Comic Review – “Headstatic”

This is a comic format anthology, with a little bit
of everything.

General Information

Title: Headstatic

Creator: Jay A. Hacker III

Original Publication Date: 2004

Cover Price: $12.00

The official site is here.

Past comic reviews can be found here.


This is an anthology collection of comic-format
vignettes. Some are
one page, while others are seven or eight. The style
of art and
content varies considerably, ranging from “set-up and
punchline” type
jokes to some more introspective items.

High Point

For me, the part that resonated the most was a line
credited to an
ex-girlfriend: “She said I bought too many books.
She said I loved to
buy books, because I felt like I was buying the time
to read them.” I
read that line, looked at my bookshelves, thought
about my DVD

(which, at the time of this writing, contains a few
titles not yet
listed online), and realized that that’s what I’ve
been doing. Your
mileage may vary; there’s a lot of introspective
material here, and
something else may tweak your interest.

Low Point

My personal low point was the Gas Man story, since I
don’t find bodily
functions funny. Again, your mileage may vary.

The Scores

I have to give credit for originality, since
this is a
remarkably varied collection. This has everything
but a story long
enough to fill an entire book on its own. Many of
them are the
“venting of a troubled soul” variety, particularly
near the beginning,
so the book doesn’t lend itself that well to a
marathon read, but
there will probably be something in here that doesn’t
anything you’ve seen before. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is as varied as the writing.
Each vignette has
its own art style, and most of those are well
executed. There are
instances where celebrities have clearly been the
basis of some
characters who are not meant to be those celebrities,
but otherwise, I
have no real complaints. I give it 5 out of 6.

The stories aren’t long enough for any one
story to get
particularly complex. Many of them are about
characters with messed
up lives, while others are pure escapism. There’s a
lot of thematic
repetition within the volume, and a number of pieces
which may or may
not be autobiographical. I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization is never particularly
deep, given the
nature of vignettes. Most are charicatures meant to
get a particular
point across by the end of the page. (Entire lives
play out on one
page in some cases.) I give it 4 out of 6. Another
format with this
depth would have had 3 out of 6, but given the format
of the work, I
choose to be lenient.

The emotional response will vary with the
reader more than
most. As I said above, there is a lot of
introspective material here,
so the more you have in common with the author, the
more intensely
you’ll respond to it. I don’t think we have that
much in common in
regards to our life experiences, so much of this
didn’t really get
under my skin. My own emotional response was worth a
3 out of 6, but
your mileage will vary.

The flow works within each story, but there
are a lot of
rapid mood, tone, and art changes between stories,
which are often a
page long. I’ll give the flow of the entire package
4 out of 6.
Again, I’m being lenient because this isn’t meant to
be a single,
continuous story.

Overall, this is a varied collection, that
has very few
stories dealing with the superheroes that dominate
the medium, and a
considerable amount to do with exorcising the demons
of the creator.
It could be a very effective example when showing
people that comics
don’t need to be about superheroes or Archie. You’d
be hard pressed
to find somebody who likes every entry, but just as
hard pressed to
find somebody to dislikes every one. I give it 4 out
of 6.

In total, Headstatic receives 29 out of 42.