Haha: Sad Clown Stories

haha sad clown stories cover trade paperback tpb
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Fun dip into Prince's world


Comic Info

Comic Name: Haha

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: W. Maxwell Prince

Artist: Vanesa Del Rey/Zoe Thorogood/Roger Langridge/Patrick Horvath/Gabriel Hernández Walta/Martin Morazzo/Chris O’Halloran

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 2021

haha #2 cover evil clown scary

Haha #2 Variant

Reprints Haha #1-6 (January 2021-July 2021).  The life of a clown isn’t easy.  Despite being ambassadors of fun and laughs, behind the painted on smiles, there can be sadness, anger, and regret.  Bartelby has no job and a death wish.  Rudolph grows up with life on the run with her mother who struggles with mental disorders.  Remi is a mime whose only friend is taken from him.  Gustav is a clown who finds himself in a fantastic journey in a strange balloon world.  Pound Foolish lives a reclusive life remembering her glory days with the circus.  Happy Hank uncovers that the world around him might not be as it seems.  Clowns can provide laughs but they also can create tears.

Written by W. Maxwell Prince, Haha:  Sad Clown Stories is an Image Comics limited series.  The collection features art by Vanesa Del Rey, Zoe Thorogood, Roger Langridge, Patrick Horvath, Gabriel Hernández Walta, Martin Morazzo, and Chris O’Halloran.

Ice Cream Man has been a great title.  It is a weird, wild, and sometimes unnerving series of stories that have a strange “world” surrounding them.  Haha starts out with some indirect similarities to Ice Cream Man and ends up smack dab in the rich world of Ice Cream Man.

Like Ice Cream Man, the stories are very episodic and there are no real bad stories because they are so varied.  Haha seems to just enjoy writing itself and telling its own story.  You have serious stories and stories that have a light-hearted nature to them…despite being either sad or depressing.  The different clown have different voices that vary widely and stories like Remi the Mime don’t feel out of place despite not resembling the other stories in the collection.

haha #6 cover dr seus variant

Haha #6 Variant

This is also highlighted by the variety of art in the issues.  There are cartoon issues like Remi next to other issues that take a much more realistic approach.  As in the case with Ice Cream Man, even the less depressing stories still are captured with a hit of darkness through the art.  The artist breath a lot of life into the clowns and try to give them a rounded personality.

For fans of Ice Cream Man (like myself), Haha #6 is the most fun of this collection.  It directly ties into Ice Cream Man with “what happens next” events occurring within the pages of Ice Cream Man #8 (October 2018).  It is a fun nod to Ice Cream Man fans and features appearances of multiple Ice Cream Man storylines…also proving everything is connected.

Haha was a fun short comic and despite being marketed as a limited series, I could see another set of “Sad Clown Stories” coming out in the future.  Prince is on a roll, and I recommend checking out his work.  On the surface, a lot of the stories might seem small or superficial, but it feels like Prince is painting on a bigger canvas which might present a big picture as the years go on.

Related Links:

Ice Cream Man 2:  Strange Neapolitan

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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