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review:

I'm Loving It

Chris Auman

Laffy Meal Mini Comic Set


Laffy Meal
Pranas Naujokaitis
[Ghost Car Press]

While perusing the wares of Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) this past summer (2017), I happened upon a table where comics artist Pranas Naujokaitis had set up shop. Pranas was selling his minicomic Unpresidented about President You Know Who—the artist's way of dealing with the horrific, surrealistic world of a puckered orange presidency, no doubt.

Being a little too informed of Trump’s antics myself, and feeling that art wasn’t really taking the edge off, I couldn't bring myself to pick up a comic on this particular subject. Other offerings included a number of  white paper sandwich bags screen printed with the initials RC in yellow, set against a red background, not unlike the McDonald's logo.

This Laffy Meal was actually created several years prior to CAKE and it’s a clever concept. It's a set of mini comics—decidedly unsupersized—about a family outing at a fictional Burger Clown restaurant. Each family member's POV is represented in a separate mini. There’s one for mother Claire, surly teenaged son Ted, little brother Joe, Dan the father, and last but not least, Sparky the dog.

Laffy Meal Pranas Naujokaitis

Each comic is between twelve and twenty pages. The gist of the story is this: Dad is struggling in his role as breadwinner; Mom is tired of trying to be positive all the time; Ted is just a teenager possessed by typical teenaged angst; and little Joe and Sparky just want to do their thing. They are a burger (Dad), fries (Ted), drink (Mom) toy (Joe) and packet of ketchup (Sparky).

It's an interesting twist on the format which earned the minicomic a nomination for an Ignatz Award and was the recipient of a DINKy Award for best mini in 2016. Perhaps enough time has passed for me to pick up a copy of Pranas' Unpresidented comic, but I don't expect that one will leave me wanting more Trump like Laffy Meal made me hungry for more minis (and horrible hamburgers).

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