5.04.2010

The Way It Crumbles by Dan Mazur

The Way It Crumbles (Boston Comics Roundtable): From the very first page, I could tell instantly that I was going to like the new comic from Dan Mazur (danmazur@aol.com). I love the extremely detailed backgrounds, like the opening page establishing shot of a decayed village street. In other panels, it’s a fun Easter Egg hunt, trying to find all of the various fantasy tropes, characters like the scarecrow, death, pan, minotaurs, and centaurs are typically found lurking in the backgrounds, providing a sense that the world he creates extends beyond the panel borders. Mazur’s art has a complex, lived-in look that he achieves by varying the line weight. Sometimes he uses light crosshatching to achieve the desired texture, other times we see thick syrupy inks to provide the right mood. Looking at the way he stages shots and frames panels, it’s easy to see Mazur’s cinematic experience shine through. He also has a natural ear for dialogue that’s probably been aided by script writing. It’s complete with the small pauses, stammers, and stutters which mar real speech patterns and have been hallmarks of guys like David Mamet or Aaron Sorkin for years. It’s the mixture of these realistically flawed speech patterns and smart effective word choices that pulls readers into this tale about a culinary reporter investigating the authentic cuisine of the “magick folke.” Mazur also displays a fluid understanding of how the medium works, relying on many silent panels to tell his story visually, such as the sequence of the drunken elf informant passing out on a table. The tale quickly spins into one of forest elves baking cookies in a hollow tree. Sound familiar? When the commentary about corporate greed winning the battle of culinary creativity is coupled with stoic deadpan humor like “I make a mean patty melt,” it’s a hit. It almost feels like a dark children’s story, proof that Mazur’s job experience in other sectors is a boon to his success in sequential art. This is definitely a creator I’d like to see more from. Grade A.

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