Tales of Ordinary Madness

By Malcolm Bourne and Mike Allred, Tales of Ordinary Madness is less story than it is an inventory of mental illnesses as witnessed by a psychiatrist who himself has issues. "Madness" takes many forms, and Allred's art is competent at demonstrating various conditions, but it lacks the energy of his later over-the-top (and humorous) work on Madman (perhaps rightly so). Bourne, an actual doctor (and semi-famous comic letter-hack), obviously has knowledge of which he writes. And yet, there simply isn't enough story here for the reader to become sympathetic. The book doesn't even work as a primer on mental illnesses as Bourne merely shows the characters acting without providing any real commentary on their conditions. Tales of Ordinary Madness, while a reasonable first effort, really drops the ball on what might have been a wonderful mechanism for exposing readers to the trials that ordinary people face every day in coping with all-too-common ailments.