If you like your humor raw and uncooked, you may have found your match with this comic book, “Sock It To Me #1.” It’s about a sock. And this sock has an attitude. Von Gorman has an attitude. You should too if you really want to get into this.
We begin with a quick origin recap of Sock. He has undergone the struggles similar to many an A-list superhero. Shot into space as the lone survivor of a doomed planet, bitten by a radioactive spider, and so on, he’s been there. This is silly satire, drawn in a crude manner, with a hint of the comix spirit. It falls flat once too often for its own good and perhaps, with each stumble, it gets closer to where it needs to be.
Sometimes you want your comics to be strange and gooey. The trick for the cartoonist is to sustain that vibe, make it worthwhile to hang around the low rent freak show, if that is what you’ve set up. What you have here is an exercise in anti-humor. With the likes of Andy Kaufman in mind, it really is an ambitious undertaking. Thinking strictly in comics terms, three cartoonists that come to mind that traffic in the theater of the absurd are Kevin Scalzo, Johnny Ryan, and Sam Henderson. All very different, all very goofy.
Von Gorman is getting there. His drawing is okay but it could be sharper. I think when your actual jokes are fairly nonexistent, everything else needs to shine like nobody’s business. What you have here is a premise that has been pushed to its limits, and beyond. So, you have a young single guy and his roommate is this disembodied hand cut at the forearm, wearing a sock puppet, that speaks and acts as if human. And nothing happens. Well, some marginal things happen. Sock needs to get a job. He becomes a waiter. He gets fired.
Overall, I think that Von Gorman is on the right track. But this comic would be best considered prep work for what lies ahead. I know you need to start somewhere but, yeah, we readers don’t always need to see the prep work. Chester Brown did not just emerge one day fully formed. This assorted collection of shorts with lots of tacked on extras could make for an impulse purchase if you knock down the price to 99 cents instead of the current two bucks on comiXology. I would also consider just making it available for free. And then I’d just keep on rockin’.
SOCK IT TO ME #1 is available at comiXology right here.