NOTE: THIS REVIEW, MUCH LIKE THIS COMIC, IS PROBABLY NSFW. After having a quick chat with Darryl Ayo, I scanned his table for something extra to purchase. Underneath a sign that read “FILTHY! VULGAR! OBSCENE!” was House of Twelve Comics number 3. I hadn’t picked up anything that was advertised as such yet at SPX, so I paid the money, walked three steps, and took a good, long look at this cover.
That is what is classically referred to as a woman, grasping an oddly erect hat. Welcome to the Offensive issue of House of Twelve.
Featuring 21 individual comics (though a few are separated in a series), there are a variety of art styles, tones, and... themes present in each one. Also, this goes without saying, but... these are 18+. Don’t let your kids read these. I can’t just talk about them as a collection. No, they are getting the lightning round. I took notes while reading this collection, and will print them (with some enunciation) here. Start the clock, Beth.
- “Mengeloid” by David Paleo
Oh. My. God. What is this. What am I reading. I am one story in, and I already have penises being cut off, and men being sucked into gaping wounds. I can’t... Alright. Breathe, Alex. The art is fantastic, in that it is perfectly grotesque.
- “The History of Black People in America” by Nick Jeffery
An oyster cookie to cleanse the palate, Nick’s work is a brief (but cynical) summary of the history of black people in America, all in one page.
- “Filth” by Jenny Gonzalez
Here are words I never thought I’d ever say: Boy, that cow’s vagina looks terrifying. Featuring demons, cats, facials, pedophilia... this is a story to bring home to mom, if there ever was one.
- “Alien Boy With an Asshole's Mustache” by Ryan Snook
This is short, sweet, and more than a little disturbing. I need to take a shower.
- "FurryFun!" by Joe Meyer
Okay, no, NOW I need to take a shower. This is well drawn, and the story is like falling down an escalator. Every time you think you’ve hit bottom, you’re still only halfway down.
- "Seamus O’Sodomy, The Gay Irishman" by K. Thor Jensen
I think this is what passes for “adorable” in this collection. It was funnier than it was offensive.
- "Craphead" by Frank Forte
Frank Forte is a master of his craft. Not a single part of me feels clean now.
- "Pharamacium" by Evan Forsch
This was freaking great. I love watching the elderly and disabled beat the living hell out of each other, especially when it is a dig at the health care system!
- "A Short Story" by Ryan Snook
The story does not lie. Short story. Slight chuckle.
- "Spray!" by Jay Marcy and Joe Meyer
And the moral of the story is: Sometimes, shit is gross.
- "Bittersweet Romance: The Anniversary" by The Beard
I just laughed so hard that the people in the lobby got uncomfortable. Right there with you, guys.
- "Clean" by Brian Musikoff
This is a decently told story with absolutely horrific elements to it. My resolve to never try cocaine has been strengthened thusly.
- "Bath" by Kevin Colden
The inclusion of this story is shocking--shocking amongst shocking stories--because it does not go out of it’s way to be offensive or gross. It is, of course, offensive and gross, in a nauseating way. The fact that it is not slapstick, the fact that it is (I shudder to say) earnest and innocent, makes it all the more disturbing amongst the poop jokes.
- "Tibeti Yeti: A Louis Armstrong Moment" by Ryan Snook
But enough of that seriousness. Sometimes you want to watch a monster poop on a lawn.
- "Madame Pimely’s Guide to Blossoming Into Womanhood" by Miss Lasko-Gross
This is pitch perfect. Miss Lasko-Gross (who also drew that great cover) takes a crack at a very persistent style of internal misogyny, one generated primarily by old-fashioned Republican housewives trying to make good women of their daughters. It is offensive in a thinking way, which always makes me madder. I think that means it is good.
- "Life of a Chorus Boy" by Adriano Eduardo
Immediately after reading this, I made sure that I had the CBLDF on speed-dial, just in case I tried crossing any borders with it.
- "Orgy at My Place" by Dave McKenna
Spectacular. It has a line in it that might even be funnier out of context: “What if you threw a war and everyone came?”
- "The United States of Abortion" by Nick Jeffrey
I feel uncomfortable, though I am not sure why. I think I feel bad for all the aborted fetuses.
- "Jism Jesus" by Cheese
This is hilarious. Rednecks and masturbation: two great... nevermind.
- "Seamus O’Sodomy, The Gay Irishman" by K.Thor Jensen
Oh, Seamus! I don’t care that you had potatoes up your ass. You’re still the cuddliest thing in this entire volume.
- "Gays in the Military: Mess Hall Revelation" by The Beard
The Beard is a challenging artist. His art is a little noisy to understand what is going on. Still, when you have to stare for thirty seconds at a scene only to realize that what’s going on is sodomoy, you feel like the artist has played a fantastic trick on you.
I’m going to take a shower, guys. I need to... I need to sort out some things with my life.
TL;DR: This is an offensive collection, and rightfully so. Pick it up if you ever get the chance.
If you’ve got the stomach for it, Check out House of Twelve here.