Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal is, in my opinion, the Far Side’s evil twin. Yes, with goatee and everything.
There are more and more comics cropping up based on this type of humor – jokes that are essentially based on twisting and subverting expectations. Some of them work well, some of them fall flat.
SMBC does it’s job well. The format is simple and straightforward – typically a single panel, oftentimes with a caption beneath it.
The amount it is able to accomplish with that is pretty staggering, on the other hand. Most of the jokes are of the ‘delayed punch’ variety – you see the strip, register what it says or shows, and then a moment or two later, the joke hits you. The humor is often dark and sometimes cruel – but then, most humor is in some form or another.
Then, on the other hand, we’ve got the Perry Bible Fellowship. Pretty much the same approach – take a concept, turn it on its head, often in dark but still humorous ways. The big difference is that each of these strips are three panels long.
Now, I love both these comics. They aren’t afraid to throw punches, and even if I might end up somewhat horrified by half the comics they deliver, it’s usually while laughing for several minutes over it regardless. It feels somewhat sinful to enjoy their brand of humor, but that somehow makes it all the more enticing.
But I can also see the various differences that their styles make. The Perry Bible Fellowship strips come off as much more refined, and the humor is also a lot more built-up – which makes for a much softer punch when it comes. There is often more of a general recognition of the clever nature of the comic, rather than really full-blown ribaldry.
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, on the other hand, is much more crude – but at the same time, this gives it a lot of its charm. The jokes are often a lot more intense, and a lot more likely to get a sudden laugh out of me once they hit.
In the end, both are freaking hilarious comics, and well worth a shot – and if you enjoy one, you are pretty likely to take to the other one as well.
Sometimes one has to be cruel to be kind, and I know that despite the fact that I was horrified by both of them the first time I perused the archives, I just keep coming back for more…