It’s that time again — when my stack of unreviewed minicomics has gotten out of control. There will be a part 2, but it may not get done until Sunday. (Also, if you’ve sent me something and it’s not in this group, it should be in the next one. If it’s not in the next one and you think it should have been, please let me know.)
Moe: Piotr Nowacki
In this wordless comic, a dog is antagonized by a shapeshifting black blob. The dog ends up in jail, in the clouds and underwater. Piotr Nowacki’s art is open and cartoony and he conveys exaggerated movement and expressions with delightful skill. While I think Moe basically pushed its simple concept to the limit, this is still inventive and fresh. I’m interested in what Nowacki will do next.
The Turtleneck Dialogues: Turtleneck Boy Volumes 1-5: Suzanne Baumann and others
The title character of Turtleneck Boy is a goateed young man, who, yes, wears a turtleneck. In Baumann’s comics, his conversations with the other characters here are mostly quick little jokes — simple misunderstandings and light-hearted social awkwardness — in her loose, playful style. The comics here that aren’t by her don’t always work as well for me, although I enjoy the community spirit in which they were done. Turtleneck Boy is basically a blank slate, after all, and so he can be put into just about any situation. It was a fun, surprising little book.
Blaster Al Ackerman’s Tales of the Ling Master #1: E.J. Barnes
This is trio of stories based on Al Ackerman’s writings veers almost immediately into the surreal and bizarre, but E.J. Barnes’ crisp, precise art makes it work. She takes joy in illustrating the weirdness of these stories through intentionally disproportionate faces and inventive layouts. While the subject matter isn’t to my taste, I couldn’t help but be enthralled by Barnes’ ability in bringing these stories to the page.
Suggestion Box #1-2: Katie Omberg and Matthew Smith
We’ve all worked retail at one point or another, haven’t we? We’ve all dealt with stupid customers or coworkers, people who are too chatty, people who’ve demanded too much of our attention and then don’t buy anything. Suggestion Box is all too easy to relate to. The first issue, written and drawn by Katie Omberg, is about a customer in a frame shop who is a little too impressed with her own meager photography skills. Issue #2, written by Matthew Smith, involves the vague, dumb questions people shopping in music stores tend to ask. Both are borderline cruel in their criticism of people, but we’ve all been there and it’s all too easy to relate. Omberg’s sketchy, free art is great at illustrating the mundane interiors of retail stores (it’s all shelves and counters and racks of goods, after all). It’s a fun idea that’s executed well. And also makes me glad to not be working retail anymore.
Lucky Girl #1: Terrance Hanley
Lucky Girl is a young superheroine who is — you guessed it — lucky. She’s also brave and resourceful, too, and this allows her to get to the bottom of crimes. These crimes are pretty innocent — the first story is about the theft of some Uma Thurman dolls and the next is about a missing instrument — but Terrance Hanley brings plenty of noir-ish drama to these proceedings. His art is full of crosshatched shadows and menacing angles. Lucky Girl herself is cute and plucky, though — she’s adorable in her bulky sweater and black mask — and she definitely brings a lightness to these two tales. I hope there are more Lucky Girl stories — this isn’t quite enough for me.
Review copies of Moe and Lucky Girl provided by the creators.