Review: Flummoxtown

Comic, Yawn Temisev, 26pgs,, $10

At the risk of sounding like Gene Shalit, Flummoxtown left me flummoxed. Yawn Temisev’s comic collection left me more with a feeling of intrigue than it did any truly spurring positive or negative reaction. Maybe that’s a good quality in and of itself.

In one comic, a maniac with a YouTube channel implores his friend to watch a video about the Chris De Burgh song “Don’t Pay The Ferryman,” while a waiter verbally assaults them with a series of hops-based puns. In another, a man outlines the best technique for buttering toast. After this, an eight page obituary of a multi-hyphenate drones on with various titles and identities.

Are these strips funny? Not really, but I admire Temisev’s commitment to milking each joke until the reader goes, “okay I get it.” Whether intentionally or not, there’s a lot of humour to be had in committing to the bit. As such, it’s the longer strips in Flummoxtown that work better than the shorter pieces. The joke in a two page strip entitled “What if Henry Fonda’s On Golden Pond character played Fredo Corleone,” lands, but that’s about it. I like a nice high-concept joke as much as the next guy, but even something like that is a little more “huh” than “ha.”

I’m intrigued by Flummoxtown. It appears to be Temisev’s first effort, and while not totally successful, I’m interested to see where they go next.