A world without coffee is a world without bliss, as far as I’m concerned. This glorious beverage adds normality to my day and gives me an energy boost. So of course I would be the one to stumble upon an online comic about coffee—or, rather, Koffee—on the indie-comic web platform Tapastic. Koffee and Marijuana Cig was my first introduction to the outlandish work of Twin Cities artist Jesse Hedman, and I mean “outlandish” in the best of ways.
This series is also part of his collection of comics titled Sketchbook XXL, of which he graciously sent me a digital copy to review. Before I continue on with my comments I want to note that this series of comics is not appropriate for all ages. There are references to smoking marijuana, the use of frequent swear words starting with the letter f, and a whole collection of comics about a certain type of body part in the male anatomy. I hope this doesn’t sway you from reading Sketchbook XXL, but it’s important to give this content warning.
Hedman describes Sketchbook XXL as “a collection of comics from my sketchbook as well as a full issue of an ongoing project.” In the beginning, the comics describe the artist himself, his story of reading comic books, and how superhero comics aren’t his thing. He writes, “It may be hard to write Superman, but imagine the strength needed to write human.” Using comics as a medium to talk about the human experience felt identifiable and real to me. Each person’s individual experience is often hard to depict, but Hedman talks about his journey to comics and finding a career that he takes joy in.
Reading True Crime Comic, about a man who orders food three minutes before close, I just about spit up the water that I was drinking. As someone with food-service experience, I know this horror story all to well. The art is vivid as to what someone actually feels when a customer walks through that door after a long day of working and dealing with the rudest of people. Most of us have had to spend some time in food service, and Hedman sums up this experience rather explicitly.
I won’t spoil every single comic in Sketchbook XXL, because this collection is absolutely worth purchasing. To learn more, follow Jesse Hedman’s AFC Comics on Instagram or Facebook or visit visit gumroad.com/AFCComics.