Saturday, 24 May 2014

Yeah Dude Comics 2014 Subscription: #1, Pat Aulisio's Stoner Alein: One-note, One-joke

It is what it is

A few months ago, I helped to kickstart Pat Aulisio's project on Kickstarter to fund the 2014 project for his "Yeah Dude Comics(YDC)" anthology. I took a six issue subscription and I intend to review the books as they come in until the end of the subscription. Each book is created by a different artist. I have also received 3 other comics from them that are not part of the subscription, but from previous YDC efforts that I will also review once I have some time on my hands. Let's take a look at the first issue by Pat Aulisio.

Aulisio's Stoner Alien is as blunt as its title suggests. It's about an alien (the little green men kind) and his buddy, a teenage mutant ninja turtle. They basically just hang out together smoking and getting stoned. They both have a mundane existence working in a grocery store. The story here is irrelevant; it is coherent in the sense that we see one day in the life of those `dudes`, but it isn`t the point of the issue. It is a cipher for a comedy and a way to make stoner jokes. One of the jokes happens to strike a cord, but the other just fall flat. I guess comedy is subjective and a matter of opinion in the end... Maybe some of you will find it hilarious, though I doubt it. The book itself is short and spends 4 of it's 16 pages on the actual consumption of drugs and not exploring the more comedic aspects of it, as one would expect.

I did some research and discovered that this happened to be an old internet meme that you can find on tumblr. Poorly drawn and coloured, its filled with jokes; some great, some not so much. The big punchline being mostly"Wait...What?", representing a marijuana-filled brain unable to comprehend complex events. I think it's a bit lacklustre in effort and just doesn't translate well here. I don't know, maybe the concept had some kind of deeper meaning for Pat Aulisio. He certainly seems to excel in stoner comedy. His entire concept behind Bowman and it's sequels (Bowman 2016 and Bowman Earthbound) are stoner comedies. Bowman, however, is excellent. Aulisio channels Stanley Kubrick by way of Jack Kirby and throws in a smattering of Cheech and Chong. There are clever page designs, introspection and character development. It's amazing. In comparison, Stoner Alien has one joke about gravity being light. This series is nowhere near as interesting as Aulisio`s other comics and it's a damn shame. 

The Hijman body? Wait...What?

I'll also nitpick on this one panel where no one bothered to correct the lettering. It just seems unfinished. A work in progress. I expected more from Pat Aulisio. Meant to whet my appetite for more, this first glimpse of YDC just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I am still looking forward to the other books of the subscription. In the meantime, I'll go read Xeno Kaiju and remenisce on how good Bowman was.

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