As you may know, I keep a little feed of Amazon’s best selling graphic novels on my desktop, just to see what’s charting. It’s usually the same seven or eight books—Killing Joke, Watchmen, The Dark Knight, Saga, Fun Home, Persepolis and so on. But this week, along with a strong week for anything by Scott Snyder about Batman, there is a new #1 book, and it comes with a whiff of the new: Fart Wars by J.B. O’Neil. O’Neil who has self published this and several other volumes in The Disgusting Adventures of Milo Snotrocket series, has found a formula so profound it’s truly astonishing no one came up with it before: mix one part Star Wars parody, one part Wimpy Kid simple drawing, and 20 parts fart humor and you have something that is smelling, er, selling briskly in the Kindle format.
The humor, as you can see form a few sample pages, is not exactly rocket science, relying on the universal human constant that finds farts funny, as young Milo yearns to be free of life on a distant fart harvester farm and hopes to find adventure and bigger farts. And yes, every other word is fart. It’s easy to see how parents might find 99¢ a worthy investment for a book that will keep the younglings occupied giggling uncontrollably for an hour or so.
This is not O’Neil’s first pass at gas. He’s become quite the expert at expulsion with a searing series of rootin’ tootin’ titles.
He started off with a blast with The Fart Book.
Added an element of adventure with Ninja Farts: Silent but Deadly…
And finally the heartbreaking Pooter’s Revenge.
O’Neil is nothing is not a born marketer. He’s made an audiobook available for free download, and has parallel series of books exploring boogers. Clearly an entrepreneur who has his finger on the pulse of fart-loving kids everywhere.
Will Fart Wars displace Batman as a mainstay of the bestseller chart? It’s unlikely, but you never know. Looking at O’Neil’s oeuvre, it’s clear there’s not a stinker in the bunch.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.