Issue: Haha #1
Words: W. Maxwell Prince
Art: Vanesa Del Rey
Colors: Chris O’Halloran
Letters: Good Old Neon
Published: January 13, 2021
Publisher’s Summary: ICE CREAM MAN writer W. MAXWELL PRINCE brings his signature style of one-shot storytelling to the world of clowns—and he’s invited SOME OF THE COMIC INDUSTRY’S BEST ARTISTS to join him for the ride. HAHA is a genre-jumping, throat-lumping look at the sad, scary, hilarious life of those who get paid to play the fool—but these ain’t your typical jokers. With issues drawn by VANESA DEL REY (REDLANDS), GABRIEL WALTA (Vision), ROGER LANGRIDGE (Thor), and more, HAHA peeks under the big top, over the rainbow, and even inside a balloon to tell a wide-ranging slew of stories about “funny” men and women, proving that some things are so sad you just have to laugh.
“I mean sure… Things get pretty rough sometimes. Life can be rotten for the little guy trying to make his way! But my feeling is: it could always be worse; I don’t really have it so bad. It can always get a little worse…”
Clowns: either you love ’em or you hate ’em; regardless of what side of the fence you’re on, I think that we can all agree that those painted-on smiles have the potential to be as uplifting as they do to be heartbreaking. With Haha, W. Maxwell Prince and co. promise to explore this duality in a series of clown-centric one-shot comics. As with any anthology series, balance and a sense of cohesiveness is key to its success; given W. Maxwell Prince’s work with Ice Cream Man, I think it’s safe to say that Haha will deliver.
This first story centers on Bartleby the clown and his optimistic-despite-the-circumstances attitude being stretch to the extreme. The tale moves quickly enough to keep readers invested but doesn’t fail to provoke thought. Responsible for this book’s success, along with Vanessa Del Rey’s highly-detailed artwork, is Bartleby’s authentic voice. The combination of these two things makes for an immersive and memorable reading experience.
The Bottom Line
A series that demands to be read, Haha is dark, depraved, and humorous. This first issue is as thought-provoking and unsettling as it is entertaining; don’t miss it.