Monday, May 17, 2010

Max Overacts -- and It's Just Right

If given a choice between gag-a-day and narrative comics, I'll choose narrative comics almost every time. Narrative comics are my brain crack; I become invested in a series of characters, and I want to find out what they're going to do next. Gag-a-days are amusing diversions; they require constant innovation and a strong sense of comic time, but it's rare that I open my RSS reader itching to see what the writers have come up with this time.

There are exceptions, of course -- KC Green's Gunshow, Kate Beaton's Hark! A Vagrant. And now it looks like I'll have to add Max Overacts, by Celadore creator Canaan Grall, to the list.

Grall formatted Max Overacts for Zuda, and each page reads like a traditional Sunday comic. And Max Overacts has a definite newspaper feel. Robot 6 described it as having "a touch of Calvin and Hobbes," but it never feels like Grall is trying to ape Bill Watterson. The titular Max is, like Calvin, a hyperactive, highly imaginative child who's not fully understood by the adults (or other children, for that matter) in his life. But he's a different breed of hyperactive kiddo. Max is an innate thespian, someone who finds the drama in every situation and milks it for everything it's worth. Missionaries at the door? Max pretends to be his father and scolds them for interrupting his busy day. Boring homework assignment? It's made more interesting (if less accurate) with the help of his dummy Curio. Ignored by a cute girl? He'll turn lunch in the cafeteria into a romantic encounter. And you don't want to make him the banker in Monopoly. This isn't a comic that depends on punchlines; each panel is stuffed with wonderful fun.

Really, Max is the kind of kid I wish I had been -- someone who makes life a lot more interesting. At least we get to spend a little time with him through the online funny pages.

Max Overacts [Occasional Comics via Robot 6]

32 comments:

George said...

I had never heard of this comic before, but I will certainly give it a shot based on your review. Thanks for the heads up!

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