Miming The World’s Saddest Joke: Reviewing ‘HaHa’ #3

by Brendan M. Allen

‘Remi Says…

Real friends need not speak a word to each other.

Our less-funny-than-the-title-suggests clown anthology continues with a silent mime story illustrated by legendary cartoonist Roger Langridge.’

So far in this anthology, we’ve seen an amusement park clown get shot in the face, and a murderous sideshow harlequin burlesque dancer.

In this third installment of HaHa, writer W. Maxwell Prince teams with artist Roger Langridge to bring a (nearly) silent chapter about, what else, a mime. The common theme thus far has been the sad clown paradox. The humans underneath the make-up are really struggling, in the footsteps of Juan de Dios Peza’s Garick (The Great Pagliacci).

All these stories are dark and lonely and tragic in their own ways. Remi’s physically more solitary than Bart or Rudy. When the poor guy does finally find a friend who really, truly gets him, everything crumbles down around them.

Prince relies on Langridge’s deceptive art to completely carry the story. It’s goofy, caricatured. Seems too light for the content, and that’s where it gets you. Look at that landlord, demanding the rent. Nose too large, missing chompers, can’t see his eyes under that Cro-Magnon brow. It’d be really funny if he weren’t screaming in the face of a man who’s on the edge of suicidal depression. 

The story comes through really well with barely any dialogue. I actually could have done with a completely silent chapter. I didn’t need the occasional “Pew! Pew!” or the “@#$!” at all.

I said before, and it bears repeating, when you’re dealing with anthologies, there are going to be chapters that are stronger than others. This is not my favorite of the three so far, but it’s very good.

HaHa came out swinging with Bartelby’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day back in #1, and neither of the following issues are quite as strong. This is a great little banger, though, and I’m looking forward to the next.

HaHa #3, Image Comics, 24 March 2021. Written by W. Maxwell Prince, art/cover by Roger Langridge, variant cover by Paul Rentler.

Summary

W. Maxwell Prince and Roger Langridge team up to bring a (nearly) silent take on the sad clown paradox. Dark, lonely, tragic, and sort of funny, even though you get the feeling you aren’t really supposed to laugh. 

 

Overall
7.5/10
7.5/10

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.

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