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Happy # 1 - Grant Morrison Darick Robertson

Written by Arion and Frank Miller on Tuesday, November 06 2012 and posted in Blog

There are scenes that make or break a comic. As a writer, one is always trying to come up with something original that, ideally, will fascinate the audience. Sometimes, though, writers cross an invisible line that might either dissatisfy the readers or have a negative impact on them. Fortunately, Happy has nothing but fascinating ideas. Grant Morrison has succeeded in creating one of the best sequences I’ve seen in the past few months.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Happy is the story of Nick Sax, a washed-up detective, an alcoholic and a very unhappy individual. Certainly, his city is a miserable place too. And that’s made evident in page 1, when we see a homeless guy vomiting and a dog pissing on him while two gangsters are talking about killing Nick. The amazing art of Darick Robertson makes us feel every snow flake every speck of dust; his streets feel very real, and there’s something absolutely refreshing about the panels distribution in this page.

Happy # 1 - Grant Morrison Darick Robertson
Last panel: homeless guy + dog / última viñeta: mendigo + perro  

But the particular scene that makes Happy click for me is the “fellatio incident”. Jack the Hammer dresses up like a giant bug and kills prostitutes when they are performing oral sex on him. Nonetheless, this time the man ejaculates at the same time his head is blown to pieces. Nick Sax has killed him. “Now I’ve seen everything”, he utters. And I’m sure a lot of readers would agree with him. I don’t think any other artist would have been able to pull this off, but Darick provides all the visual elements that are necessary: the fellatio, the raised hammer that, if not for Nick’s intervention, would have smashed the woman’s skull, and then the climax, the instant of erotic and violent explosion: brains bursting out, the hammer falling down, the man’s semen erupting out of his sexual organ. This page is certainly a brilliant combination of intense narrative and absolutely gorgeous art. After drawing The Boys for years, Darick Robertson was the perfect choice for a title that revolves heavily around sex and violence.

Happy # 1 - Grant Morrison Darick Robertson
Jack's final ejaculation / la última eyaculación de Jack

The prostitute is drenched in “blood and semen”, but that doesn’t prevent Nick from demanding some sort of favor after saving her life. That’s how our protagonist acts. He’s not a benevolent hero, he only does things that are convenient for him. Of course, that means he has made a lot of enemies. And in a matter of minutes he will be subdued by one of his rivals. 

Clearly, this is a very dirty, depraved and obscene world. But Morrison adds something else. He goes against the predictable ‘grim and gritty’ and includes the element of the fantastic: Happy, the horse, a sweet creature that seems to have come out from an oversweetened Disney cartoon. The contrast is brutal. After all the things we’ve seen in these pages, a cartoonish flying horse starts talking to Nick using the purest and nicest language we could possibly imagine. 

I had very high expectations for Happy, and I must say they were met and exceeded. The writer and the artist create a fascinating opening chapter. It’s great to see Morrison in Image doing a creator-owned miniseries, after devoting most of his time in established characters from DC. I can’t wait to read the second issue.  


Happy # 1 - Grant Morrison Darick Robertson
Nick Sax
Hay escenas que elevan o derriban un cómic. Como escritor, uno siempre intenta lograr algo original que, idealmente, fascine a la audiencia. Aunque a veces, los escritores cruzan una línea invisible que podría dejar a los lectores insatisfechos o impactar en ellos de modo negativo. Por suerte, en "Happy" sólo hay ideas fascinantes. Grant Morrison ha tenido éxito al crear una de las mejores secuencias que he visto en los últimos meses. 

Pero no nos adelantemos. "Happy" es la historia de Nick Sax, un detective fracasado, un alcohólico y un individuo infeliz. Ciertamente, su ciudad también es un lugar miserable. Y esto es evidente desde la página 1, en la que vemos a un pordiosero vomitando y a un perro meando encima de él mientras dos gangsters hablan sobre matar a Nick. El asombroso arte de Darick Robertson nos hace sentir cada copo de nieve y cada mota de polvo; sus calles son muy reales, y hay algo absolutamente refrescante en la distribución de las viñetas en esta página.

Pero la escena particular que hace que "Happy" funcione para mí es el "incidente de la felación". Jack el Martillo se viste como un bicho gigante y mata prostitutas cuando ellas le están practicando sexo oral. No obstante, esta vez el hombre eyacula al mismo tiempo que su cabeza estalla en pedazos. Nick Sax lo ha matado. "Ahora lo he visto todo", anuncia. Y estoy seguro que muchos lectores estarían de acuerdo con él. No creo que otro artista hubiese sido capaz de dibujar la escena, pero Darick provee todos los elementos visuales necesarios: la felación, el martillo alzado que, de no ser por la intervención de Nick, habría aplastado el cráneo de la mujer, y luego el clímax, el instante de la violenta explosión erótica: el estallido de los sesos, la caída del martillo, el órgano sexual con la erupción de semen. Esta página es ciertamente una brillante combinación de narrativa intensa y arte absolutamente cautivador. Luego de dibujar "The Boys" por años, Darick Robertson era la elección perfecta para un título que gira en torno al sexo y la violencia.

Happy # 1 - Grant Morrison Darick Robertson
drenched in blood and semen / empapada en sangre y semen
La prostituta está empapada en “sangre y semen”, pero eso no impide que Nick exija cierto tipo de favor luego de salvarle la vida. Así es como actúa nuestro protagonista. No es un héroe benevolente, sólo hace cosas que le convienen. Por supuesto, eso significa que se ha ganado muchos enemigos. Y en cuestión de minutos será abatido por uno de sus rivales.

Claramente, este es un mundo muy sucio, depravado y obsceno. Pero Morrison añada algo más. Va en contra de la predecible 'amargura y oscuridad' e incluye el elemento de lo fantástico: Happy (Feliz), el caballo, una dulce criatura que parece salir de un empalagoso dibujo animado de Disney. El contraste es brutal. Después de todas las cosas que hemos visto en estas páginas, un caricaturesco caballo volador empieza a hablar con Nick usando el lenguaje más puro y afable que podamos imaginar.

Happy me había generado muchas expectativas, y debo decir que fueron alcanzadas y superadas. El escritor y el artista crean un fascinante capítulo inicial. Es grandioso ver a Morrison en una miniserie de su propia creación en Image, luego de dedicar la mayor parte de su tiempo a personajes establecidos de DC. No puedo esperar a leer el segundo número.

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About the Author - Arion

Arion, who is either from Chile or New York (it’s not really clear) writes a blog that the Outhouse steals on a regular basis.  Arion is by far the nicest of all the staff writers and the most well behaved only having been banned from one country.  One thing we really appreciate about Aroin is that he writes his reviews in English and Spanish and we hope someday he’ll translate this blurb for us.  We’re not so good at languages, just look at how well we write in English if you need proof.  You should bookmark Arion’s blog - – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.


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