Author Archive

Minis Monday: Fail Wolves: Three Tales of Inept Lycanthropy

Posted by on September 27th, 2010 at 1:51 PM
I was introduced to Betsey Swardlick’s "Fail Wolves" through the Werewolves!!, the anthology from Team Werewolf seen here last time out. Within that earlier review I tried to suggest that part of the success of Werewolves!! lay in the variety of approaches to its iconic subject. At the same time those approaches were somewhat aligned in that they regarded the mythic creature as a manifestation of liberated aspects of one’s own interior makeup, as a bit of individual wish fulfillment.

Minis Monday: Werewolf!!

Posted by on September 20th, 2010 at 1:00 PM
The single most invigorating aspect of Team Werewolf's regard for the titular subject in this anthology is their multiplicity of approaches.

Minis Monday: Big Sexy

Posted by on September 13th, 2010 at 1:00 PM
While some of the offerings do their level best at more straightforward pornography (without it necessarily being, you know, straight) most are better served with sex and prominent sex integrated into the rest of human experience.

From Essex County to DC: The Transplanting of Jeff Lemire

Posted by on September 10th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
Although several of the themes explored in Essex County can be seen infiltrating this newer material, there is the distinct sense that Lemire has relocated far from his wellsprings.

Yearlong Best of the Year: Essex County

Posted by on September 9th, 2010 at 10:01 AM
Essex County, Ontario spreads out east and south of the city of Windsor, which itself is across the river east and south of Detroit. It is anything but imaginary territory. In his collected edition, Jeff Lemire persuasively presents it as hardscrabble rural. Late in the hardcover version, a literal bird's eye view shows the countryside as surprisingly organized and geometric. Plowed fields arrange themselves in furrowed squares surrounding farmhouses. The homes, set in the cultivated order, are not so very far from one another, yet Lemire has us convinced we may as well be looking over the vast, trackless expanses of interstellar space.

Minis Monday: Play and Shelter

Posted by on September 6th, 2010 at 10:28 AM
The key to appreciating these two meaty, self-published anthologies lies in their originating organization's "mission statement." It appears in Play as the "solution" to the prior day's (and nonexistent) Criptaquip puzzle: "The Trees and Hills Comics Group brings together cartoonists in Vermont, New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts to produce, publish and promote comics, share resources, and build creative connections in our diverse community."

From Shelter, ©2009 Marek Bennett.

Minis Monday: White Mountain Mini Motherload

Posted by on August 30th, 2010 at 1:00 PM
Kreiner reviews Crybaby by Robyn Chapman, and the Chuck Forsman and Max de Radigues-edited anthology Caboose.

Joe the Barbarian #1-6

Posted by on August 18th, 2010 at 2:11 AM
Moving away from the tilled fields of DC's trademarked characters, Grant Morrison appears to be writing himself a screenplay. Luckily, in Joe the Barbarian, he's supported by Sean Murphy who provides the imaginative storyboarding and the flamboyantly attractive cinematography.

Minis Monday: Liz Prince’s I Swallowed the Key to my Heart

Posted by on August 16th, 2010 at 1:00 PM
Prince revels in the satisfaction of immediate appetites and is perfectly willing to present herself as aggressive, even prickly, all the while maintaining a guarded sense of hope for more subtle fulfillment: One strip’s internalized narration runs “As I passed a stranger on my walk to work, // unprompted we gave each other the evil-eye// ‘Take that, you fucker.’ That guy was probably my soul mate.”

Minis Monday: Color Comics by Colleen Frakes

Posted by on August 9th, 2010 at 1:00 PM
Last time out we looked at what I thought was a bijou of a minicomic: Colleen Frakes’ Revenge! This time we get a whole jewelry box, brightened to near iridescence with the addition of color. This collection of mostly short works offers color in several guises, applied in different ways, delivering various effects and triggering varying reactions. There’s a pervasive intensity to the picture plane at work here, a real density not ordinarily found in Frakes’ comics. Color acts to unite what we’d probably call visual problem-solving for mature talents and spontaneous, natural ingenuity in drawings by children.

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