Monday, 19 January 2015

Review: 'Hugs & Misses: 30 Postcards of Awkward Romance' - Wilhelm Staehle

24513580You don't often get sent a set of postcards to review, but then, postcards often aren't as funny as Wilhelm Staehle's are. And in a time in which sending letters or cards has lost some of its shine, it is great to see cards you actually want to send.
Hughs and Misses. These 30 postcards illuminate awkward moments in love, romance, and courtship - all dutifully recorded by Wilhelm Staehle, creator of the twisted comic Silhouette Masterpiece Theater. 
Wilhelm Staehle is a horribly disfigured gentleman who often frightens small children when passing by. He divides his free time between sporting for fox hunters and dressing his broad collection of taxidermy. He also finds time to craft silhouettes. He begs you to enjoy them. Or at the very least to refrain from informing him if you do not.
As you may have guessed from the blurb above, the whole tone of the postcards is a mix between hilarious and awkward. Staehle uses not only puns in order to be funny but the silhouettes and illustrations also add to the humour of the words. These are the kinds of cards you can send both to friends and to people you want to be your friends. If they laugh at your card then you can continue in the friend-making process. In all seriousness, postcards are meant to be sent and yet most postcards one finds in stores are terribly banal or predictable that they take the joy out of sending them. They also manage to be so similar that it is almost impossible to find a card that feels personal. With Staehle's cards I have already decided on at least five friends for which one of them is perfect.

Besides being funny and looking great, Staehle's postcards also pick up on some beautifully awkward moments in romance. Whether it is attitudes towards sex, partners or love in general, Staehle's messages are pretty much on point while remaining beautifully sarcastic. The cards are also of a great quality and therefore really do lend themselves to sending, rather than just looking at.

Having previously been unaware of Staehle's work, these cards formed a great introduction to him as an artist. Hugs and Misses is also a great example of how publishers can bring different kinds of artists and mediums to the wider public. In this case it is Quirk Books which gets the credit for this great little book of postcards.

I give these postcards...

4 Universes!

The only thing stopping me from sending these cards is that I like looking at them too much and chucking to myself. Staehle has created a brilliant set of postcards, each of which works. Not only do they show his ingenuity as an artist but they are also great fun.

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