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Johnny Ryan’s transgressive masterpiece Prison Pit has been the talk of altcomics circles since its debut in the summer of 2009. But before
Prison Pit, Ryan garnered a considerable following via his one-man humor
anthology (which doubled as a one-man War Against Political Correctness),
Angry Youth Comix. Take a Joke collects many of the best stories from this inimitable
series as well as many strips created for the wildly-popular Vice magazine,
to which Ryan has contributed for years.
Unlike Ryan’s previous collections, which focused on very short stories, Take
a Joke spotlights several of the artist’s longest humor pieces to date, notably:
“Graveyard Goofs,” in which Ryan’s hapless antiheroes Sinus O’Gynus and
Loady McGee exhume the corpse of the recently-deceased Santa Claus as part
of a Top Secret experiment, fantasize an orgy with a collection of anthropomorphic
condiment bottles (resulting in an unwanted pregnancy), and end up in
Hell; “Boobs Pooter’s Jokepocalypse,” starring a coprophiliac version of Godzilla
who destroys the world with hilarious jokes and crazy pranks; and “The World’s
Funniest Joke,” a 24-page masterpiece that makes The Aristocrats look like a Nora
All this plus Cheesburg Chase, Omletta DuPont, and “The Day The New Yorker Came to Town”, plus a handy index to help you find things like "ass angels," "s'mores crucifix" and "Yeti-tit earmuffs."
Download an EXCLUSIVE 14-page PDF excerpt (1.9 MB) including the Table of Contents.
"In Angry Youth Comix..., the [title] phrase is displaced from an interrogative into an imperative sentence — 'Take a
joke, @#$%^&!' In Ryan’s comics universe, that means being cursed, sexually violated, soaked with
ordure, dismembered, beheaded, and otherwise savaged. Ryan renders this wanton, pointless mayhem in a
style descended from the ultraviolent, silent Felix the Cat animated cartoons and the big-nose school of
joke cartoonists immortalized by those rude cocktail napkins you think you’ll never see again, but then you
stop for a beer at some roadhouse, and voila! Vile beyond all credence, this stuff reduces its fans to teary,
dribbling idiocy, others to nauseated indignation. If you can’t stand Tony Millionaire (Maakies) or the
raunchiest of R. Crumb, you’ll hate it. High praise, indeed!"
— Ray Olson, Booklist
Praise for Johnny Ryan:
"Required reading for anyone who's ever driven by their ex-girlfiriend's house at four in the morning. And everyone else, to boot." – Dana Gould
"Let me tell you something: In this increasingly cynical world of happily self-imposed isolation and sneering judgement, one graphicish novella, with pixie-like tickles, appears through the misty mist to take us all by the hand gently unto the night. You hold in your hand that very thing. Johnny Ryan's Angry Youth Comix. Now go away." – David Cross
"Ryan brings his mixture of scatology, sex, and billingsgate to an acme of noxious hilarity." – Booklist
"There aren't many artists in any field who can match Ryan for sheer surreal creativity. His longer strips suggest a filthy hybrid of the Marx Bros. and Monty Python... Ryan's work is smart, crammed with ideas, and so funny it will melt your retinas." – Chicago Reader
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