Reviews

29

Aug 2014

Why I Read: Inhuman Relations

Posted by / in Reviews / 5 comments

Hi, everybody. Delta-v here with another webcomic I like. This one’s a change of pace from my last review, it’s an anthropomorphic (okay, okay, “furry”, but PG) comic by Dennis Hyer about life in Hammonton, New Jersey, at the edge of the famed Pine Barrens.

Dennis said that he didn’t mind, so let’s talk about Inhuman Relations.

Synopsis:

The comic focuses on main characters: Fred Tricarico; his best friend, Slavko Vorkapich; Fred’s girlfriend, Maureen Chahoud; Maureen’s Mama; and Maureen’s friend, Tizrah Lieberman.

It’s not quite a slice-of-life comic because nobody’s life is this funny, and it’s not really a sitcom, because there are no smartmouthed kids in it. What would I call it? Funny, very, very funny.

The comic’s format is the four-panels-and-a-punchline similar to print newspaper comics (although Dennis varies things as needed), and the artwork is pen-and-ink style–another homage to newsprint.

How I Found It:

The Electric Gecko, creator of the webcomic Puck recommended it. (Yes, he has a real name, yes, I know it, but he prefers not to use it any more than Aero Zero does–or, for that matter, than I do.)

Why I Like It:

The humor draws from many sources, so no one subject is overdone, and range from physical humor, to sight gags, to zingers, to wry comments, to the occasional pun–all delivered with flawless timing. His take on politics is noteworthy, as the consensus seems to be “None of the above”, and the comic takes a dim view of all politicians, from town council members on up. If they’re out there, he hits ’em.

Dennis has a fine ear for dialogue (and Mama’s thick accent), so the “punchline” usually isn’t the only laugh on the page. He also frequently strings pages together into story arcs, with multiple laugh lines along the way–something I find particularly enjoyable.

The characters are fully realized, and multi-layered: Fred presents himself as a tough, no-nonsense, “Leave me alone” kind of a guy, but he has a soft spot for people in need.

IR1

Slavko is a devotee of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of hard-nosed self interest, but he loans thing to Fred for free.

IR2

Maureen is a sweet, lovable person, but she has a weakness for badly-made “slasher” movies.

IR3

Mama is–well, Mama is just what she seem to be: an often cranky force of nature….

IR6

…who loves her daughter–in her own way, of course.

IR4

Tizrah has many sides–each one more neurotic than the last, and too self-centered to see that she is. This is a volatile mix that reacts often, and always in the funniest way possible.

IR5

 

What I Think Could Be Better:

Nope. Sorry. Drawing a blank here. Of the things he has any control over, I’m happy with all of it.

Closing Thoughts:

Inhuman Relations is a great pick-me-up on an otherwise cheerless day, and a lot of fun. I’d say it was definitely worth an extended read. Dennis shut down his comment section a little over a month ago, so if you want to say “Hi” go to the July 4, 2014 page and fill it up. His TWC vote button works just fine, however, and I’d appreciate it (and so would he) if you’d vote for this great comic. It deserves way more attention than it’s getting. Thanks, folks.

  • NickDA

    And my weekend is ruined… I really liked these panels that you posted, now to go and find the rest :D

    • Delta-v

      Just think how happy you’ll be for having read them. :)

  • It’s a shame the term “furry comic” is often precluded with somewhat, ah, niche tastes, because I could see this appealing to many people. I haven’t read the entire archives yet, but with what the review has shown and from the pages I’ve leafed through, this seems like a really charming slice-of-life comic and the animal designs express the characters’ personalities quite well, especially where Mama is concerned.

    • Delta-v

      I discovered that any comic containing an anhtropormorphic animal can be considered a “furry”. I also discovered that since I still enjoy Bugs Bunny & Co. and comics like Inhuman Relations, that I am considered a “furry”as well. To this I say “Pooh” (which, come to think of it, is yet another “furry”). It’s a real shame that an otherewise entertaining format has been hijacked by extreme behavior nutjobs, and assorted whackos, and has been so debased.

      I tried to pick the pages that best exemplified the characters, but Mama is my favorite–does it show? :)

    • Caleb Child

      I just don’t use the term “furry” unless it is explicitly referring to that furry culture (or sub-culture.) Otherwise it’s just a comic with animals. What’s wrong with that? Like we didn’t watch cartoons about talking rabbits when we were kids.
      “Curtailed” is a great example. At first, I was very worried and didn’t want to read it because I thought it was “furry.” After reading a little bit of it, I realized that not only was it a great comic, but it was also just regular life but drawn as animals.
      Nothing wrong with that.