cover image Fungirl


Elizabeth Pich. Silver Sprocket, $29.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-945509-68-1

The hot-mess (nameless but accurately nicknamed) protagonist of this raucous, biting comedy from Pich (War and Peas) sets the tone from the get-go: Fungirl starts a fire in her apartment (“Sorry! I was masturbating,” she says in apology), then steals and crashes a skateboard. She propositions everyone she meets, aggravates her long-suffering roommate Becky and Becky’s painfully nice boyfriend Peter, and dresses like Olive Oyl but has the mouth of a sailor—all the while teetering on the brink of being fired from her funeral home job for hiding in coffins and accidentally setting corpses on fire. Like Tuca & Bertie with blocky human characters, the humor revels in escalating its antiheroine’s outrageous antics and ridiculous schemes against a landscape populated with oddball details: a llama rental agency, a bitter rivalry at a morticians’ convention, and a women’s career seminar run by a female bodybuilder (“scary...but arousing,” per Fungirl). Gradually, a more somber thematic thread finds a route through the dick, poop, and menstrual-blood jokes, as Fungirl and Becky reaffirm their dignity and friendship, while avoiding their enraged victims. Though the simply drawn characters are a touch too limited in expression, the primary-colored pop art bursts with funky urban settings and slapstick visual gags. It’s an outlandish romp past the boundaries of good taste and into dangerously revealing—and truly funny—psychic territory. (Oct.)