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Humor Can Be Funny    by Sam Henderson order for
Humor Can Be Funny
by Sam Henderson
Order:  USA  Can
Alternative Comics, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Lance Victor Eaton

It seems redundant to say that humor can be funny, but with cable television shoveling heaps of over-syndicated formulaic sit-coms and every person within two feet of a computer forwarding regurgitated joke emails, humor can sometimes be hard to find - that is, original humor. Sam Henderson delivers original, edgy humor that can be simultaneously funny and thought provoking.

Within his digitally remastered graphic novel, Humor Can Be Funny, Henderson republishes his mini-comic series The Magic Whistle from 1990-1995. Within this anthology of amusement, Henderson provides over sixty strips of nasty, inane, and surrealistic humor. His strips run from one to about six pages, most being one to two pages long. He asks challenging questions, such as 'Is Your Child a Beatnik?' and 'How Your Mail Gets to Us?' Though few segments repeat, the ones that do are enjoyable, particularly his 'Always Funny' sections which list things Henderson believes are always funny ... He tells us an old lady giving the finger is always funny. A hip-hop Abe Lincoln is always funny. A public figure's display of pain accidentally becoming the latest dance craze is always funny. A teenager finding out his date's father is the pharmacist from whom he bought condoms earlier is always funny.

Henderson keeps a running gag of a lame joke, which he inevitably makes lamer and lamer (and thereby actually funnier). His deconstruction of a joke to the extreme also keeps readers chuckling. Though some of the humor errs on the side of disgusting or tasteless, yet, Henderson displays such a wide mastery of humor that one can't discredit the darker and dirtier aspect of it. He's simply putting his all into his work. Even his drawing manifests a purposeful oddity to it, with his strangely-shaped humanoid (though not always visibly human) figures, many of which bear no clothing. Anatomical parts too may be revealed should they pertain to the joke.

Whether it's his advertisement spoofs or his comic takes on the trivial events of every day life, Henderson delivers punch line after punch line with a great ability. His eccentric and diverse choice of jokes only proves that he has a very compelling perspective on life. When looking for laughs, sharp wit, and something to pass along to your friends, Humor Can Be Funny will be a volume you can use and reuse.

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