Chicken Outfit Media
Spawned from the filthy anuses of 100 maniacs… oops, wrong origin story. Spawned from a love of underground comix and Heavy Metal magazine, Joe Deagnon’s PARANOID Tales of Neurosis: The Comix Anthology is a collection of the artist’s earliest works with strips from Exclaim Magazine, Film Threat Magazine and the first five issues of his original Tales of Neurosis run (1986-1990). As one would expect from the same guy partially responsible for a comic about alien invaders and killer sex dolls, Tales of Neurosis is a darkly comic kick in the nuts — chock full of pop culture parody, sexual misconduct and rampant mutilation.
Narrated by the fictional Joe Casual, the book launches itself from one parody into another with endless enthusiasm. From poking fun at horror movie merchandising to the BDSM-laden backdoor world of video production sales, Tales of Neurosis leaves no stone left unturned and no truth left unspoken — it’s filthy and frothing at the mouth, just what you’d expect from an underground comix strip. Among the many indecencies conjured forth my favorite segment would have to be “A Ronald School?” in which Deagnon pulls back the fry-soaked curtains of how the next Ronald McDingho is born (think golden arches). The secret? Depravation cells, brainwashing and Charlie Brown.
OUT OF 5
Overflowing with dialogue and ludicrous amounts of linework, every panel of Deagnon’s Tales of Neurosis hums with a claustrophobic frenzy that’s equally gruesome and hilarious. Although some of his earlier work remains a bit rough about the edges, true comix fans will have a hard time finding much fault in that.