Herman Classics, Vol. 1


190 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 1-55022-616-9
DDC 741.5'971






Reviewed by Liz L'Heureux

Liz L’Heureux is a public service librarian in the Science and
Technology Library at the University of Alberta.


The first thing that long-time Herman fans are likely to notice about
this book is that the comics are all in colour. The colour adds interest
and depth to the selected classic comics. Also included in the volume is
a short essay on Jim Unger by David Waisglass (creator of Farcus), who
visited and interviewed Unger in the Bahamas where he lives.

The comics are typical Herman fare. Part of what makes Herman so
enjoyable is that there is not a single truly admirable character to be
found. The children are bratty and demanding. The doctors are
notoriously uncaring and unobservant. The husbands are stupid, slovenly,
or cheap. The wives are stupid, intolerant, or greedy. The young people
are lazy, the rich people are miserly, and the workers are all
incompetent. And no one has any sympathy for anyone else. As readers, we
feel beautiful, smart, compassionate, and productive in comparison. Most
impressive of all is Unger’s ability to tell a complete story with
only a single picture and a caption.

While some readers will laugh out loud at these comics, others will
likely find them stupid and unfunny. Unger’s use of physical
attributes (obesity, baldness, short stature, etc.) to create humour may
alienate some readers, and some may find his use of stereotypes
offensive. Sense of humour is highly individualistic, but for the
record, this book tickled my funny bone.


Unger, Jim., “Herman Classics, Vol. 1,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/17470.