In the world of
Hey Mister: After-School Special
-by Andrew Goletz
Rating: 9 out of 10
The Hey Mister After-School Special reprints the original 5
issue run of Pete Sickman-Garner’s twisted, self published and out of
print Hey Mister mini-comics plus 2 additional brand new stories. I took
that right off the back of the book.
The most pleasant surprise with ‘After-School Special’ is
how great the material is. As with any anthology, there runs the risk of
some good material, some bad and a whole lot of mediocre. No mediocrity
here. Since a lot of the material here was first presented when he was
doing the self-published mini-comics, Pete’s art is a little rough
around the edges at times. Like I said before, though, don’t let that
stop you from appreciating the book. Pete’s art has gotten better in the
duration, but even his early art seems to go well with the material being
presented. It’s a very good fit and the result is a treat for the
There is a lot of funny stuff in this book and to go over
each story individually would take forever so I’ll just discuss a couple
of my favorites. Not surprisingly (to me, anyway) the stories featuring
Hideous Mutants, a sad-sack ‘everyman’ character that has been
featured in my favorite Hey Mister stories.
The first story is ‘Taxi Driver’, and it has Hideous
Mutants taking a job as a taxi driver after being robbed of his last 20
dollars and needing money. Of course, he can’t even manage to do this
job right. The fun comes from seeing his interaction with the different
passengers and how he manages to owe money after taking 40 calls during
‘The Grudge’ is another HM tale. In it, hapless Hideous
Mutants is granted 3 wishes by a fairy that takes pity on the poor sap.
Only trouble it, the fairly doesn’t let him know about it. Again Sickman-Garner
offers a delicious black comedy situation where you think you know where a
story is going, but in turn it leaves you shocked.
‘Don’t Quit Your Day Job’ is another great look at the
life of the working man. Sickman-Garner knows how to capture the little
subtle details that we can relate to in our 9-5 lives. Here, the narrator
is a small business owner who warns of the dangers of starting a business
for yourself, whether it be selling crack or owning your own used book
store. Not much of a difference, it seems.
Those are just my favorite 3 out of more than 20 stories
contained in After-School Special. Most of the stories in the book run 3-5
pages in length and each member of the Hey Mister cast gets a chance to
shine in at least a few of the stories. This 95 page book is steal at only
$4.95. Fans are complaining about the prestige format books costing 5 and
6 dollars for 30-40 pages of story. Well, here is an opportunity to try
something new and get a huge compellation for just over the price of an
average comic nowadays.
For More Information on Hey Mister, write to PO Box 8326, Ann
Arbor, MI 48107.
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