Keep in mind, dear readers, that I was reviewing the June issue of Golden Words. I like to explore the sites well in advance of writing the review. Golden Words brags that it is “Canada’s Other National Newspaper for Over 30 Years.” It’s web sibling is a hilarious site. America seems to look north quite often for comedy, and so it does again. With a few exceptions, the magazine hits the mark.
A comic magazine out of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, this ezine holds up the national comic tradition of John Candy, Wayne from Wayne’s World, and Kids in the Hall very nicely. Some of the things they do is just plain wacky. For starters, all the writers and illustrators have nutty names: Sleazy P. Martini, Peanuta Montoya, Pompitous of Love and Nemesis. Then, there’s the Links section. I’m not going to tell you what happens when you enter here. I can only say this: the joke is on you. I really enjoyed the advice column manned by the Depressive German Poet. He answers people’s queries with really lousy melodramatic poetry that always contains the line “of my soul.” (Sadly, some poetry published on the web is not much better.)
They really touched the heart of silly advertisement slogans and had a few laughs at the expense of Americans with “The Pow-Zoom Guide to Debunking Advertising Slogans.” For example, their comic parody of Cascade’s slogan, “For Virtually Spotless Dishes” includes lines like: “Cascade: This Shit Might Work” and “Cascade: Because 60% of Americans Can’t Define ‘Virtually.'”
I applaud the comments made about Summer in “Things that Make me Extremely Cynical” – “Remember when you used to look forward to getting out of school? Now I just laugh at high school kids when I hear them say that. Then I bash their kneecaps to splinters.” They also lend their cynical talents to dissecting April Fools and the upcoming Millenium. Other topics trashed or spoofed in Golden Words include breakfast cereals, children’s stories, and Canadians of note (including someone you would not expect to be Canadian).
Even though much of the zine was brilliant, the comic strips did not measure up with the rest of the magazine. There were four comic strips: Corwyn, Blasphemy Corner, Twisty Bread, and Larry, and in each of the strips something was amiss. Either the dialogue was hard to read, the meaning of the strip was indecipherable, or the strip was not funny. I recommend that readers not even bother with the strips. They’re simply not worth the time.
Despite the failure of the comic strips, the zine was hilarious, with much to keep the reader’s attention. The comic strips were weak, and I suggest they discontinue them, focusing instead on what they do best: poking fun at aspects of modern culture that deserve it.