Review: Patrick Kyle invites you to force your way into his work


Sometimes it’s better to just give yourself to something rather than to seek out its meaning. Not everything has to have one clear meaning, and in some cases, to bring concrete meaning to a work might mean imposing clarity on something that was not meant to have any. That imposition might actually come off as […]

Review: Science fiction gets meta in ‘From Now On’


This collection of short works by Malachi Ward and published by Alternative Comics announces itself with a verbal joke — From Now On is another way of saying the future, after all. Ward’s stories reflect the sensibility of the title, presenting familiar scenarios, but presenting them in an unexpected way that challenges the tropes we’ve embraced […]

Review: ‘5,000 Kilometers Per Second’ untangles relationships with elegance


In 2010 Grand Prize winner at the Angoulême Comics Festival in France and the Lucca Comics Festival in Italy 5,000 Km Per Second, Italian cartoonist Manuele Fior utilizes his strong watercolor skills to offer not the whole of a relationship, but slices, and leaves it up to the readers to fill in the spaces with the parts he […]

Review: The darker beauty of Cathy G. Johnson’s ‘Gorgeous’


This short, spare, poetic, emotionally brutal piece from Cathy G. Johnson and Koyama Press captures the intersection of three lives, and the unlikely self realization that two of them enact on one. The story begins with two punks at a music show exhibiting destructive manners that disrupts the shows and gives them an opportunity for […]

Review: Barbara Yelin’s ‘Irmina’ shows how history destroys us in little ways


Quiet and brooding, while still warm and with a great delicacy, Barbara Yelin’s Irmina takes the author’s own discovery of her grandmother’s World War II era diaries and letters, and applies the resulting biography to higher philosophical heights that really concern the way any of us encounter the world. Irmina is a young German girl […]

Review: Japanese artist Rokudenashiko charts the real obscenity in her memoir


Just yesterday it was reported that a Japanese court had found artist Rokudenashiko’s vagina figurines to be considered art and not obscenity, but less stressed in the headlines was that the court also found her guilty of “distributing digital data of indecent material” and hit her with a fine. It’s that last case that is […]

Review: Brecht Evens and the complications of growing up


Unfolding like a children’s book gone horribly wrong, Brecht Evens’ Panther begins with the death of Christine’s cat and the appearance what might be an imaginary friend designed to take its place and ease the sadness of the loss. Panther springs out of Christine’s bottom drawer and into her life with a sly charm that […]

Review: Ludovic Debeurme’s Renee looks right into the abyss


In 2006’s Lucille, French cartoonist Ludovic Debeurme gave a surreal and somber tone to a doomed love story, following the individual wrecked lives of anorexic Lucille and the emotionally troubled Arthur, and how they come together as a means of escape. Renee, his 2010 follow-up to that work, is a less of a linear book […]

Review: Silent parable The Ark is science fiction as sacred text


This silent, black and white work from French artist Stephane Levallois, and the publisher Humanoids, best known for his storyboard work on films like Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows and others, is like reading a cryptic, visual sacred text revealing a lost history that can only be understood on a allegorical level. Divided into […]

Review: mini kuš! are diverse, challenging, exciting


An off-shoot from the Latvian anthology š!, mini kuš! is a series of short single works, released in blocks of four as standalones. As always, this latest batch is a mix of bizarre and somber, outrageous and poetic that worth embracing, even if you find some of the ultimate meanings of the pieces to be distant from […]