Stupid and Unkind by Robin Enrico
Volumes 1 and 2 of Stupid and Unkind tell the story of Ronan, his ex-girlfriend/current obsession Leona, and Jennet, the girl unlucky enough to land in Ronan’s lap in volume 1. Ronan and his ex-girlfriend Leana are film geeks, they love watching movies and creating their own. Jennet is more into music and likes romantic comedies – a grave social error in Ronan’s eyes.
Since his breakup with Leona, no girl has been able to meet his lofty expectations. But it’s funny, because Ronan isn’t that much of a catch himself. He doesn’t know that, however, and this is the basic triangle of Stupid and Unkind. Filling it out is lots of conversations between Ronan and his friends, Clerks-style at times, and the rise and fall of Ronan and Jennet’s relationship.
Robin has a good handle on the flow of conversation between characters. His speech balloons have long tails at times, making you look a second time to figure out who is saying what, but it’s not enough to pull you out of the comic. Occasionally, he does a neat little trick where the character speaking, when they are not in the panel, will show up in the very bottom corner as a tiny head with a long trailing speech balloon attached. It’s not the first time I’ve seen this used, but it’s handled well here.
The art is on the simplistic side, and sometimes the characters appear to be cookie cutter images of each other with slightly different hair. When the characters are wearing black shirts, it’s difficult to discern which sex they are; I learned to look for the boobies if it’s not a major reoccurring character. But even then, a shirtless Brad Pitt character has boobs. They’re kind of square-shaped though, I guess.
You can read Stupid and Unkind, and other comics, at Enrico’s website. Or you can email him via the website to snag copies of the print versions, or if you live near the excellent Jim Hanley’s in NYC, Enrico says they should have copies.