SPX: Not-so-minicomics reviews — 2008 edition

This will be the last SPX post, I promise. I have one more book to review, but it will deserve its own post and I also need to finish it.

The Ride Home — Joey Weiser

I forgot to mention AdHouse Books in my Richmond Zine Fest post. They also fill me with hometown pride. And they are one of the most interesting comics publishers today.

Weiser’s story about a van gnome searching for his lost home is funny and sweet with all kinds of wonderful creatures like sewer dragons and junkyard goblins. This is silly and cute fun, but the deeper message that home is where you feel loved is still important and lovely. This was surprisingly wonderful.

Kaguya — Sakiko Judge

Sakiko Judge was wearing a kimono and looked absolutely beautiful at SPX, so I just had to buy something from her. This isn’t so much a comic — it’s more an illustrated story — and while I didn’t love it, I did find it to be an interesting experiment. Judge’s artwork is solidly expressive and reflects the tale she’s retelling here well. While it’s not my favorite thing that I bought at SPX, it’s probably one of the more intriguing.

Patches — Amy Stoddard

Published by Strawberry Comics, Stoddard seems to understand the conventions of shoujo manga in a way a lot of Westerners don’t. While her art seems to go through a few growing pains — it’s a little uneven in sections — there is a touching beauty here. The concept of a patch matching people with their true loves is pure shoujo, as is the vaguely European-meets-Japan village the story takes place in. This was joyfully engrossing and I was happy to see Strawberry Comics at SPX. If the rest of their comics are of a similar quality (and the others I glanced at tell me they might be) I think they will quickly be a publisher to watch.

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