2015 isn’t even cold in its rocking chair and 20126 is coming on like gangbusters. Here’s what D&Q has coming in February, the long awaited collection of Brian Chippendale’s Puke Force, new Michael DeForge (does he EVER sleep?) and Leanne Shapton.
Puke Force collects the sui generis webcomic that Chippendale serialized for a long time. Kid Kids sounds like a longer narrative in the tradition of First Year Healthy. Shapton’s book is a reissue, I believe, but she’s received growing attention in the graphic novel field.
PUKE FORCE •
Brian Chippendale •
Hardcover • 120 pages • 10.9″ x 8.1″ • b&w • $22.95USD/$27.95CAD • ISBN: 9781770462199
Puke Force is social satire written dark and dense across Chippendale’s deconstructed multiverse of walking, talking M&Ms, hamsters, and cycloptic-yet-glamorous trivia hosts. In scathingly funny single page strips that build and build, he takes on social media narcissism, governmental propaganda, racism, and a culture of violence, skewering the malice of the Right and the hypocrisies of the Left. A bomb explodes in a coffee shop: the incident is played out over and over again from the perspective of each table in the shop, revisiting moments from ten and twenty years before. Sardonic and self-aware, Puke Force asks all the right questions, providing a startling and on-point take on contemporary social issues. Chippendale’s artwork makes each panel a masterpiece of thrumming linework and lo-fi magic, as his storytelling wends and winds its way to a fascinating conclusion.
Big Kids follows a troubled teenage boy through the transformative years of high school, as he redefines his friends, his interests, and his life path. When the boy’s uncle, a police officer, gets kicked out of the family’s basement apartment and transferred to the countryside, April moves in. She’s a college student: mysterious and cool, she quickly takes a shine to the boy. Eerie and perfectly paced, Michael DeForge’s Big Kids muses on the complicated, and often contradictory, feelings people struggle with in adolescence, the choices we make to fit in, and the ways we survive times of change. Like Ant Colony and First Year Healthy, Big Kids is a testimony to the harshness and beauty of being alive.
What’s left when a relationship ends? Where does jealousy come from? Delicately and sensitively, Leanne Shapton (Swimming Studies) ruminates on ex-lovers, and our lovers’ ex-lovers. Shapton introduces the obsessives and the dilettantes, the poets and the actresses, the people with great hair and the people with idiosyncratic clothes. As funny as it is insightful, Was She Pretty?speaks to a central human concern: how do we compare? Elegantly drawn and perfectly narrated, the pages of Was She Pretty? are a testimonial to the power of observation and misapprehension.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.