Speed Bump: A 25th Anniversary Collection Review.

by Dave Coverly. Published by IDW Publishing.

(This title was provided for review by NetGalley.)

In addition to my comic book collection I also have a surprising amount of comic strip collections. There are so many great jokes and content from the funny pages over the past century. Many of which was always seen as disposable and forgotten about when the newspaper was finished. Collections like this one are necessary to the history and respect of this format.

Collections like this are also funny to be laughing so hard on the couch your spouse asks if you’re okay. Every couple pages I’m stopping my wife from what she is doing so I can share another gag. I haven’t laughed this hard in months and if you’re also upset about everything in the world I can’t think of a better remedy for your mental state.

Coverly is a master of the format, and he works the even more difficult style of single panel gags. Character, set up, and punchline in one image is an impossible task to do once. Pulling it off well for 25 years is a miracle.

above image from SpeedBump.com for purpose of review. 

My only complaint and I think the biggest obstacle preventing Speed Bump from being an even bigger comic, is that 25 years ago was 1995. People were already getting used to the internet in their homes and at work. Single panel cartoons like this are easy to attach to an email or later send via social media. Far Side became a phenomenon as a single panel gag that went up on fridges and corkboards around the world. Pre ubiquitous internet. If Speed Bump was out in the 1980’s or 1990’s it would have been just as huge.

I love smart outside the box thinking in comic strips. Creators that take everything that worked before and move it forward. From Pogo all the way to Pearls Before Swine. Whether it takes a newspaper subscription, email list, or buying this book from your favorite seller, I would add Speed Bump to that list of hysterical and innovative comic strip creators.

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