Sunday, January 2, 2011

Show & Tell

By Andrew Waugh and Gary Bainbridge

A split minicomic! How exciting! I really love the idea of these things where each person gets half the zine/minicomic and does there own stuff. It means your stuff gets shown to twice as many people! You should make one with me.

The one problem with these things is that there can be a dissonance between both sides, which is what happens here. Bainbridge's side has a story featuring some people sitting around in a pub talking about rape alarms, then a comic that makes no real sense to me at all. In comparison Waugh's side features a woman offering tea to a ghost that is in her house accidentally and some awesome drawings of monsters and things. I guess that is always the problem with anthologies, even if they are themed.

The first comic in Bainbridge's side is apparently a sequel to an earlier piece. It starts well, with a couple of pages featuring a nice arrangement of panels and a guy jumping around on top of buildings. Yay! Is he a superhero or something? I don't know, but I think it all works pretty well. However, it falls apart when it just becomes people hanging out in a bar and talking. I don't really think these work that well in short pieces. I mean, there's a bit of a flashback, but it's mostly just four pages of people's heads telling anecdotes to each other. I don't know who these characters are or why I should care about them. Ultimately I think this would have worked better as prose.

Bainbridge's second piece is just incomprehensible to me. Three pages of random close ups of liquor bottles and other things, while narration and speech bubbles say things like "Yes, fly, I chess came knife at for her sake." I have no idea what any of that means. At all.

Waugh's side of this comic is far more my sort of thing. The first story is a cute little one with a medium attempting to summon a spirit. She's successful, except that it ends up in the old lady's house next door. The ghost is unresponsive, and the old lady is more annoyed than anything else. I guess it's happened to her before. It is basically just several pages of the old lady talking to herself, but it manages to be funny and a bit sad at the end.

Waugh's second piece is the super awesome "Big things hiding behind small things" and makes this whole comic worth picking up. It's just pictures of big things (ogres, dinosaurs) "hiding" behind small things (lamps, shrubbery), but I love drawings of monsters, and the expressions of fear and awkwardness Waugh somehow manages to show in robots and man-eating plants is pretty impressive. There's also a wooly mammoth, which I somehow managed to not scan. You'll have to get the zine to see that.

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