Blogger Widgets

14 July 2009

Fluke 2009 Anthology

Fluke 2009 Anthology
Edited by J. Chris Campbell and Brad McGinty.
Contributor list.
80 page 7 x7" minicomic with screen printed cover and a saw shaped band with Decision Decider coin.
Published (and possibly on sale at) Wide Awake Press.

I'll preface this review by saying that some of my favorite comics folks including myself (I love my work) are in this book so yeah, you go right ahead and buy seven copies. It's a winner.
I'm ashamed of myself for not giving this book a proper review already. I talked about it in my Fluke wrap up post but I want to talk about it a little more before I throw it in the "already-reviewed-box". Plus, it is a definite contender from my best of 2009 list in the anthology category and I can't really put it on the list if I don't review it. (Well, I've done that before but I'm trying to be a better person.) Anywho...
First of all the book is fantastic looking. Frequent file under other readers know that I can't shut up about how great J. Chris Campbell's Wide Awake Press books look. If you want to know how to make a great looking minicomic, this is how. I love the size, the shape the paper color, the paper stock, the cover folds, the coin thingy, the saw blade thingy... it's just great. It even smells great. I keep expecting to hear that other small press publishers have hired J. Chris to design their books.
But enough about the fancy pants production, let's talk about the comics. One of the big reasons this anthology is a year's best contender is that it has both diversity and quality. Every piece is either well executed or entertaining and most of them are both. It has strong auto bio stuff, adventure stuff, comedy stuff and even some nice art comics. Jeremy Sorese has a really charming and beautifully inked story called The Brickhouse. Josh Latta provides a sample of Redskin Rashy which I already covered here. Brad McGinty has a beautifully drawn piece with lumberjacks and a giant. Patrick Dean and Rob Ullman are two of my favorite comics creators and the both deliver some nice stuff. Gregory Dickens provides a really neat semi abstract superhero thing that feels a bit like Ditko or Rick Veitch. Which is to say, very cool.
J. Chris Campbell's piece is a nice catch all for what I like in his comics. (And yeah, I swear to Murgatroyd I'm gonna cover all this minis before I keel over.) It has flawless design, wonky characters, goofy dialects and hilarious jokes but it is also delightfully morbid. It features a cowboy explaining to his pal that he's ready to die. "How about doing me a solid and pop a cap in the back of my head?" Comedy gold.
The piece that stuck with me the most is by Sarah Louise Wahrhaftig aka Sally Bloodbath. It is an auto bio piece about the oddities of the house she lives in. The drawing is minimal. Not as dashed off and busy as Jeffrey Brown's diary comic style or as clean as John Porcellino's but somewhere in between. While the drawing is minimal the cartooning chops are clear. There is not a wasted expression and you really know what the characters are feeling in each panel. Her narrative style is intricate for auto bio. She incorporates a lot of diagram, cut-away and scrapbook kind of ideas into the the narration and thought balloons. It's really clever and super efficient. I picked up another of Sarah's books at Fluke and I'm anxious to blab on and on about it too as soon as I find it in the "to-be-reviewed-box".
Oh, and my comic was awesome!

Your best pal ever,
Shannon Smith
Post a Comment