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cover
 
average writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 2
total score 7
Like Nobody's Bizness
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REVIEW SCORE 6
Only Printing / 1972 / 36 pages / Adam's Apple Distributing
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Like Nobody's Bizness is one of several Adam's Apple comics featuring George Hansen, and it is likely the best of the lot. It rises above Hansen's other comics because it feature his decorative illustration style more than any other. At times, Hansen's style is somewhat derivative of Robert Crumb, but it is also inspired by comics from 1930s and '40s comic artists like George Herriman (Krazy Kat), and he takes all his influences and fuses them into an assured style of his own.

Like other Hansen books, Like Nobody's Bizness features some comic strips with his signature characters, including Mr. Nobody and Hoony Harf. I've lamented these strips in reviews of other Hansen books like Judy Tunafish and Let's Not 'n Say We Did, as they often end with the main character fainting or diving out a window, imploding in climax, or getting kicked in the ass. I suppose this is a time-honored cartoon tradition, but its predictability is too convenient and allows for formulaic writing.

However, Like Nobody's Bizness distinguishes itself with Hansen's more surrealistic drawings, which are imbued with a joyful, vibrant energy. Regardless of his appropriation of other cartoonists' styles, Hansen produces poster-worthy confections in pen and ink that personify the ornamental aspect of underground comics. This is evident with his opening story, "Womp Bomp a Lu Mop a Bomp Bam Boom," in which Hansen animates saxophones and various spherical objects in a musically explosive drug hallucination. While these drawings also convey a comic strip story, they can also be enjoyed as individual works of art.

Other drawings in the book present elaborate montages of surrealistic clocks, moons, eight balls, and geometric shapes. Three of Hansen's illustrations are blatant rip-offs of Crumb's "Ultra Super Modernistic Comics" from Zap Comix #1. With titles like "Let's Go Nuts Comics," these drawings employ the same fractured and jumbled comic panels as Crumb's strip, with seemingly disconnected spot illustrations that combine to produce a certain aura. None of the three is as effective as Crumb's effort, but they're still fun to look at.

Like Nobody's Bizness may be little more than highly decorative comics, but in my mind this is Hansen's most enjoyable comic book, approaching the status of a minor classic (yet still scored a 7 for the humdrum scripted stories). Hansen did not produce many comics after 1973, but he went on to become a fine artist of some reknown with gallery representation in Chicago.
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keyline
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HISTORICAL FOOTNOTES:
It is currently unknown how many copies of this comic book were printed. It has not been reprinted
. There is one George Hansen comic book by Adam's Apple that I do not have and almost nobody else does, either. It's called Hot Nuts Comix and was produced in 1972. According to Kennedy, it was a pornographic comic book and Adam's Apple ended up destroying all of the printed inventory, except for four copies, of which three are coverless. Someday I hope to find one, if only to view it. I wonder who has the remaining copies?

COMIC CREATOR:
George Hansen - 1-36