Laughter in Sorrow
Sometimes the funniest moments come from really sad things. Two books with their share of sadness are the collected, "Eltingville Club," and the first volume of the much-delayed, "Secret Six." One book is about the kind of nerds people hate--e.g. the kind who forget their hobbies are about fun as opposed to hating on others--and the other is a book featuring a bunch of folk who aren't quite heroes or villains struggling to live life. In one book we have our protagonists hating suburban life and wishing things were more exciting, and in the other we have people with super-powers struggling to comprehend the concept of a quiet suburban life. Both also are quite often very, very funny.
There were a number of times I genuinely laughed out loud at these two collections. Whether it was watching people point-out how the four club members in, "Eltingville," know about everything except how to be nice human beings (putting aside Jerry, he kind of turns out okay), or the cast of, "Secret Six," each admitting to having, "Weird sex," on another character's couch, there are some hilarious segments that arise out of the tragedies.
The so-called club in, "Eltingville," would be sympathetic as outcasts if it weren't for the fact they behave like genuinely terrible people. Evan Dorkin is the writer-artist of, "Eltingville," and really gets across how loathsome these people are. Treating everyone else like trash in their desire to get a bunch of collectibles or mocking anyone who expresses an interest in their hobby but lacks as much knowledge as they do (they really, really disrespect women), the Eltingville Club really is atrocious. The sorta-heroes within, "Secret Six," all have sad stories, be it that they were locked-away for a year in a literal pit, lost their spouse, or otherwise have sorrow in their background, things have been tough. Things just get worse throughout the book for everyone but there is always some humor within the sadness. Writer Gail Simone has been making comics expertly for some time, so it's no surprise that, "Secret Six," is as good as it is (she of course did a long run on the comic in the DC Universe that existed before the Nu52 which to this day is much beloved). The variety of artists help make things look great while telling a superb story too.
Both of these books have a lot of moments that made me feel sorrow, but they also are stuffed with humor--and often these funny moments come from the very sadness itself. Each title expertly shows how to draw hilarity from things that are terrible. I would recommend you check out both titles either at a store or via your local library as I did. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll do both at the same time too!