No one said the road to Funville was going to be an easy one. Your Major Spoilers review of HAHA #2 from Image Comics, awaits!
HAHA #2(OF 6)
Writer: W. Maxwell Prince
Artist: Zoe Thorogood
Colorist: Chris O’Halloran
Letterer: Good Old Neon
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 17th, 2021
Previously in HAHA: The funny-sad clown series for a funny-sad clown world continues with a mother-daughter road trip.
EVERY BOY AND GIRL NEEDS A MOMMA
HAHA #2 starts off in present day with Rudolph acting as narrator. Things then shift back to when Rudolph was a child. She explains her mother was suffering from mental illness and preferred to wear clown makeup. The two embark on a road trip, heading for an amusement park called Funville where, according to Rudolph’s mother, is a place filled with people like them and that the angels in the sky told her to go. The two stop at a motel where Rudolph’s mother uses prostitution to fund their trip. Further down the road the two stop at another motel. They enjoy a fireworks show and Rudolph’s mother teaches her how to shave her legs. But things then get rough when Rudolph’s mother brings her next client to the motel room.
It’s an interesting decision to make it so that none of the characters in this issue of a clown focused anthology weren’t actually clowns and for the most part this works and adds a nice twist. Where things don’t work is the characters and their relationship. Little is done to establish anything about Rudolph’s mother other than she likes to wear clown makeup and has mental health issues and Rudolph herself isn’t given much of a personality at all. In fact the only way we really see that Rudolph actually cares for her mother is because she says so in narration. There’s not much insight into these people or their relationship to make what happens to them trigger an emotional response. Maybe sympathy at best.
A LITTLE OFF
Throughout HAHA #2 there’s really nice facial art. The expressions are fitting and all the characters look like individuals. This is especially on display with Rudolph’s mother. The clown makeup isn’t done to look like it’s painted on, but rather emerging from inside, it’s a nice touch that mirrors what she says in the issue. There is some odd limb proportions though. On a few occasions an arm will go from a foot too long to suddenly stumpy the next panel. Also, legs will go on for miles as if the act of drawing a knee was being avoided.
THE BOTTOM LINE: LACKING PUNCH
On paper, Rudolph and her clown makeup wearing mother’s road trip seems perfect for a strong, emotional story. But in execution, the characters come off as flat and uninteresting. Without any sort of emotional investment, the story just becomes a series of bad times for those involved. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
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HAHA #2 is a story that doesn’t give its characters enough depth to give any real impact to the proceedings, leaving the end result flat and uninteresting.