Sunday, August 14, 2005

Flytrap by Sara Ryan (words) and Steve Lieber (art)

Hmm, I’ve watched the positive reviews flowing in on this mini-comic, as it's moved closer to the top of my review pile. It’s at the top of the pile now, and I’m struggling with what to add to what’s already been written. Everyone loves this mini and now I know why.

Flytrap Episode One: Juggling Act is a stand alone tale in sixteen pages and it reads like a sudden summer storm. The story comes at you from out of nowhere and it immediately grabs your attention. Main character Maddy is a public relations specialist with a personal life that’s threatening to overwhelm her. In fact, it only takes sixteen pages for her life to turn upside down. What’s interesting here is how much you learn about Maddy as events unfold around her; this is character development on the sly. Sara Ryan has a firm hand on the story and Maddy’s character, and we learn just enough about her to want to know more.

Maddy loses her car, her boyfriend and her job. Yet, she’s about to strike out on her own and she’ll be the PR director for the mysterious Flytrap circus. Maddy as a character is one you root for even though you've just met her. She bends but never breaks, and you just know she'll find a way to recover from all the bad things that have happened in her life recently.

The art from Steve Lieber is almost too self-assured for a mini-comic, but it works here. He uses several visual tricks that reveal his command and experience with pencil and ink. While reading Flytrap, you feel like you're looking at something published by a smaller publisher, but format is still mini-comic. I would recommend this for someone unsure of the mini-comic format, because the style is similar enough to a regular comic that it won't be too much of a shock to the system. It's $2 including shipping for the first issue and it's available from Sara or Steve's website.

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