Friday, April 14, 2006

A Late Freeze by Danica Novgorodoff

Look at the eyes of the bear on the cover of A Late Freeze. She’s got her arm around her lover; in this case a robot, and her eyes reflect a longing for comfort and love. The robot holds a cone of cotton candy in his spindly hook of an arm. The title floats above them on an olive cover dotted with falling snowflakes. If you turn it over, you notice that the floating title is suspended between the extended tracks of a twisting roller coaster.

Before you even open this mini, Novgorodoff has already cued you in on the theme of her comic. Inside she crafts a moving tale of a robot that escapes from a factory only to fall in love with a bear. It seems absurd, yes, but with only infrequent headings or captions she takes something as universal as love and longing, and places it squarely in the intersection where nature and technology collide. This intersection is messy. The relationship between the bear and the robot is fraught with complications, but their union results in the cutest damn bear/robot/baby you’ve ever seen.

This mini has been getting a lot of love around the blogosphere lately. A Late Freeze deserves it. It's slickly produced, it's in full color, and it's a nice story. And then there’s this little batch of news from a Mr. Sime that doesn’t hurt either. Lots of positive reviews at that link.

So, why are so many people giving the love to the lady with the hard to pronounce last name? Because of the bittersweet story that she’s given us, I imagine. Her art has a wonderful looseness to it, and I really like that her signs and fonts look like a human hand has created them. Too often, people take the easy way out and just use computer fonts. That's fine, but it's nice to see a mini with very organic looking lettering and signage.

Here's Novgorodoff's web page for A Late Freeze. You can get your own copy of this 48 page full color, award winning book for $6.50.

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