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15 January 2009

Five minis from Diana Tamblyn

Five minicomics from Diana Tamblyn.

Diana Tamblyn sent in five great looking minicomics. All five have a lovely design and are printed on quality paper. Three of the covers have at least one extra color in addition to bold blacks. Each of the comics are very well crafted with clean strong art. 

Duty Must Be Done: The Story of Frederick Banting is a beautifully drawn non-fiction piece about the Canadian scientist, doctor and war hero who won the Nobel prize for his part in the discover of insulin.  The only improvement I can think of for this book would be to reduce the panel count per page and blow it up a bit for easier reading.  It is a remarkably dense work for a twelve page minicomic.

Writer's Block is about a writer that turns to his niece and nephew for ideas to overcome a career threatening bout with writer's block.  It's  cute story but the pacing is a little tight.  Like the Banting book, this one is pretty panel dense and there is not a lot of room for the dialog to resonate.  Still, Tamblyn does a good job of making the characters feel real in a short page count.

In There You Were, Tamblyn has the pacing just right.  This is another twelve pager but it moves at a much more natural pace.  The panels are plentiful but the dialog is cut back and the characters get a chance to breath.  It is essentially a slice of life office story reminiscent of Pekar but from a female perspective.  I'm a sucker for this kind of storytelling and would happily sign up for more.

The Toca Loca Project is a smaller mini that was created as a supplement for a concert.  It feels like a CD insert but it's really cool.  Each page is a kind of drawn snapshot from a night at a club.  What happens between the shots is up the the imaginations of those that missed the show.  

The Rosie Stories is a short collection of baby stories.  Some are gags from the baby's point of view, some are visual poems and some are standard narratives about the joys and anxieties of parenthood.  I can imagine that his kind of thing might seem overly sentimental to some readers but as a father of two I can really appreciate it and feel the love that went into it.

All of Tamblyn's comics seem to have a lot of love in them.  Love for the characters, the story and the art of making comics.  (I'm not even going to nit pick about the lack of hand lettering.  The lettering read just fine.)   These comics share a consistent quality and are just the right length where I could really see myself enjoying them on a monthly or even weekly basis.  I hope she makes more.

Your best pal ever,
Shannon Smith
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