The work of Joe Ollmann has been flying below the radar for well over a decade now (Seth states in his blurb that he is “criminally under-appreciated”). While there has long been a core cadre of Copacetic customers who have been hep to Ollmann’s unique brand of Canadian-inflected, sarcasm-filled, self-flagellating satire, these classic gems have had difficulty gaining traction with a wider audience. It is the hope that this new Conundrum Press colllection wil go some way towards rectifying this situation and connecting new readers with this most deserving work. Nothing is spared here in these tightly structured, fluently written tales that are drawn with a keenly expressive edge. Ollmann is driven by a deep empathy for suffering; doubtless his own, but also very much so for that of others, sensing the pain that lurks below the surface in his fellow humans. That said, it is clear that Ollmann’s core competency lies in delineating culture clashes and the psychological toll they take on those on the borders of their respective cultures, and especially those that are stuck right in the middle. Here, he is in his element, and he delivers. Happy Stories is a 242 page “omnibus” that contains “most” of his Doug Wright Award-winning collection, This Will All End in Tears, and “the best stories” from his other major and now-out-of-print collection, Chewing On Tinfoil, as well as two new stories, created "just for this book.” Introduction by noted Canadian comics scholar, Jeet Heer. Recommended.