Hello, readers! Happy Halloween Month!
It’s been a while, so I thought I’d break the ice with a joke. OK, here goes.
You (presumably): “Who’s there?”
And I answer “Death!”
I was going to make the punchline “The IRS” but that might’ve been too terrifying.
Anyways, this is Beefpaper.
Like Happle Tea, Beefpaper‘s a gag-a-day style humor comic “very loosely based” on the life of it’s writer Shane Sheenan. “VERY LOOSELY.”
As such, no characters, just a series of ceiling ghosts, an armada of pigs, and the hilarious antics of one very childish, somewhat overdramatic human being who still manages to be completely relatable… at least to me (I’ll elaborate later).
I’m not entirely sure how I first stumbled onto Beefpaper, but I think it must’ve been while I was scrolling through the now defunct webcomic site Just the First Frame. Beefpaper was linked there fairly regularly and I’m sure its sketch-over-photo style is what caught my eye. It isn’t the first webcomic to use photography as part of its medium, but it’s still uncommon enough that when you do find one, it sticks out.
Unlike most other photo webcomics, though, Beefpaper features sketches of Shane’s character and others superimposed over photo-realistic backgrounds. This lets the characters really stand out no matter where they are or what they’re doing. It also plays with the theme of Shane being a cartoonish man-child who does his thing while the “real” world goes on in the background, but maybe I’m just reading too much into what could easily have been a “just because” decision. It’s a fun comic – there’s no reason it can’t look fun, too.
At the same time, though, there’s no denying how weird this comic is, but that’s one of its strengths, I feel. No matter your age group, you can’t help but chuckle at this comic’s utter weirdness.
Humor, of course, is subjective and this brand of humor in particular might not be for everyone, but I like it. Not only does it make me laugh, more often than not I totally get how Shane feels. Like, I can empathize completely. As someone in his early twenties, I know exactly what it feels like to feel like a kid in an adult world. I know what it’s like to make mature decisions and then decide “Nah!”, throwing all sensibility to the wind and forsaking all adultness in the name of Childish Fun because, honestly, you’re still a child, at least in your own eyes. What business do I have being a grown-up?
Not that the comic is bleak. Oh no, by no means. And that’s the thing. As a comic semi-inspired by the writer’s life, it honestly could have been.
Last year, Shane Sheenan was told he had an otherwise benign tumor in his pituitary gland. It’s steadily shrinking now, but that kind of thing can be pretty scary and is certainly no walk in the park. How did this influence his humor?
Not at bit.
And that, I think, is the beautiful thing.
Behind it’s borderline black comedy and surrealistic non sequiturs, there’s a bit of an underlying philosophy. Stuff happens – sometimes a lot of it – but no matter what, you just keep doing what you’re doing.
Beefpaper is written and created by Shane Sheenan. This comic, including all images used here, belongs to him.