Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Notables 2010: Henrik Rehr’s Reykjavik

In Henrik Rehr’s book-length abstract comic you can detect traces of brush and pen lines and conventional marks—such as cross-hatching and drybrush—that are associated with representative art, but there is no clear narrative to be found. Instead, Rehr’s pages take us on a voyage of constantly mutating layouts where even the rectangular panels are skewed, overlapped with other panels, or almost overwhelmed by stormy, heaving backgrounds. more

Notables 2010: Nate Powell’s Swallow Me Whole

The central character, Ruth, has an enormous collection in bugs in jars that she obsessively rearranges, and Perry, her brother, is compelled to obey a small wizard he hallucinates. The thing that sets this book apart, though, is the sensitive and deep understanding Powell conveys of mental illness. He’s long worked with developmentally disabled people, and his experience and empathy show. more

Notables 2010: John Porcellino’s Silent Birds

Two pages, four panels, twenty words. Beautiful. more

Notables 2010: Laura Park’s Sleep is for Suckers, Office 32f

Office 32f is a more-rare outing for Park, a piece of pure fiction. It reminds me of Gabrielle Bell’s work where she spins off from autobio reality in the midst of a story and heads into surreal fiction. Here, Park allows her insecurities about her work habits and productivity to take concrete form as she imagines a tiny office hidden behind her baseboard full of tiny people whose job it is to observe and report on her. Or is it? more

Notables 2010: Jason Overby’s Exploding Head Man

Jason Overby is a true original—at a time when our medium is cranking out all kinds of diverse and innovative work—whose comics take the form of a meandering essay on the uses and meanings of comics, art, and life. more

Notables 2010: Chris Onstad’s The Great Outdoor Fight

Webcomics can be very hard to get into mid-stream so it’s great to have this collection of Chris Onstad’s Achewood which you gives you a complete arc as an introduction. more

Notables 2010: Sarah Oleksyk’s Previously Possessed

Sarah Oleksyk, “Previously Possessed,” MySpace Darkhorse Presents, online issue 13, print volume no. 3, 2009. I guess MDHP was a really great anthology! I feel like every other one of these Notables have had that cover hanging up there at the top. Well, and here’s another one. Sarah Oleksyk is a BAC vet, and we Read More more

Notables 2010: Danica Novgorodoff’s Slow Storm

People talk easily about “literary” comics (me among them), but there are books for which that comparison is truly apt. Danica Novgorodoff’s Slow Strom is one of those. A story of an unexpected encounter between two out-of-place characters (a female firefighter and an illegal Mexican immigrant) in a giant storm, the work evokes contemporary American literary fiction and independent film. It’s low-key, but with passion simmering under the surface. more

Notables 2010: Anders Nilsen’s Monologues for Calculating the Density of Black Holes, Big Questions

Monologues for Calculating the Density of Black Holes is another one of those almost-indescribable works which we seem to like a lot (she figures out after having to try to describe a whole bunch of them). A blank-faced guy and a scribble-headed guy walk through various landscapes, tell jokes, encounter tall hipsters, robots, guys in suits, the occasional woman, and god—who owns a laundromat/health club/daycare center on the Southwest Side, apparently. more

Notables 2010: Nate Neal’s Delia’s Love

“Delia’s Love” is a story of down-and-outness and complicated romantic ans sexual history. It’s told sensitively, and with subtlety, despite the sometimes harsh subject matter. No character comes off as either entirely hero or victim, and that’s how I like it. more