ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sunny Side Down

Updated on February 21, 2011

I picked this up from a bargain bin at Borders a while ago. In between buying it and actually reading it, I have becoming a fan of the webshow "Tales of Mere Existence" by Levni Yilmaz, the author of this book of cartoons. So I awaited reading this comic with a certain level of anticipation.

The comic didn't disappoint for me, but I must begin this review with a warning: Levni Yilmaz is both pessimistic and misanthropic, and it really shows in his comics. You may not realize it until you're several strips in thanks to Yilmaz's cartoony style, but this guy has got a view of the world which paints the human experience as being an entirely pointless series of disappointments and discouragements. If you can't handle such a negative view of life and humanity, this is not the comic for you.

If, however, you ever wished Matt Groening's "Life in Hell" was a little more cynical and showed a even more hopeless view of existence,this is the comic for you. Split into 5 chapters, each covering a different section of life (birth and childhood, school, early adulthood, romance, and adulthood, respectively), each page is a different comic on a different subject. Topics range from bullies (where Yilmaz puts forward a great point that many people tend to overlook while telling them that the bullies that torment them are cowards/will fail at life: that that is all well and good, but it doesn't really matter when they're currently beating you up) to first loves (and how they'll inevitably end up being more trouble than they're worth) to what happens when you discover you're never going to achieve your dreams. 

What I think I liked the most about "Sunny Side Down" (besides the genuinely funny self depreciation that Yilmaz peppers the story with) is its universality: Yilmaz writes this book as if his audience is the human race as a whole, as if we can all identify immediately with his experiences of depression and disappointment. And you know what? It works! I found myself feeling bad for the poor guy to live a fulfilling life, while simultaneously wondeirng if my life is as pointless as Yilmaz;s. In one of my favorite comics in the collection, Yilmaz walks down the street speculating about how all of the men he sees must be doing so much better than he is, and guessing what cool and exciting things they are going to do that night. It ends with all of them seated in front of their respective TVs, watching television alone.

It's this feeling of identification with Yilmaz's cynicism that I liked the most, and it was the thing that really pushed me over the edge from liking it to loving it. If you see this around (particularly if, like me, you found it in the bargain bin), snatch it up. Also, be sure to check out Yilmaz's youtube videos, which are like animated versions of his comics. He posts under the name "AgentXPQ." Have fun feeling both sympathetic of and identifying with Yilmaz's "mere existence"!  


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Jeanne Stevens 

      7 years ago

      I'm also a big fan of the web show, for the same reason's you've praised the comic. I actually can only take Yilmaz's pessimism in small doses, but during those small doses yeah, I agree he definitely touches on something that seems to be universal to the human condition.

      I'll be keeping an eye out for the comic =)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)