Monday, July 28, 2008

Mini-Reviews!

Hokay, I've read a lot of indie comics in the past week, so I'm going to do a special indie comics Mini-Review, coming atcha!

Skyscrapers of the Midwest by Joshua W Cotter

A collection of the ongoing series by Joshua W Cotter, this is the story of an anonymous adolescent cat and his brother, growing up in a small Midwest town. Both the protagonist and his brother deal with the harsh realities of their world with an elaborate fantasy world made up of robots and bugs and giant T-Rexes. Cotter has a very unique style, very fluid that reminds me of a more cartoony Frank Quitely. The story itself is interesting, if not meandering, but because it's an ongoing, that's to be expected.

Blankets by Craig Thompson

On the other hand, we have the graphic novel by Thompson that everybody always raves about. It's an autobiographical work about his first love and his brother and his upbringing in a small Christian community. It's also a story of obsession and reciprocation. Kind of like Burns' Black Hole, Thompson uses a very effective series of visual metaphors and motifs to illustrate his themes. But Thompson's style isn't nearly as crisp or clean or fluid as say Burns or even the aforementioned Cotter. I really liked Blankets, but I didn't love it. The art didn't really speak to me, and the protagonist of Blankets left me cold. At the end of the novel, he's supposedly made this big revelation about himself, but it comes across as cold and selfish. But that's just me.

Tricked by Alex Robinson

Based on how awesome Box Office Poison was, I knew that Tricked would be good, I just didn't know how good. Six strangers drawn together by an act of violence is the meat of the story, but unlike Thompson or Burns, Robinson isn't just using visual metaphors and motifs, Robinson is using both visual and literal. The idea of lying and tricking and counterfeit comes across a hundred times in Tricked. Each character lies to each other and most importantly, to themselves. I felt that the plot unfolded in a way that I could see everything coming, but it was comfortable rather than tiring. Robinson's dialogue and social interactions are extremely impressive and very few writers, prose or comic, can match him for dialogue. I loved this.

Next, I'll review Scott McCloud's Zot! and Alex Robinson's Too Cool To Be Forgotten and finally True Story Swear To God by Tom Beland. Thanks

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