November minicomic review roundup, part 1

These are comics I’ve accumulated during the past few months. I was waiting until I had several different things and then before I fully realized it, I had a huge stack. I think I’m catching everyone who has sent me something recently, but if it’s not here today, it will go up tomorrow.

As always, in no particular order.

Urban Nomad #1-3: Alisa Harris
There are a ton of creators making autobiographical comics and so they can often become a blur of relationship dramas and pretentious introspection. Alisa Harris, however, has a charming eye for the ups and downs of city life. The vignettes presented here showcase a smart young woman with a sense of adventure and her clear-eyed style capture moments perfectly. My favorite is the story of how she and her boyfriend Allan became domestic partners (for health insurance purposes — which I think is totally great). It’s sweet and simple and if you don’t want to hang out with them after reading this, something is wrong with you.

And speaking of Allan …

Things I’ve Seen at Shows (#1): Allan Norico
This is what it say: things (and people) Allan Norico has observed at rock shows. His commentary is funny and all-too accurate. Norico’s art evokes Jaime Hewlett at times, but he has a cleaner, bolder style filtered through a designer’s eye. I would love to see his work on T-shirts.

O.G.: Road Trippin’: JustJENN
Everyone’s favorite stationery-designing, Star Wars-party-throwing, cake-maker to the stars also makes comics. Based on actual conversations Jenn had with her grandmother while driving, this is hilarious and adorable. Jenn’s art here mostly consists of basic, bold shapes, but the simplicity works perfectly.

Thanksgiving Party and Hey!: Chris Uphues
Chris Uphues draws adorable cartoon hearts with arms, legs and big eyes. As a vegetarian, I dislike the punchline of “Thanksgiving Party” but it’s gentle and obvious enough (and suggests that his work may not be as cloying as it seems). “Hey!” would make a lovely Valentine, however. Uphues also sent along a book of images draw on paint chips. Looking at his website, he’s obviously interested in color and surreal design. I’d love to see more of his art, comic or otherwise.

Spaz #3: Emi Gennis
Emi Gennis presents herself — or at least, a version of herself — as a highly neurotic young woman. I actually had the thought while reading this that she’s like a younger, more vulgar version of Cathy, and I mean that as a compliment. Her one-page comics “Shit I Worry About” and “More Shit I Worry About” has small panels illustrating everything from the plausible “Everyone laughing at me” and “Debt” to the less-than-likely “Being pushed in front of the subway” and “Being poisoned.” She also feels conflicted over possible procreation — illustrating conversations with a person-sized zygote. Her art is cartoony and loose — all huge, round eyes and just enough detail. Her comics aren’t going to be everyone’s thing, but there is fun to be had here.

Review copies provided by Chris Uphues and Emi Gennis.

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