Sunday, 6 November 2016
Ohio Is For Sale by Jon Allen Review
Jon Allen’s Ohio Is For Sale follows the travails of three anthropomorphic animals in their 20s/30s who live together in squalor - no jobs, no money, no real purpose. The stories might seem mundane to describe - one of them accidentally sets fire to the car and has to get a job to replace it, one of them gets sick, they have a party that goes off the rails - but they’re surprisingly compelling to read.
Allen captures the sense of ennui that feels very zeitgeist-y right now. People stuck in meaningless jobs, generally depressed about the state of the world, and not moving forward in any real way - that’s the overall impression of the characters’ lives which I’m sure many people can relate to. There’s a futility to their being that’s mirrored in everything they do, even down to their unmemorable names!
I like how Allen’s cutesy drawing style and animal protagonists belies the edge to the subject matter. These are entertaining stories and occasionally very funny but there’s also something substantial there, a 21st century social commentary of suburban malaise, beneath it all.
The story where one of them accidentally kills another and goes to Hell was my least favourite. Allen makes the everyday mundane interesting enough without having to resort to fantasy.
I really liked Ohio Is For Sale. It’s well-written, drawn in an appealing way, and effortlessly readable - definitely recommended reading for indie comics fans, particularly those who enjoyed Simon Hanselmann’s Megg and Mogg comics.