happy cover trade paperback grant morrison
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Art: 5/10

Some creative storytelling at points

Extremely average

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Happy!

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Grant Morrison

Artist:  Darick Robertson

# of Issues:  4

Release Date:  2013


Happy! #1 Variant Cover

Reprints Happy! #1-4 (September 2012-February 2013).  Christmas is coming, and Nick Sax is a killer for hire.  When he kills the Fratelli Brothers and gets the password for a secret account containing the Fratelli fortune, Nick Sax makes himself a target of Mr. Blue…the man who ruined his life.  Now, Sax is pursued by his former partner Maireadh and everyone seems to be out to get him.  When Sax begins seeing a flying blue unicorn named Happy the Horse, Sax questions what Happy has to do with a girl named Hailey and a Santa Claus kidnapping children.

Written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Darick Robertson, Happy! was a four issue limited series released by Image Comics.  Met with largely divided reviews, Happy! was collected in trade paperback in 2013.

Happy! has a very conflicted story.  The book is all over the place and probably falls mostly under “crime” if you were forced to classify it.  I would classify it is a weaker version of Frank Miller’s Sin City:  That Yellow Bastard.  You could pretty much substitute most of the story with that comic’s story and get the same tale.  Morrison just added more swear words which in a world were things like South Park are free to say anything, no longer that shocking (like it or hate it, Preacher had people swearing almost every page).


Happy! #2 Variant Cover

Happy! is a bit of a holiday tale with Santa Claus tie-ins, but it is more of a crime story.  You can’t say that Nick Sax is a hard boiled detective type, and I find his character rather generic.  I found the “Happy” character to be rather like an annoying Mr. Myxlplyx combined with My Pretty Pony (he is supposed to be a girl’s imaginary friend).  The rest of the supporting cast was also not very developed…I wish that Maireadh had been made more of a femme fatale or something.

With a comic that is almost a Sin City rip off, I expect great art.  Robertson’s art isn’t distinctive enough.  If the story had been a little more original and the art was stylized and distinctive, I would maybe have liked the book more in general…instead, I found myself very indifferent to it.

I love Grant Morrison, but I have to say, I’m not that impressed by Happy!  It is too bad because I do love a twisted holiday tale (in which Happy! seems to halfway meet), but I found the story to derivative of other crime stories…adding bad words didn’t really add humor or shock value…at this point everything ok.  If you love Morrison, you should probably check out Happy!  I can’t entirely recommend it, but fans of some of his other work will probably enjoy it as well…but there is better stuff out there.

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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