In the world of
goal of GHM and CBG is to bring ‘Hey Mister’ to the attention of the
readers and get them to take a chance on the books. Knowing the fickleness
of the reader, I was tempted to go without a numbering system and just
concentrate on the good parts of the book. I wouldn’t want anyone to shy
away from the book because they see a 7 or 8 instead of a ten. There is an
obligation to the creator, though, and they want to know what to improve
upon. It helps them grow.
Mister was a self-published mini-comic turned Top Shelf Production. The
comic focuses on 4 ‘regulars’: Mister, Young Tim, Hideous Mutants, and
Aunt Mary. Along the way we’re introduced to their co-workers, friends
and enemies and a wide assortment of unusual people in an ordinary world.
I’m partial to Hideous Mutants, a sad sack ‘everyman’ type character
who couldn’t catch a break if it bit him in the ass.
decided to review a couple early issues of the Hey Mister series, a
collected volume: The After-School Special and the most recent comic: Eyes
on the Prize. Peter Sickman-Garner has created a unique, hilarious and
heartwarming bunch of characters here and the stories he tells resonate
with the reader. Do yourself a favor and check any one of the works for
yourself. You don’t be disappointed.
Hey Mister: The Early Issues
-by Andrew Goletz
Rating: 8 out of 10
I guess the easiest way to start reviewing these books is to
go in chronological order. Rob Vollmar is reviewing his favorites at the
Comic Book Galaxy site and I’m doing the same here. The first ‘Hey
Mister’ for review is issue #2. It’s actually as good a place to start
because this issue tells the story of how Young Tim met Mister. While
knowing their background isn’t crucial to the enjoyment of these comics,
it does give some insight into the relationship that they have.
‘Hey Mister’ #2 begins with two good ‘ol boys
discussing some sort of plan. We’re not told what they’re up to right
away, but conversations like “‘there’s nothing wrong with what
we’re doin’. People do stuff like this all the time’. ‘Not where
we come from’” give us a clue. There’s also the matter of their
unseen dog, tied to the bed of their pickup. As these two cruise into town
for God knows what, we see Mister, looking for his lost dog, Barky. As he
tries to post flyers up for his lost dog, Mister is accosted by everyone
from drug addicts to Christian Bookstore managers to a group of young
When Mister reluctantly goes home to his pot-head, slacker
room-mates the reader also discovers how a ‘seemingly’ normal guy like
Mister wound up with a group like this. We get to see Mister treated like
crap at his job by a whiney kid and lazy bastard who makes him pump his
gas just because ‘it’s nice to be pampered sometimes’. As Mister
tries to find some solitude to settle in for a drink, he sees a bunch of
kids teasing the two good ‘ol boys’ dog. Only it turns out that
‘Tim’ isn’t a dog, he’s just a weird little guy. Mister chases the
kids off and tries to befriend Young Tim. Maybe it’s just me, but when
the two guys come back and shout at Mister ‘what the hell are you doing
to our dog’, I crack up. Pete Garner doesn’t force the humor here. He
doesn’t do it in any of his books. He lets the reader find the humor in
the moment, in the story being told and that’s important.
The two guys take Time back and go off, leaving Mister alone
again. Of course you know that Young Tim and Mister are going to be
reunited, but I won’t spoil all the fun for you. There’s also the
revelation of what those two guys were coming to town for in the first
place. When all is said and done you get a deeper appreciation of the bond
between Mister and Young Tim all wrapped up inside a hilarious story.
There are also two shorter stories in this issue, as is customary in Hey
Mister so you get more bang for your comic buck.
‘Hey Mister’ #4 takes Young Tim into the world of the
porn industry. After showing a friend Mister’s extensive collection of
adult videos ‘ taking great pride in the fact that his entire collection
is legal in every state except Arkansas’ Young Tim wonders what it would
be like to get laid. Typical comedy situation 101 dictates that friends
suggest that Young Tim become a porno star himself, which is exactly what
he does. But that’s where any ‘typical’ comedy ends.
Upon getting the contract signed and preparing for his first
scene, it’s discovered that Tim’s penis talks. ‘Doesn’t
everybody’s?’, Young Tim asks. Young Tim and his talking friend soon
become a huge sensation in the world of adult film and Young Tim falls
prey to living life in the fast lane.
The absurdity of this situation proves for many funny
moments. Now that ‘lil Tim is a big star, the fans come out of the
wood-work. Everyone wants to touch the new star, but Tim has to be careful
not to get rubbed the wrong way, so to speak or his career would be
finished. Like any serious work relationship, problems start to arise.
Young Tim’s penis doesn’t have time for him anymore. The media is
making a superstar out of the duo doing magazine shoots and interviews but
leaving Young Tim out of all the shots. Jealousy begins to rip them apart.
My only problem with the early ‘Hey Misters’ is that
there is an unevenness between the main stories and the back-up features.
As reader, when I’m treated to a backup or short story within a comic, I
like to get a quick hit. I want a story that tries and maybe even succeeds
in surpassing the regular story in terms of originality, pacing and
While the two main features in issues 2 and 4 are wonderful,
I didn’t find the back-ups that entertaining. It’s a matter of
perspective, however, and the few short pages that I didn’t care for
doesn’t deter from my admiration and the appeal for the overall work.
The art is a little rough around the edges in issue #2, but
improves greatly by issue #4 and it becomes a moot point by the time we
get to the newer stories like ‘The Trouble with Jesus’ and ‘Eyes on
For More Information on Hey Mister, write to PO Box 8326, Ann Arbor, MI 48107.
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