Capeless Crusader: Woohooligan!

Sam Dealey was a regular cartoonist living a regular life, until his birthday, when he got cancer.  If that sounds like the start of a great comic, it’s actually real life.

Woohooligan! is a collection of comics created by Sam Dealey, a self-described laughtivist.  After his cancer diagnosis, he decided to follow his dream of becoming a full-time comic artist.  The site is an assortment of one-gag strips and short stories, covering the genres of sci-fi, fantasy, and slice-of-life, all with an undercurrent of humor.  As a laughtivist, Dealey’s goal is to create conversations between people on difficult topics, using comedy to break the ice.  From racism, politics, autism, gender equality, and everything in between, Woohooligan!’s comics venture into forbidden territory and rip social conventions apart, while making jokes too.

Dealey’s initial ideas for the site

If you’re not a fan of comedy poking fun at religion, government, corporate business, and other large institutions, this isn’t the comic for you.  While Woohooligan! is a satire comic, it doesn’t use the same dark humor and profanity as other satire franchises are known for.  Even when writing the short comic Hellbent, featuring the Devil and his brothers, Dealey avoids explicit shock humor, using visual and written comedy to dictate the story.  That being said, he isn’t afraid to use dick jokes, scatological humor, curse words, sexual content, and nudity.

A panel from Hellbent

Besides satire, Woohooligan! also has parody comics, mostly based off geek culture.  One such example is The Secret Lives of Klingons, an in-depth explanation of Klingon society.  Other topics include forum discussions on the latest technology, anime conventions, and anything else dealing with nerds and geekdom.

A panel from The Secret Lives of Klingons

Dealey’s art is caricature-based, a normal theme for satire comics.  The characters are largely drawn in simplified forms, with little details, allowing the reader to focus on the topics, rather than the look of the comic.  Most characters are often drawn with little movement between panels, usually just a facial change or small hand movement, as characters and their dialogue are what drive the story, not the action.  Some satire and parody comics take the exaggeration too far, so the subject matter is often unrecognizable, but Dealey strikes a perfect balance between remaining faithful to the inspirations and comedic embellishment.

As Dealey likes to say, “Laughing is the shortest distance between two people.”  Read more at Woohooligan.com.

SJ Pendergraft

SJ Pendergraft is a writer who enjoys webcomics, so she decided to combine the two and became a webcomic reviewer.

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  • That’s so flattering! Thank you! 😀

    I can’t take credit for “laughter is the shortest distance between two people” — comedian Victor Borge (aka the Great Dane aka the Clown Prince of Denmark) coined that particular turn of phrase, although it is one of my personal favorites. 😀 Incidentally, being called “Dealey” always feels too formal to me… I prefer Sam or maybe “the Hooligan”. ;P

    I’m not sure I would call Hellbent short… it’s become a lot longer than I expected it to be, well over sixty pages already and probably about half-way through the story currently. These days the main character, Amity, is lamenting the fact that she’s carrying Lucifer’s baby, despite being dead. How she got pregnant is the subject of some debate about what might or might not be acceptable subject matter for comedians. I’ve certainly been told several times I should never go there, but George Carlin did and it ties into the crux of the whole Hellbent story and what I feel will be an uplifting ending. 😀

    And that gets to the last thing I wanted to mention. You said “full-time comic artist”. I am a comic artist or “cartoonist”, yes, although I see that as a tool. I identify as a comedian. I have done stand-up although not recently, and I write a fair amount of prose satire as well, a lot of it in the comments below my comics. Any time I write a blog intended to help other people or when I write my own reviews of other webcomics on my Tumblr, I pepper those articles with comedy as well to make the information more entertaining. For example, this article I wrote for other comic creators with advice for their Kickstarter campaigns. http://woohooligancomics.tumblr.com/post/163840741601/six-tips-to-kickstarter-success When I review comics as well, I hope that if readers laugh they’ll be more likely to share the review and that will be better for the creators I feature.

    There are a couple of reasons I focus my time on comics instead of stand-up, sketch or other mediums. First, because I’ve been a fan of comics all my life (I loved Gary Larson’s Far Side and I’m a huge fan of Deadpool), and secondly because it seems like good business. Driving around to open-mics is a time-sink and then you’re only hitting maybe a couple-dozen people at a time with a five-minute set. While the audiences enjoy open-mics, nobody there goes home and tells all their Facebook friends about this hilarious five-minute open-mic. You’re lucky if they remember your name after the set. 😉 So the webcomic keeps my work available all the time and helps people share the pieces they like with their friends. It’s also a good way for me to meet and get to know my fans through comments and social media. You’ll hear me on some podcasts soon, and sometime soon hopefully I’ll record an open mic or two for YouTube, maybe in the fall or next spring. My current specific goal is I’m preparing for another Kickstarter for my second physical book next spring, in 2018.

    Thanks again for the kind words! 😀

    Sam