Bridge Lost in Imagination
Lost in Imagination (Self-Published by Bridget Flanagan): Flanagan’s first full-fledged entry into self-publishing is a slightly mixed bag of results, but overall I really enjoyed this first attempt. As part of her MSU Comics & Visual Narrative Class, the first entry in the book is an assignment requiring her to illustrate her Artist Statement. She does a good job of capturing how her creations can come alive off the page, and though there’s some rudimentary figure drawing at play which is sometimes distracting from the thrust of the story, as well as the occasional awkward turn of phrase, Flanagan basically wins over the reader with her self-effacing charm. I hesitate to use the term “cute,” because it’s like the antithesis of a manly descriptor, but it certainly applies to Flanagan’s self-drawn alter ego. The Black Fedora is the second short entry in the book, which displays some inconsistency with the lettering style, but amid some of the more expository dialogue, I liked the creativity behind some of the action sequences. Not only are the fights choreographed particularly well, but there are some clever visuals thrown in for style points. I’m thinking specifically of the The Black Fedora Thief falling suddenly off the side of a building, and then hopping her way down in framed inset panels which draw attention to her punctuated movements quite nicely. Brain vs. Voice was an interesting exercise in displaying different aspects of human physiology all attempting to control a person in concert, sometimes to calamitous foot-in-mouth results. I appreciate Flanagan’s method of visually differentiating the different aspects, complete with altered personalities. The idea of the human body being some clockwork mechanism that these personifications control is actually very fun. The Pas de Deux is the final entry and it’s probably Flanagan’s boldest attempt at comics-making. I say this because not only does it attempt to depict some relatively complex emotional content with a burgeoning relationship dynamic amid personal hardship, but it also does so without any dialogue or text whatsoever. It’s always difficult to accurately depict things like music or dance in static imagery, but Flanagan pulls it off. That it’s successful is a testament to the fact that while there are some minor craft issues to continue to hone with practice, Flanagan offers more to enjoy than critique, and definitely shows promise as a mini-comics creator. More information at http://www.kirbygal.deviantart.com/ Grade B.