No title personifies my infatuation with light, fun and whimsical Canadian comics better than The Pitiful Human-Lizard. Initially self-published by Jason Loo following a successful Kickstarter The Pitiful Human-Lizard quickly found a very loyal fan base. With issues one through five Jason’s efforts were so appreciated by the Canadian indie press reading community, critics and mainstream media that the title was picked up by Chapterhouse Comics, publisher of Captain Canuck and Die, Kitty Die. The first five issues were reprinted and new issues came out shortly there after distributed to local comic shops throughout North America by Diamond Comics Distributors.
The Pitiful Human-Lizard is Lucas Barrett. Or really he could be you. Lucas works in a maze of cubicles in an office building, his wallet is usually empty and his social life is rather boring. But Lucas decides to take his rather lack luster martial arts skills and patrol the streets of Toronto as a masked hero. What made Spider-Man so relatable in the 60’s when that book was first being published is exactly what works in The Pitiful Human-Lizard. We have an average fellow with average, real life problems.
Fundamentally it is Jason’s writing that makes the comic so great. “Write what you know” is the quote and Jason does just that. He draws heavily from the rich, multi-ethnic streets of Toronto filling his comic with familiar faces and landmarks. His cast of supporting characters feature heroes with the same do-it-yourself attitude as Lucas. These heroes are everyday people like that mother of three you see in the grocery store, that cashier at your favourite corner store and that fellow two cubicles over from yours.
Issue # 9 features Lucas’ ex-girlfriend and fellow crime fighter, Barb “Lady Accident”, inviting Lucas to talk to her fourth grade (Hey Jason, shouldn’t that be Grade 4 *wink wink*) class about being a superhero. Can you think of a more absurdly funny excuse to setup an origin retelling issue? The last page of the main story sums up the whole series the best as we see The Pitiful-Human Lizard checking his phone and hoping on the bus rather than driving off in a super-car or flying away in a mighty leap. Nice art, silly humour, fun action, local landmarks, typically Canadian … it all adds up to a great comic and a runaway indie comic success story.
Issue: The Pitiful Human-Lizard #9 | Publisher: Chapterhouse Comics
Writers: Jason Loo | Artist: Jason Loo & Rachel Richey