10.29.2009

10.28.09 Reviews (Part 2)

Buenaventura Press: Comics Revival 3 Pack

I Want You #1 (by Lisa Hanawalt): This was a really enjoyable introduction to Hanawalt’s work, but doesn’t offer much in the way of a narrative. The book is a series of observational lists that are twisted, yet astute. They begin with one foot rooted in reality, but then go off the deep end into comical absurdity. There are sex bugs lurking on your keyboard tray, the questions raised by common dirty talk, and many more offenders. Many of the vignettes seem fascinated by interspecies romance and a typical line works a little something like this: “To my accountant, I can’t stop thinking about you. When you balance my books, I want to fuck your face out.” While there might not be much of a traditional story being told here, the pencil work is versatile and strong, and there’s no doubt Hanawalt can deliver quirky humor. Grade B.

The Aviatrix #1 (by Eric Haven): The most clever technique The Aviatrix stories use is seamlessly sliding from one tale into the next. For example, the uncomfortable situation and scatological humor of Protona spins right into It’s Ok… I’m Wearing a Tie! This was my favorite story, highlighting the fact that foolishly rigid adherence to any principle or dogma is bound to fail you eventually amid unpredictable human life. Secret Origins explains The Aviatrix herself as a sort of deus ex machina savior from the sky, and bleeds right into her origin story, stopping for a split second to touch on coercive threats to national security. Eric Haven’s clean expressive lines have a little bit of Robert Crumb influence in the facial features, with thicker inkier backgrounds and overall figure work. Grade B.

Injury #3 (by Ted May): I was really impressed by the panel designs on some of the pages of A Burnout in the Cosmos. The first full page shot exhibits both the perspective of the audience, and also Jeff’s point of view being a young kid in the counselor’s office, by using a series of inset panels. The split panel discussion, half the counselor talking, the other half cutting it off to show Jeff’s inner thoughts occupying his focus, is simple, elegant, and brutally effective. There is a Yoshihiro Tatsumi like quality to this autobiographical tale and some of the representational lines that don’t quite connect with eachother. It’s an extremely pleasant way to pull the reader in and allow them to provide some artistic closure. Oh, and watch out for bionic arms that help you fight “evil hillbillies with sci-fi lassoes.” Grade B+.

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