The Janice Shapiro Trio


So, I received three comics from Janice Shapiro for review purposes, and one of them is entitled 3 Comics, so why not run with that and review them all together? 3 Comics is a bit of a solo anthology, featuring the stories "Red River," "BRRRRRR!," and "Welcome to Jeopardy!" Shapiro is a filmmaker/writer turned to the sequential arts, so I was curious to see how her transition would transpire. The results are good! While there are a couple of small typos to be found, I enjoyed the tales of John Wayne, snowfall, and Alex Trebek.

These pieces seem to be connected by a sense of how we perceive the world around us, and how those reactions may shift with age. Regarding film, she posits that perhaps we want something different from the movie-going experience as we age, or that at the very least, we can appreciate different aspects of cinema, more willing to give something a chance than immediately dismissing it. "BRRRRRR!" continues her observations, examining snowfall vis-a-vis life in LA vs. NYC, each with their own unique attributes. In the Jeopardy! piece, I found it interesting how hobbies and our own obscure knowledge base mesh with Jeopardy! acting as an interesting metaphor for life.  

Crushable Harry Walker and Crushable Ricky Nelson are part of a larger ongoing series entitled Crushable – My Life In Crushes, From Ricky Nelson to Viggo Mortensen. Harry Walker was a school-age crush and it highlights in comedic fashion the dangers of obsession, living life “in your head” and projecting faux interactions vs. well, reality. The art is emotive and I enjoyed some of the secondary observations from Shapiro, like kids trying to reconcile the seemingly strict order of the grown-up world. In the Ricky Nelson issue, the focus was more on the way nostalgia works, how music is often times about a connotation with a specific time and place. The story captures that concept nicely. In some ways, Shapiro’s work is fairly standard autobio fare, but (some slightly fuzzy reproduction quality aside) it’s done very well, with a forthcoming sense of humor and warmth that many will find engaging. Grade B+.


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