Grace's background as a physicist comes through in many cartoons depicting researchers and laboratories. (My favorite is the one about the researcher who blames her constant tardiness to meetings on Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.) Others depict themes that would recur in Ernie (albeit in milder forms), like men who can't get women and therefore date animals.
You can sort of tell that Grace hasn't quite found his niche yet with the cartoons of this volume. He seems to oscillate between going for a Playboyesque or perhaps Gahan Wilsonesque absurdity and the gross-out factor of Hustler cartoonists (I associate to Tom Cheney, but it's been so long since I read his work that I can't be certain that I don't misremember his style of jokes). There's also a cartoon or two that seems to be going for a Gary Larson-type humor, but that could be because of them both being inspired by the same American cartoon traditions. A lot of them are funny, a few are merely vulgar or do stuff that's really been done before. I enjoyed it but probably won't be in any rush to re-read it.
|One of the cartoons that made me think of Tom Cheney's work.|
This is an amusing but not really great collection of cartoons; you'll probably laugh at some of them and not really care for some others. I think it's worth a read, at least. But if you're an Ernie/Piranha Club fan, of course you should read it to get a hunch about where Grace is coming from; this is the precursor to the sometimes-inspired silliness of the Ernie strip.