Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Maose by Derik A. Badman

You probably know Derik from his blog Mad Ink Beard, but he also does comics. Over at Mad Ink Beard, you can find the webcomic Maroon, which I’m way behind on, and lots of mini-comic reviews.

Derik also is the author of Maose, in which he tackles a mouse problem in a unique way. It seems he’s a fellow vegetarian who gets a little queasy killing a living thing. But he also isn’t comfortable sharing his home with a mouse that pops out from the corner when he least expects it. So what’s a peace loving vegetarian to do to reconcile killing a mouse?

If you’re Derik Badman, you give it the mouse a bad rap. “I decided to name him something that made death seem deserving. After trying out a few dictatorial names, I settled on ‘Mao Mouse.’” Lianne shortened it to “Maose.” That’s him on the pink cover with his maniacal Mao eyes.

Maose chronicles the ups and downs of Derik’s mouse extermination policy, which mostly resembles a series of his failures and the mouse living to face another day. Images of the Katrina flooding in New Orleans occasionally pop up to remind Derik and the reader that his problem of a mouse in the house is really pretty minor, but it’s still a problem that he tries to solve.

Derik’s art is comprised of thick lines, occasional shading, and lazy cross-hatching. Many panels are close ups of rooms, corners, and furniture detail, giving you kind of an outsiders, if not mouse-eye, view. Neither Derik nor Lianne show up in panel, and it works this way; Maose is about the mouse and the space that he or she inhabits.

In the end, karma comes back to bite him. A mysterious pain in his shoulder appears, and there’s a drawing of a mouse (Ignatz style) on a cloud. The mouse tosses – what else – a brick down from the cloud at Derik off panel.

On the back cover, Derik writes that this was the first mini-comic that he’s made in six years. He should make more. In the meantime you can order your own copy of Maose for $2.50 at Derik's online store using PayPal.


aaron dumin said...

Derik's Mad Ink Beard is one of the best and most overlooked comics blogs around. Anyone who's even remotely interested in the small press owes it to himself to check it out!

Shawn Hoke said...

Totally agree. Derik's got great taste in comics and writes about them very well.