Tear Stained Makeup from Marcos Perez
Marcos Perez, who also gave us Carl Is The Awesome and Mercury Lounge, is back with three issues of his Tear Stained Makeup (Click on the link for previews of each). The first two issues suffer from what I see as poor printing. Others might pick it up and marvel at the glossy color cover, but the “pretty” cover hides a flawed interior. The art is shaded with different black and grey tones, but the lines are muddy to the point of almost looking like they were done with a dull magic marker. I’m not sure what look Marcos was going for, but the first two issues were printed by Comixpress. I think they would have been better off in Marcos’ hand instead. Luckily, issue three is a simple black and white cover with much sharper interior art and it makes the mini comic much better as a package. I hope he sticks with doing the printing on his own.
Tear Stained Makeup begins with a spoiled but talented rock singer getting dumped by her boyfriend. Her drastic act sets a series of events in motion that involves an overly-dedicated ER doctor, a librarian friend named Tildy, and a scam artist named Robert who latches onto Tildy. Issue three only hints at Robert’s intentions, but it involves Laura Dee and the band.
Tildy, who is the most interesting character in the book, is introduced at the end of issue one and stars in issue two. Perez spends much more time fleshing her out, so the reader ends up rooting for her. It’s difficult to latch onto Laura Dee in the first issue, because we don’t know the history between her and her boyfriend Max. Maybe Max is right; maybe she’s a spoiled bitch that nobody really cares about. Nobody visits her in the hospital except for the creepy Dr. Wilson. In issue three though, Perez fills in Laura Dee’s history a little bit in a nifty flashback involving birds at a Grateful Dead concert.
Once I got past my initial problems with the quality of the art reproduction, I enjoyed the story of Tear Stained Makeup. I think Perez has a big story in mind here, and he’s continuing it online:
“So I've decided to up and take this book onto the web. I'll still be printing out chapters because I love those ancient things. But this way people don't have to wait 4 months for 30 more pages. For those who don't have the print versions (which is almost everyone I gather), I've put the first chapter up in it's entirety.Yay for internets! I'll be updating new scenes every Wednesday, anywhere between 2-5 pages. Enjoy...”
Each issue of Tear Stained Makeup will set you back two dollars. Issue one is twenty pages, issue two is twenty-eight pages and issue three is twenty-one pages. Check out all of Perez' stuff, including the highly recommended Carl Is The Awesome at Cliff Face Comics. It's on the sidebar now under mini-comic creators.
They’ve also got a great review by Justin Fox of Tom Gauld’s mini-comics here. I love this line, “fuck, fuck, fuckity fuck.” Gauld makes you feel a bit like that sometimes.