Sunday, May 28, 2023

"You Will Own Nothing and You Will be Happy," #1 is Another Hanselmann Hit!

As I started reading the newest comic from Simon Hanselmann, titled, "You Will Own Nothing and You Will be Happy," the first thing I said a few pages in was, "Really, zombies?" I entrusted in him though and by this debut issue's end I was hooked and can't wait for the next entry (which Hanselmann has promised will come out quarterly). For those of you unaware of Hanselmann and his immense talent, however, you might be asking who exactly he is.

Simon Hanselmann has created a variety of little Universes for his characters of Megg, Mogg, Owl, Werewolf Jones, and everyone else. You've got the kind we've seen in, "MegaHex," and its assorted books leading up to, "Bad Gateway." There was the, "Crisis Zone," one where COVID-19 and its impact on the World was reflected in real-time upon the characters--it also brought Hanselmann a ton of acclaim. There are books that I'm not quite sure where they fall into what part of the Hanselmann-Multiverse, or Hansel-verse (as I'm calling it), such as, "Below Ambition," and other self-published stuff (some of which was collected in, "Seeds and Stems." Now we've got the latest reality we're glimpsing in the Hansel-verse (I'm going to make this a thing, mark my words) and it features the gang dealing with--as I said somewhat incredulously at the start, zombies. Yes, zombies.

In a lengthy backmatter section that closes out the comic Hanselmann outright admits he wanted to tackle something that seemed hacky and played out because he simply wanted to do something fun and see how well he could make it work. Doing the depressing comics such as, "Bad Gateway," with all the exploring Megg's familial trauma relates too much to a lot of what Hanselmann went through in life as a child and is hard to dig into, he says. Zombies, though? That's just a recipe for some twisted fun and allows Hanselmann to explore a lot of concepts of society falling apart violently--a subject he lightly scratched the surface of in, "Crisis Zone," and dives headfirst into here.

The comic itself contains Hanselmann's usual superb artist and snarky wit. The issue mostly involves Megg, Mogg, and Owl holing up in their house and feeling claustrophobic as the world essentially begins to end outside. The panels for these chapters/"Days," are cramped and awkward, just how the characters feel. Then, when moments occur of them stepping outside we get the most beautiful splash pages of a ruined city. Megg and Mogg are understandably at first incredulous at the idea of a zombie apocalypse whilst Owl is a mix of terrified and borderline delighted his high-tech security system will get used (he never trusted poor people and wanted to be safe) as well as all the doomsday provisions now being ingested.

As Megg and Mogg are wont to do, everything gets screwed up by the issue's end and we conclude on a cliffhanger about just how bad things might get for everyone. As I mentioned, Hanselmann plans to release issues of, "You Will Own Nothing and You Will be Happy," on a quarterly basis along with his other projects with big publishers (the backmatter discusses how he decided to do this as a self-published endeavor as it was the most cost-effective choice). The first issue is now sold-out but there will be another printing alongside the new issues. This new entry in the Hansel-verse (mark my words, I'll make this a thing) is a real treat. I may have said, "Really, zombies?" at first, but now I'm saying, "Really, zombies!" with great excitement.

5 out of 5 Stars.

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