Reviews: The Outbursts Of Everett True

This comic could really use a comeback

The Outbursts Of Everett True expresses a theme that's universal and readily understandable: the desire to get back at the annoying prick who's ruining your day, or someone else's. The simple two-panel setup sets up the joke perfectly: we meet the jerk and see why they're a jerk, and then we see them getting what they deserve.

Because of the emphasis on physical punishment, and the views on things such as gender roles, if Everett were brought back, he still might not be allowed to beat up women the way he commonly does to men. Maybe a female counterpart could carry on the legacy. If Everett treated women the same way he treats men, due to awareness of domestic violence, there would be a serious Dude Not Funny reaction. Him being beat up by his wife might carry similar connotations, due to awareness that women commit domestic violence just like men do - a belief that wasn't held even 10 years ago. The comic would just have to change, as the Values Dissonance would be too great.

One way to dodge that problem might be to have Everett use non-physical ways of getting back at people, as he sometimes did in the original comic. It might even be funnier, and could still be just as satisfying.

As it is, the original comic, while having a great idea, just shows its age in several embarrassing ways: the portrayal of black Americans, the way Everett beats up men but mostly only yells at women (who are still afraid of him anyway), the fact that he gets his tables turned on him by his wife frequently and even physically, and some of the values of the time. Everett even gives an outburst against feminism to a female passenger on a train whose only "crime" was to ask him to please give up his seat (which was admittedly rude, but the response was way out of line).

If you can look past the Values Dissonance, I recommend checking this comic out. It's out of copyright, and some prints can be found at some places online. When you do read it, think about the annoying jerks in your own life, and just imagine what Everett True would be like if he were around today.