Happy happy joy joy! Let this be a lesson in why you should keep your old comics. While sorting through my boxes, I found a treasure trove of comics I bought in adolescence: Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which really didn’t stand the test of time), and a comic book spinoff of The Ren and Stimpy Show. I can remember thinking several times as a teenager I should just throw these out to make room for the plethora of superhero books I was collecting, but now I’m glad I didn’t.
Ren and Stimpy was without a doubt one of the weirdest shows of all time. It was broadcast on Nickelodeon, marketed for children, yet many parents made compelling arguments as to why it shouldn’t ever be seen by young eyes. The thing is, it was a show that could be best enjoyed by adults! Now I’m finally mature enough to fully enjoy Ren and Stimpy.
The series itself was sadly short-lived. A while ago there was an attempt to bring it back on the air via the adult-oriented Spike TV network, but it just wasn’t the same. Luckily, Netflix is currently streaming the original series, so everyone can go back and marvel at how ludicrous and creative this pop-culture pastiche was. The Ren and Stimpy comic gives us one more way to savor some 90’s nostalgia.
The issue itself isn’t really as good as the show, but that’s the case of just about every comic that’s based on a popular program. That being said, it’s still pretty delightful, and serves up the irreverent, kooky potty humor we’ve learned to expect from the franchise. Actually, in some ways the comic goes further than the show. In this issue, the first half tells the epic tale of how Ren flushed himself down the toilet and became king of the alligators (for more on the legend of alligators in sewers, check out the Thomas Pynchon novel V.). The second feature shows how Stimpy becomes a brainiac. He grafts a brain on top of his head. Oh the inanity!
It’s weird to think I’ve held onto this issue of The Ren and Stimpy Show comic for a full 16 years. It’s probably not worth anything as a collectible, but to me, it’s priceless.
By the way, does everyone remember the Happy Happy Joy Joy song from the show or did I just creep everyone out?
I have written two books this past year, A Rapturous Occasion and The Madness of Art: Short Stories. If you’re looking for a novel to read, do me a favor and check mine out. They’re available in paperback and as ebooks, and the ebooks are startlingly cheap right now.
By the way, one of the ads in this issue of The Ren and Stimpy Show mentions a Beavis and Butthead comic–I’d really like to find that.