Billy is scared silly at the thought of crossing the threshold of her home in and of itself speaks volumes of the woman’s reputation in her town.
Artist Walta’s work on this issue does a great job of delivering the grounded story of Pound Foolish to the reader. The down-to-earth nature of the story, as well as its small-town setting, are both delivered wonderfully through the artist’s lines. Combine this with the subtle color usage throughout the story, and Walta brings the right feeling to the panels.
Wrapping up the presentation is Good Old Neon’s letters. The simple, effective skill the letters are delivered here goes perfectly with the energy of the story.
When all is said and done, Haha #5 delivers a strong heartfelt, if bittersweet, narrative that both surprised as well warmed my heart.
Haha #5 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Haha #5 delivers a strong heartfelt, if bittersweet, narrative that both surprised as well warmed my heart.