This is an absolutely gorgeous little quarter-sized mini.
The artist, Shelli Parachutes, is a fantastic artist. Her inking, especially, is so goddamn gorgeous. It reminds me a lot of how people talk about how Jeff Smith’s brush work just sings. This is art that sings. Manga’s influence on her work and character designs is pronounced, but is clearly just an influence and not a goal for a very talented illustrator, and I wish I could wield a brush half as well as her. Her color choices and design sense on the cover of this little gem are impeccable.
The only downside to this book is that there aren’t any real stories inside. There’s a couple cute little gags, mostly wordless: a therapeutic approach to Han Solo’s problems with an unmotivated hyperdrive motivator in “The Empire Strikes Back”; a “Tortoise And The Hare” story where they’re dueling ship captains; a tie-your-shoes tutorial; and a final bit about a pirate lookout with a spyglass trying to get rid of the gulls annoying her.
The last one is the only bit that read both clearly for me.
The Tortoise and Hare thing was kind of confusing to read, and in the end, I guess the moral is that three turtles can row better than two hares? The shoe-tying thing was fine enough. The single gags (like a fish at a sushi bar) were really funny.
And really, anything I feel are storytelling deficiencies in her artwork is eclipsed by the beauty of these lines (in this short format). I’m happy just to look at the pictures. Charles Schultz once said that a comic must first and foremost be fun to look at. This SO is.
Shelli is a student of the Massachusetts College of Art, and I picked up a copy of their second group anthology at SPX, and I’m looking forward to see if the story in that book reads easier for me. But as far as Pirate Shorts is concerned, (which came in a exact-sized bag to protect the second cover that makes the waves.) I’m happy just to enjoy looking at a gem for its sparkle.
Check out more of her stuff at her site.
…is a brief little mini that is comprised of a handful of one-page strips. Most are gags, some are a little more pointedly barbed, and one or two strike me as funny stories “shorn from real life,” and they mostly seem to be about laughing at the hypocrisies of people.
Suzanne Baumann is from Michigan, the state that had a kick-ass delegation at MoCCA comprised of her and Matt “Cynicalman” Fezel together. They were really friendly, enthusiastic, “I want someone to read my comics” people.
(Here’s them being blown away by MY comic. Which was way awesome!)
“As Eaves Dropped Vol. 2” is breezy, quick fun that was definitely worth 50 cents. It’s got some loose, quick style that is fun to look at and compliments the strips ideas just fine.
Also, there are some really interesting page layouts in some of them when the word balloons curl from one panel into the next, using the tails to show how we’ve just done a 360 degree turn around the room, and doesn’t confuse at all.
A favorite strip involves a mom taking her daughter to the museum.
I can just hear that daughter’s voice.
Another little moment: almost out of panel, the coffee cup with two cartoon characters talking. One says, “Does our HMO cover coffee jitters?” Other says, “What HMO?” Ha, ha, ha, ha.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. See Suzanne’s work for yourself at Fridge-Mag.net.
I think this was going for about two bucks, but I got it in trade from Alex Robinson himself at the MoCCA con, in one of the better bits of creator repartee in which I had part. That I’m reviewing Husky #2 first is weirdly indicative of this project, because I actually have Husky #1 in the box somewhere. But I chose #2 and I’m not going back now!
Robinson must have been offered some pretty crap minis for trade in the past, because he was flinching at the idea like a man often burnt. (It was nice when I pulled mine out of my pack that he commented “Oh, it’s, like, a real comic!”)
That said, lead by example, man! Laser printer and a red piece of paper for “cover effect?” Dude! I like the simplicity of a minicomic that can be printed anywhere there’s a copier and little supervision, but maybe a little heavier paper stock or something?! Consiglio, help me out here, eh!