Laugh Yourself Silly at the Twisted Mind of Nick Sumida
How do I begin to describe the surreal, gut-bustingly funny, and all-too relatable humor of cartoonist Nick Sumida? A storyboard artist on the Nickelodeon children’s show Harvey Beaks, Sumida’s personal comics (collected under the title Snackies) are certainly targeted towards a very different demographic. The polar opposite of the idyllic and sweet Harvey Beaks, Sumida’s absurdist autobiographical comics are wrought with anxiety, self-deprecation, and nightmarish charm.
Featuring a heavily fictionalized version of himself, Sumida satirically tackles everyday fears and frustrations of the average young adult, with the added benefit of his wild and extremely well-timed sense of humor. A blind date becomes an elaborate avant-garde mating ritual geared towards preventing heartbreak; a job interview launches into a desperate charade to learn a skill you lied about on your resume; and an average day is spent with a running internal monologue of existential dread that, for many, is almost uncomfortably familiar.
Amid the literal scenic hellscapes and jaunts into delirium, Sumida hits on something very true. Running themes through his comic is the universal fear of failure, the loneliness of adult adolescence, and the hunger to be seen as authentic (or at the very least, cool). At the same time though, these things are treated with heaping doses of sarcasm and good-natured self-awareness. Sumida’s outlandish cartoon counterpart doles out superficial, narcissistic advice that parodies the modern interpretation of the millenial generation, while in the same breath voicing the underlying, inescapable anxieties we all share. Amazingly, this manages to come around 360 degrees, taking something truly distressing, painting it in the light of the ridiculous, and making it somehow both humorous and manageable.
Snackies updates sporadically, but every new comic is a delight and I thoroughly recommend picking up the print edition. Also how can you not love the man who coined the acronym ROFWIMB (Rolling On The Floor While Instagramming My Breakfast)?