Zonzo – Another round of Joan Cornella’s dark humour comic strips


If you have children, it is highly recommended you don’t leave the work of Joan Cornella lying around, as the deceptive bright colours and cheerful characters are actually a front for some twistingly funny examples of dark humour which will leave any child who reads it traumatised. For adults (especially those with a dark sense of humour), you’re in for a treat.

In 2015, Cornella unleashed Mox Nox on the reading public. His bright and cheerful artwork/characters combined with his dark sense of humour were a hit on the net and caused his social media following to explode. People loved how Cornella makes dark humour out of mostly mundane situations whether it be combining them with surreal situations or just going in the darkest direction possible, and all without words and dialogue. For those hungry for more, Zonzo is just what you need.

Like Mox Nox, you are presented with a collection of silent mostly six-panel strips that you may feel a tinge of guilt laughing at. There are too many standout moments to list but the ones depicting practical uses for drugs to cheer up a crying child, how to get rid of homeless people and one pale man’s drastic action to make himself more tanned and more appealing to women wandering the beach are particularly memorable. There’s something worryingly appealing about seeing all these horrible things happening while Cornella’s characters are having a grand time and smiles all round. Characters frequently die or are dismembered and the same happy expression permeates from start to finish – one where a man loses his arm in a door and someone else carrying a stack of books slips on a puddle of his blood and another when a couple accidently drop their baby on the edge of a table are particularly strong examples of this.

Whilst the dark humour is an essential factor, it is Cornella’s art which carries the collection. The bright colour palate, simple characters that look like they’ve fallen out of children books, the surrealist slant that occupies most of the strips and the sheer brutality all combine to create a unique feel that manages to keep the humour flowing despite the often traumatic occurrences occupying Cornella’s work.

This won’t appeal to everyone, but if you have a dark sense of humour and are not averse to seeing something a little twisted that can still tickle your funny bone, Zonzo is well worth reading.

Zonzo is published 31 March from Fantagraphics

9781606999851 – H/B – £13.99

Find more Joan Cornella titles here

Post by Leo

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