Friday, March 7, 2008

Too Much Coffee Man/ How to Be Happy

Shannon Wheeler's strip continues evolving. The title changes, the characters change, it goes from color to black and white, it offers single panel gags then stories about flying squid and the moon. I'm accustomed to strips that evolve, but this is reinvention. There's something about alteration of an imaginary universe that is unsettlingly close to real life.

I like the latest material. I didn't achieve laughing out loud, but I'm a hard case. I consistently appreciated the wry humor, and spoiled a dark mood with a lot of grinning.

Wheeler is accomplished, with a stack of books out, so he's hardly a new discovery. I suggest new readers road test the strip starting here, then jump back to early 2006 if they want a bigger dose. By then you'll know whether you are a candidate for the books or, more ambitiously, another five years of archived online material.