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by King on April 03, 2015

Kinski Main Image
Writer/Artist: Gabriel Hardman
Publisher: Monkey Brain Comics/Image
Happiness is a very fleeting, fickle sort of emotion (to be honest and immediately read into a comic too seriously), and as we grow older I think a lot of us grow out of touch with “happiness” as our lives become deadened by monotonousness and tedium of “conforming” to society. But if you had one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment would you capture it, or just let it slip?
Mom’s spaghetti.
I prelude with a page from one of the greatest American ballads ever written because Kinski is, at its core, a Coen-esque (from the author’s mouth, though still accurate) tale of love, loss, want, need, and blatant criminal behavior as an average Joe tries to attain happiness through the one thing that seems to hold purpose to him – a beautiful black lab pup he aptly names Kinski.
Joe (actually our “hero’s” name) stars in the role of a wayward businessman who, while at a hotel, comes across a lost pup (as aforementioned) and goes to rather exorbitant measures to hold onto something that brings a sparkle to his eyes and spring to his step. Honestly, the depths this dude goes for the eponymous pup seem so extreme, it almost removed me from the reading experience, but after reflecting upon my relationship with my dogs – then multiplying that I the case of someone who might not have all too much going for them in life – I had to reconsider; because honestly Kinski is just too cute.
Hardman captured a very visceral feeling of want and happiness with Joe’s innocent (still criminal) pursuits of Kinski, and I think they’re feelings I’m just out of touch with. When’s the last time you were truly avid about something? When you TRULY felt that something posed the potential to not just amuse you, but bring you a sort of lasting happiness, and fill a void in you? Hardman, through incredible interior art and direct/potent storytelling, takes us through an array of experiences that probably seem out of touch to a lot of people, which is why Joe’s measures felt so alien to me. I can’t say what all I’d do for a dog, but I can say that Joe’s journey to hijack Kinski is one that reaches past the point of “happiness” and touches base with “fulfillment,” and even joy. At this point I really don’t know what else to say, other than that this is a good, quick read that might actually make you think on the last time you felt happy or vested in something. 

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