Hippy Jonny and the banality of life
by Ryan Dodd
Published by Tabella Publishing
Price £5.99 UK / $10.99 US Paperback
£3.99 UK / $5.99 iTunes (iPad/iPhone)
‘Hippy Jonny and the banality of life’ is about Jonny, a free spirit who doesn’t get put down easily. He’s not happy with the status quo of rat race life, and gets fired in the very first page of the book. With the help of his long-time friends Ezekiel and Ray, Jonny copes with the harshness of being unemployed and signing on.
However, Jonny isn’t ‘seeking’ a job that would mean a return to the blank, misery of 9-5 life. He wants an escape from the banality of the limited options available to him. Then he meets the enigmatic Nelly B and her arty flatmate Zack. It is through their encouragement that Jonny learns how to build an independent life in post credit-crunch Britain.
Alternative Magazine Online
“The art style of Hippy Jonny and the Banality of Life immediately jumps out at you from the very first page. Ryan Dodd uses dark ink lavishly – whereas most comics and graphic novels separate panels with the white of the page itself, here it is as if white ink is being used on black paper. The result is unusual and eye-catching – perhaps even more impressive, the book manages to convey a light, humourous tone throughout despite being visually very dark.
“The reason Hippy Jonny works so well is that it’s refreshingly honest – it captures post credit-crunch Britain pretty much perfectly and even if you are nothing like Jonny, you will probably know someone who is. His friends are also comfortably familiar characters – who doesn’t have a friend who tells extremely longwinded, ultimately pointless and grossly exaggerated (probably untrue) stories? Jonny and his friends are harmless, weed-smoking, beer-chugging (cash-permitting), spaced-out slackers who are seemingly phased by nothing.”
Persian Cat Press
““Ryan Dodd’s Hippy Jonny and the Banality of Life is the whirlwind tale of a free spirit and his struggle to find his place in life. Tabella continue their streak of publishing graphic novels that not only entertain but also provide a lot of food for thought.
After resigning from his nine-to-five job, Jonny strives to find an escape from bland everyday life. Helped along by friends and love interest Nelly B, he begins to piece things back together and find his true purpose.
“On the surface you may dismiss Hippy Jonny as a typical ‘stoner comedy’, content with making obvious jokes about the hypocrisy of the establishment. However, once you peel back the layers you discover there are much more interesting things going on.
Ryan Dodd’s writing simultaneously provides comedy, entertainment and a social message. This tale doesn’t take itself too seriously but beyond its farcical exterior there are some big issues that affect us all.”
“The easiest genre label to give Hippy Jonny is slacker comedy: think Kevin Smith meets Men Behaving Badly; if all the characters in the BBC sitcom were Tony. Dodd is clearly inspired by the work of a number of indie creators whose comics have touched on similar themes. Most overtly, I would single out Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim as a graphic novel that I suspect has clearly influenced Dodd’s approach to his work. If loosely veiled semi-autobiographical comics dealing with the minutiae of everyday life appeal to you, then you are likely to find an engaging charm to the adventures of Jonny and his cast. One of the great joys of the book is that, although there is a determined narrative destination, the story has a propensity for random humorous diversions from its main flow. There’s some neat early observational comedy about various office stereotypes that anyone trapped within the commuter-worker lifestyle will recognise and appreciate.”