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A Year of Free Comics: Sacha Mardou’s “Archtypes” comics in The Common Reader

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by Stephen Harrick

Sacha Mardou (Sky in Stereo) has published several comics in The Common Reader, Washington University’s online journal “engaging the essential debates and issues of our time.” She presents a futuristic world that is recognizably ours, with random yet significant differences. Her satirical takes on digital media, trendy behaviors and American currency are simultaneously outrageous and plausible. Instead of following the same characters, she probes themes and ideas relevant to contemporary Western culture. The art, in which she indulges in more color than her other comics work in recent years, displays a hardened edge evident in her writing. Even though the “Archtypes” suggests that these stories are specific to St. Louis (Mardou’s adopted home), they respond to a host of social practices that most fans of free comics can understand.

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