Written by Matthew Pardue
My reviews so far have been about long-running webcomics with both overarching stories and smaller subplots. I do like these kinds, assuming they’re done well; they’re the heavy novels of webcomics. But sometimes you don’t want a novel, particularly if you come into the series after it already has five or six books on the shelf, as is more or less the case with Girl Genius and The Adventures of Dr. McNinja. Fun as the big stories are, new readers have a mountain of material ahead of them. Some of us like that. It’s certainly good for killing time; I found more than a few of my webcomics by reading the first two hundred strips during a rainy afternoon. But sometimes we want something shorter, less complicated, and ideally without stacks of necessary background and setting information. The novelette of webcomics, as it were—light reading to keep you entertained for a few minutes while you wait for a meeting or appointment to start. Two Guys and Guy is that kind of webcomic.
Click on the images to see them full-sized.
The strips are brief, the plot is nonexistent, and the humor is often dark and aimed at adults (the two strips above are among the most lighthearted you’ll find). Take note of that last part, if you’ve built up expectations based on my past two reviews. I won’t say it’s terribly dark (and not even the darkest comic I’m likely to cover during this series), but the basis of Two Guys and Guy is misfortune. It’d be much grimmer if the three protagonists didn’t deserve almost everything that happens to them. I once read that the line between comedy and tragedy is sympathy, and now I have proof. Essentially, because no deity or demon could think of a more fitting punishment, we have three people at varying points on the scale of sociopathy, all stuck with one another.
Wayne is on the left side of the scale at that-jerk-from-your-office-that-no-one-likes:
Frank is on the far right at the-writer-and-director-of-The Human Centipede:
And Guy is in the middle at here’s-my-wallet-and-keys-just-please-stop-kicking-me:
The amount of enjoyment you get out of this webcomic is directly connected to how gleeful you feel when you watch karma hit someone in the face with a bat. That long spiral of self-perpetuating abuse between the three protagonists is about as close as Two Guys and Guy gets to an actual plot. As I said before, this makes it great for casual reading (assuming your sense of humor lines up accordingly). You don’t have to remember what happened last week, much less last month or last year like with Girl Genius; so long as you vaguely know the main characters, you can pick up the comic when you have the time and let it gather dust when life gets busy again.
Oh, and the obligatory disclaimer: the webcomic has (usually cartoony) violence and uncensored adult language (not so cartoony). Which is a bit of a shame, because otherwise the content hits an interesting sweet spot where the creepy implications might go over the heads of many kids, yet the lighter jokes could occasionally be appropriate and understandable for a younger audience. That is to say, an audience accustomed to American entertainment in which talking animals can beat the unholy hell out of each other while laughing about it. Perhaps you could use Two Guys and Guy as a parenting tool: be nice to other people, children, or when you grow up, your only friends will be a bitter compulsive liar, a verbally and physically abusive rageaholic, and an emotionally muted serial killer.
My only complaint is that the punctuation in the dialogue bubbles could use some editing, but that’s a personal hang-up that I don’t expect many of you to share. Otherwise, if you like dark humor, pick up this webcomic and enjoy a few evil chuckles every week. It won’t devour your time or demand much attention. In fact, the relative brevity of this review shows how streamlined and casual Two Guys and Guy is: now that I’ve explained its style and the core concept of three twisted people exploiting and ruining one another, I don’t have much else to say.
The first strip is here, and starts the comic off with profanity (no one can say I didn’t give a proper warning) as well as a good look at the dysfunctional relationships of these equally dysfunctional protagonists: http://www.twogag.com/archives/4. Have fun and let me know what you think.