Monday, April 26, 2010
So MoCCA was a couple of weeks ago, and now that I'm done reading all the awesome comics it's time to start reviewing!
This year's haul was the best -and most expensive- so far, so reviewing them all is gonna take multiple installments.
Let's start with The Safety on Board by Kristoffer Kjølberg and Sindre Goksøyr and The Voyage by Alexis Frederick-Frost.
Safety on Board is a silly fun flip-book format mini, where half is one comic drawn by Kjølberg and the other side is by Goksøyr. The comics star Emil and Gyro from Duck Tales and their coinciding stories literally crash into each other in the middle of the booklet. It's super clever, but also compelling. Why are Emil and Gyro in such a rush to get to Oslo? Why does Emil have a briefcase full of money? Who ate all the snacks on the plane? Does listening to Niel Young on your cassette player while on-flight really cause it to plummet in a spiral? Unless they find that black box, we'll never know.
The Voyage is a completely silent comic. We follow an unnamed ship on it's journey over an unknown amount of time. The format is one long, large beautifully drawn panel per page wherein the ship leaves and visits ports, clashes with other ships, braves a storm and some large and unfriendly sea critters. The interesting thing is that the ship never moves from it's spot on the page, from page to page. It's almost as if the environment, living or landmass is forced to interact with the ship, the staple of the story. It's all awesomely drawn and almost sad when the ship finds it's final resting place.
Keep on rocking in the free world!
Friday, September 11, 2009
We here at the Comics Drill are BIG fans of books about masturbation; that’s the bias we have to try to overcome when reading comics. But when you read Spent by Joe Matt, even if you take out the awkward and sleazy “jerk-off-into-a-tshirt” moments, you can’t ignore this book’s strong sense of narrative and gut-wrenching honesty.
Broken up into three parts and spanning 124 pages, Spent chronicles the daily life of the self-hating, porn addicted, girl crazy, chauvinistic, and frugal Joe Matt. He depicts agonizing sado-masochistic exchanges, his lack of a love life and how it all ties back to his stunted sexual growth as a youth.
While that sounds like it may be grimy and almost unpleasant material to read, it is beautified by Joe Matt’s simple yet cinematic sense of narrative. Despite it’s rigid eight-panel layout on every page, we are determinedly guided into frank and revealing flashbacks of his youth as well as painful encounters between Matt and the few people still in his life, in between porn dubbing sessions (read the book to learn the disturbing level that he goes to with this activity). His art style completes the package with its “Saturday morning cartoon” feel, dragging us in and keeping us there.
Ultimately, Spent will frustrate, depress and (maybe) arouse you and you would be a fool to pass it up. And you can thank Alex K. after you read that shit! Absum!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
First review, yo!
Okay, so recently I read Far Arden by Kevin Cannon (p. by Top Shelf). I was lured in by it's eye-catching orange cover, with who I thought might be Where's Waldo's Canadian cousin running at me, sword in hand. Flipping through the comic in store, I was already sold just by Kevin Cannon's fun, effectively simple artwork. He's pretty awesome.
Smush Flapjack and (specifically) Lego Indiana Jones together and you can get basic 'feel' of this comic. It's very charming, non-stop fun, sometimes kinda scary, even really sad. Kevin Cannon is a great cartoonist and his humor is right up my alley. Far Arden's pages are filled with clever background gags and hilarious fight scenes, WTF moments and man-that-was-just-really-awesome hindsights.
But when I wasn't laughing (or at least smirking), I kinda felt like crying. And I'm no sap, but read it, you'll see! And--this might seem like a weird thing to point out--everything is wrapped up at the end. I mean, there are no "wait a second, what happened to..." moments. I really appreciate that, thanks Kevin Cannon!