||[Feb. 26th, 2008|01:59 pm]
100 COMICS TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE (or grow out of them)
#91 A LESSON IS LEARNED BUT THE DAMAGE IS IRREVERSIBLE – Dale Beran, David Hellman
“Alcoholic Rabbit, are you sure you know how to drive this thing?”
For the first couple of strips A Lesson Is Learned But the Damage Is Irreversible was a well-coloured and painterly but otherwise unexceptional webcomic about two slackers named Dale and Dave who were making a webcomic. A week later a strip appeared that was unlike the simple real-life-with-more-jokes scenes that had seemed to be Dale Beran and David Hellman’s focus; a strip about a mad scientist who had discovered a green flame that turned everything it touched into reptiles. From then on, each update showed the comic spiralling further into the surreal, ignoring gags in favour of oddity, philosophical ramblings and bizarre landscapes. The style of the art and lettering shifted constantly, sometimes within the same strip, and the tone of the writing changed just as frequently. Resembling nothing so much as the over-sugared fever dreams of someone who has passed out while playing video games, the strips featured characters like Alcoholic Rabbit and the legendary ghosts of Mafia bosses, trips to heaven and The Forbidden Forest Of Fresh Cuts And Jams and magical objects like the Power Pyramid Manipulative and Bluerazz Sourpower Snackattackpacks.
After a couple of years A Lesson... evolved again. Dale and Dave disappeared from the stories completely and, though the new strips were similar in appearance to what had gone before and each was self-contained, on closer examination they formed an intricately interwoven sequence of events. Like a single night of broken sleep filled with fragments of dreams, this beautiful nonsense took on a significance at odds with its silliness.
A Lesson... is currently on a hiatus that may prove permanent. It’s a shame to have to end these strange and colourful miniature sagas, but you have to wake up some time. Alcoholic Rabbit is late for a very important date and we shouldn’t let him drive again.