Content Warning: Haha #6 contains scenes of suicide.
Haha #6 is published by Image Comics, written by W. Maxwell Prince, with art by Martin Morazzo and Chris O’Halloran and letters by Good Old Neon. Happy Hank, The Very Happy Clown has seen better days. In fact, he isn’t happy at all. There is so much going on in Hank’s life not to be happy about. And when Hank looks around, he doesn’t see things going much better for anybody else either. With so much going wrong in the world, Hank can’t help but wonder what’s a clown to do?
A good finale often encapsulates the major themes of the series it is wrapping up. It brings all the concepts together, frequently serving as a sort of thematic synopsis for the story. This feels true for Haha #6. Just as the issues that have preceded it brought ups and downs, so does this final story of a clown. And like with much of the preceding chapters, this book leaves me mildly uncertain of exactly what I’m supposed to take from it.
Happy Hank’s story through the pages of this issue is decidedly not happy. And while Hank’s running internal monologue would have the reader believe that Hank is the victim of a universe bent on screwing him over, even as the reader follows Hank through Haha #6, it becomes obvious some of these troubles are simply of Hank’s own doing. This makes some of the sympathy it feels like the book tries to garner for Hank ring a little hollow.
As Hank’s mental state spirals lower and lower, he begins to contemplate what the point of things is. Or if there even is a point. These thoughts head to obvious places, and where the book ends up is someplace that I feel will hit differently for different people. While I think the final pages are intended to be uplifting, the book puts so much less effort into it than its more depressive themes that the positive that might be there is drowned out by the weight of the preceding moments.
The art of Haha #6 delivers the somber tones of its story well. Hank’s worsening mental state is captured with sufficient impact thanks to artist Morazzo’s ability to deliver the emotions of the story’s main character. In some of Hank’s worst moments, the art goes the extra mile in delivering the distorting nature of Hank’s reality.
The depressed feelings throughout this book are further emphasized by O’Halloran’s colors. The colorist keeps to less intense colors, keeping the energy down throughout the book. This gives the story a sort of drained feeling, imitating the mental state of Hank himself.
When all is said and done, Haha #6 delivers another, final, somber tale to its series. While I’m unsure if it manages to deliver the message it originally intended, this issue and the series as a whole is certainly an experience that will stick with me for a long time.
Haha #6 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Haha #6 delivers another, final, somber tale to its series. While I’m unsure if it manages to deliver the message it originally intended, this issue and the series as a whole is certainly an experience that will stick with me for a long time.