Minis Monday: Bring Your Daughter to Work Day & Before Sleep #5

Posted by on March 29th, 2010 at 1:00 PM

More work from last year’s Maine Comics Arts Festival in Portland. Get — as they say — some!

Bring Your Daughter to Work Day
Writer Alexander Danner
Artist Edward J. Grug III

It takes only a few pages to allay whatever saccharine misgivings may arise from this book’s title or the dimpled, alert youngster on the front cover. Thanks to a blunder of implausible callousness and the shortcomings of human character, dad and daughter are headed for darkly humorous trauma that’s anything but work-a-day.

The office dynamic is vividly captured by a cast that distinguishes itself quickly thanks to Alexander Danner’s sharp dialogue. Each character fluidly plays their part, either knowing or unknowingly, relative to the young protagonist, as the unpredictable tale wends its way.

Edward Grug keeps the proceedings moving smoothly with a loose yet expressive style. Composition is open and streamlined. Texture is supplied only by lines of varying thicknesses and the occasional, functional black. Figuration is trim and solid throughout with several nice effects achieved through spacing and positioning.

Given today’s economic conditions, Bring Your Daughter to Work Day gains a special topical relevance. It gets its humor from an acknowledged childish ingenuity and indomitableness but derives its integrity from refusing to indulge in an easy resolution.

Before Sleep #5
Colin Tedford; $1

Offered as “sketchbook comics,” Colin Tedford’s blue, oblong booklet Before Sleep #5 (“Often drawn in bed!”) is a persistently congenial and delightful collection of strips and riffs on considered matters. Tedford’s rendering is loose and amicable yet versatile enough to capture nuance of situation and our appropriately mortal reaction. Breezier strips carry a whiff of Trondheim’s light-handed playfulness in premise and design. Topically, the comics are informed by nature, both fauna and human, but easily stretch to include religion, comic conventions and, more explicitly, mundane existence. Developed themes include the implications of worshiping a pineapple deity and a superlative tour of “The Library of the Lost,” a bit of rhyming doggerel so clever that it camouflages its organizational conceit. This issue is the final one of the series as Tedford is working on a comprehensive compilation of his strips. It’ll be interesting to see if, in greater number, they will continue to convey their warmth and spontaneity without diminution.

Next time: Tedford is a member of the Trees and Hills Comics Group, so more comics from that grassroots cadre.

So look for them next Monday,
Watch for them next Monday,
They’ll come to thee next Monday, though hell should bar the way!

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4 Responses to “Minis Monday: Bring Your Daughter to Work Day & Before Sleep #5”

  1. johnrplatt says:

    Less than two months until the next Maine Comic Arts Festival!

  2. Rich, thanks for the kind words! All the issues of Before Sleep are out of print now, but my current series still shares some its qualities, and as you mention, BS will return as a book collection (probably not in time for MECAF, though). I’m organizing it into themed sections, so hopefully that’ll read better than just 100 straight pages of half-page strips.

  3. […] have copies of my older mini, Bring Your Daughter to Work Day, which earlier this week received a glowing review in The Comics Journal. Of course, I'll have Issue 1 as […]