The first thing to say about Karl Stevens's new collection Failure is that I really enjoyed his art. He realistic, sketch-based style is appealing and approachable. Failure contains examples of a comic strip he wrote for a Boston alternative weekly paper, as well as some of his sketches and other art. He's an artist with a gift.
On the other hand, most of the actual subject matter content of Failure I could do without. His target audience is hip, urban 20-somethings. I'm a few years (OK, a couple decades) out of that age group, and I never really was "hip" or "urban." If you consider yourself hip, urban, slacker-intellectual, artsy, weed-smoking, heavily drinking, sleeping around, and use lots of foul language, then Failure is a collection you will relate to and enjoy. It just wasn't for me.
But I did get a kick out of Pope Cat.
Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!