I don’t read many autobiographical things. To be honest, I don’t read much at all, but having read through comedian Danny Lobell’s first episode of Fair Enough I can’t help but want more.
As a series taken from events in Danny’s life, the first issue tells the story of how Harvey Pekar effected Danny’s life, as well as the events that brought him to where he is now. We only have the first issue right now, but I gotta say… I’m excited for the rest of them!
Getting To Know Danny Lobell
Fair Enough – Episode one explains how Danny went from selling his comics books at school as a kid to having published his own magazines, and all the way to hosting a philosophical podcast. He’s come a long way.
He was originally inspired when seeing Harvey Pekar’s portrayal in the movie American Splendor. Danny ended up calling Harvey and confessing that he wished he could publish his own articles just like Harvey. The simple phrase “you can” was enough to convince Danny, and so he did.
Danny, with the help of some friends, began to do publish their own articles where they interviewed various comedians. It went well at first but, after three years of success, the show eventually fell under. Harvey passed away as well; something which hit Danny very hard.
However, Danny didn’t let the emotional time stop him. A few years later, he was hosting a podcast and considering writing comics again. This time though, the comics would contain stories about Danny’s own experiences, similar to how Harvey wrote his when he was alive. And so, Harvey’s words once again returned to Danny’s mind – “you can” – and here we have Fair Enough.
A Fantastic Telling
As you go through episode one, you really get a sense of Danny’s journey. The comic has just enough details to give you a vivid picture without becoming boring or stale.
The way he explains each scenario feels akin to hearing a friend or family member as they tell you about the good old days.
It never dwelt on anything for too long either. Whereas I could’ve gone with a few more details in certain areas, the quick pace from page to page makes sure we never lingered on anything unnecessary. By the end of each page, you have a full picture of what went on in his life, how it felt, and how he got there; then it’s off to the next thing just like that. I’d call it “snappy”.
Amy Hay – Bringing Danny’s Story to Life
I mustn’t understate how much Amy Hay’s art contributes the comic as well! Being a big fan of scratchy linework, I can’t help but want to just stare at these pages. Each one looks beautiful in its own right and has a ton of detail.
Fair Enough’s one of those comics that can make your eye wonder with all the thing you’re trying to take in. I especially love all the bold blacks used throughout, which add a ton of contrast to the comic; and really bring out that paper and pencil feel it has.
Something about the way the faces look is really pleasing as well. More specifically, I enjoyed how expressions are rendered. They’re stiff but not robotic, and have a ton of personality and detail. Something about them, though: stare at the faces for too long and they start to feel a bit uncanny.
They still honestly look great, and fit the style very well. Everything has that cool old-school feel to it, which sort of reminds me of those old cola advert-posters you see from time to time. From the superb shading and linework to the beautiful bold blacks, this entire comic looks great the whole way through.
An Oddly Inspirational Read
It was easy to get sucked into Danny’s story. I didn’t at any point feel bored or disinterested while reading Fair Enough. If anything, I’m actually sad it ended so soon. The story was just plain interesting to read though and all the wonderful illustrations only helped drive home the emotion and tone on every page.
In the end, after my time with Fair Enough, I can’t help but want to learn more about Danny Lobell. The book certainly does a good job of introducing you to him if you have no idea who he is. Hopefully, I’ll have another favorite comedian after this.
Fair enough’s also oddly inspirational. Not in the usual sense of overcoming adversaries or anything, but it has a certain charm that just screams “it’ll all work out”. It has that “you can do anything you put your mind to” tone that, of course, is in keeping with what Harvey said to Danny to start this whole shebang,
Honestly, it was just a really interesting read. If you don’t care for autobiographical work you might hate it, but if you’re like me and find that stuff super interesting then pick it up and give it a read!