photo & text by nacrowe
i remember years ago watching an early season of THE WIRE with my father, who was born and raised in BROOKLYN, when in frustration he emphatically stated "why am i even watching this? i KNOW these people!" with the exception of the first part of that sentiment, such was also my experience reading MEGAHEX (FANTAGRAPHICS, 2014) by TASMANIAN cartoonist SIMON HANSELMANN.
dealing with characters MEGG and MOGG, a stoner witch and her feline companion, and their many anthropomorphized animal companions; this series has more to do with SUBURBAN MALAISE and the entertainment gained from individual degradation than anything else. its nearest analogue i could think of were REALITY TV shows like KENNY VS SPENNY, JACKASS or maybe even the scripted TV comedy IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA. i couldnt help but come to the conclusion that these characters were the type of parasitic people i avoided in high school and beyond. they are all vampires that seek to suck out your life force and cannibalize each other emotionally.
thats not to say MEGAHEX isnt astoundingly inventive and entertaining. and shocking, with all the PSYCHOLOGICAL DAMAGE that comes with the constant PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL and SUBSTANCE ABUSE found in these panels. HANSELMANN has a colorful, almost cartoon-like style that when coupled with sparse dialogue really makes the MALICE and sheer DEPRAVITY of his character's ugly actions shine through that much more profoundly. its an interesting juxtaposition that doesn't led up throughout this collection of the series first three seasons.
if you are a fan of all things transgressive, then this is the comic for you. it is not for the faint of heart and im very much looking forward to reading further collections by HANSELMANN.