Fantagraphics has announced that it will publish the first collection of work from acclaimed Australian cartoonist Simon Hanselmann. Titled Megahex, the deluxe hardcover will contain more than 200 pages from Hanselmann's celebrated Megg, Mogg, and Owl comics, which the artist posts on his Girl Mountain tumblr.

Hanselmann's cartoons star Megg, a foul-mouthed stoner Witch; Mogg, a talking black cat; and Owl, a high-strung anthropomorphic owl whose work at various low-wage office jobs only serves to hurt his already low self-esteem. On its surface the strip is a series of cringe humor and stoner jokes, but if you dig deeper you'll see some painfully dark, refreshingly honest and emotionally powerful commentary through the lens of deeply flawed characters who evoke an empathy you may not have been expecting. From the Fantagraphics press release:

 

Behind the crass poop jokes and stoner humor are the depressed and misanthropic lives of these characters. They all possess tragedies that weigh on their shoulders, keeping them from escaping the nihilistic pit into which they've fallen. Equally funny and melancholic, Hanselmann is able to evoke empathy for his characters, making it easy for readers to fall in love with this disdainful bunch. Part Tennessee Williams, part Peter Bagge, Megahex will make people laugh, cry, and then take a shower.

 

"The first Megg & Mogg strips I read were so effortlessly funny and fully realized," said Fantagraphics Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds, "that I almost couldn't believe he wasn't a pseudonym for someone more established."

Megahex will arrive in stores June 2014.