Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Life Ain't No Pony Farm

By Sarah Burrini

Sometimes I get a comic and I really wonder if I should review it for this site or not. I mean, this is basically only a “mini comic” in size. It’s full colour, features glossy pages throughout, and looks nicer than some comics put out by some professionally publishers. Should I review it? I’m never sure with these things. I didn’t review a John Allison comic I got a while ago for this reason, but I sometimes think about going back and writing about it (what do you think?).

My usual rule is “can it be photocopied and look the same?”. This fails that question, but I quite enjoyed it, so I’ll review it anyway.

This is a collection of the webcomic Sarah’s does a couple of times a week (in two different languages!). She can clearly make comics, and has worked with Steve Lieber and had a series in the German edition of Mad Magazine a few years ago. She knows her stuff, so I was surprised to read in the introduction that a year before she put out this book she didn’t even know what a webcomic was. Oh my goodness!

Still, Sarah jumped to the challenge and has created a strip about a fictional version of herself who lives with an elephant, a mushroom, and some sort of tiny pony. The strips are usually gag a day, but they do have continuity and there are story arcs such as when Sarah gets a new haircut that turns out to be much cooler and more popular than she is.

The last strip is about Sarah’s adventures as a cartoonist teacher, and as a massive comics nerd I thought it was really amusing. She tells her students that she really likes the Franco-Belgian style of cartooning, and they respond by telling her they like hentai. Awesome. (I’d link to it, but I can’t find it on her website! Maybe I’ll change this later.)

My only complaint is that the short character bios at the beginning sort of give more insight into the characters than the comics themselves. Ngumbo (the elephant) wants to be a jazz musician? I knew he played trumpet, but I didn’t pick up on what type of music he played. Still, it’s a minor complaint and the comics are still enjoyable. Go look at the website! I know I will.

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