I picked up both of these comics last year at L.A. Zine Fest, and they’re two of the best “one-artist anthologies” I’ve read in a while. Reading these comics is like listening to a great record — each story works on its own, but also forms a larger emotional arc when read together.
Joseph Remnant’s Blindspot #3 opens with Remnant drawing at a coffee shop in L.A., while everyone around him seems to be working on crappy screenplays. This sets him off on a tailspin of negativity, as he mocks them in his mind, feels guilty about these thoughts, and then (in a priceless ending) pokes fun at himself a little. The second story also shows him in crisis, as he gets more and more lost while driving to a comics show in his native Midwest. The third story, “Elevator,” gives the issue its emotional climax. It has a twist ending of sorts, but a well-crafted one that dawns on you gradually as you read. It’s a haunting, melancholy story and my personal favorite of the bunch.
The beautifully drawn last story, “You Are here,” is like the calm after the storm, as Remnant goes for a long hike in Griffith Park without any electronic gadgets, clears his head, and finally finds some peace of mind.
Robert Sergel’s Eschew is a series I first discovered from Dylan Williams’ Sparkplug distro, and is now published by Secret Acres. Sergel’s comics are often worldless, with a deceptively cold or deadpan tone, but beneath the surface is usually an undercurrent of emotion and humor. Like Blindspot #3, a lot of these stories play off each other or are linked thematically. A comic about a strange coincidence (Sergel kills an insect in his living room, right as a character in the movie he’s watching says, “The life on an insect”), is followed by another one where he reads an article about superstition and people who look for coincidences as a coping mechanism.
The highlight of the issue is “Growth,” an 18-page comic about Sergel (at least I’m assuming these are all autobiographical) going to a dance club by himself. The only narration is the seemingly unrelated text about panic disorder and immersion therapy, which eventually synchs up perfectly with what’s happening in the panels.
The ending of this story is so gratifying — a truly triumphant moment.
Gnomes by Sam Gaskin
TABLEGEDDON and As You Were #1
Real Axe (#1) by Josh Frankel
Extra Time #2 by Jeff Levine
May 2013 – Is It The Future Yet? by Corinne Mucha
April 2013 – SMOO 4, 5, and 6 by Simon Moreton
March 2013 – Painful Vices by Lisa Rosalie Eisenberg
February 2013 – Ochre Ellipse #3 by Jonas Madden-Connor
January 2013 – Not My Small Diary #16
December 2012 – Ramble On #2 by Calvin Wong
November 2012 – Veggie Dog Saturn #6 by Jason Young