Sunday, September 19, 2010

Uptown Girl #41

By Bob Lipski

For whatever reason, I was all ready to not enjoy this comic. There was something about the cover that made me start with low expectations. The colours? I really cannot say.

Whatever it was, I'm glad I persevered and read it anyway, as it turns out that Uptown Girl is a cute and funny little comic. This is issue 41 (woah!), and by this point Lipski seems to have gotten his characters personalities, and his drawing style, down pretty well.

Uptown Girl works for a newspaper (just like Spider-Man!) and she has a new horrible jerk for a boss (just like Spider-Man!), who's demoted her to food critic since she complained about him parking in the handicapped space (just like, uh...). Her coworkers include Ruby Tuesday, the newspaper cartoonist who seems reasonably sensible, and Rocketman who does...something, wears a helmet all the time, appears to be an complete idiot (he forgets to pay his electricity bill, and somehow sets fire to a kitchen while making a salad), and yet is still somehow likable enough for people to continue talking to him.

This issue has Rocketman taking over a pizza place run by the King of Spain (hmm, I think I've seen that before...) despite his utter ineptitude. Ruby Tuesday ends up helping him because she doesn't want the pizza place to burn down, but it's not going well and oh no! Uptown Girl has to review the restaurant for her newspaper. What will they do?

Each scene is only a page or two long, and most of the time the pages themselves seem pretty self contained, featuring either a joke or a cliffhanger. I found this interesting as I don't believe that these comics were serialized anywhere, so Lipski was presumably trying to make each page work as a whole for some other reason.

Lipski's art could be described as 'simplistic', but apart from the occasionally background character it's all well done. The character's emotions are expressed well despite their limited facial features, and Lipski is capable of having the characters move, and even hold things, something some professional comic artists have yet to accomplish (and while Lipski avoids drawing feet most of the time, it seems at least in part because each page is filled with panels).

My only complaint about the art would be that the smaller details in some of the panels aren't that well drawn, making me think that Lipski drew this at actual size (instead of the larger size most comic artists use) _and_ in a hurray. I know that Lipski can draw hands, so when I see one with weirdly huge fingers it stands out.

Overall though I really enjoyed this. I laughed out loud a few times, and grew to like the characters. Plus I totally have a soft spot for female journalists, both real and fictional.

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