Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Amish Elf by Chris Kerr

Santa, at least I think it’s Santa, gets pissed off at an elf and banishes him to some bizarre hole in the wall. The elf escapes into the forest only to get waylaid by a wizard. Said elf is now dead, but an Amish farmer buys the land where the elf’s bones are buried. After the farmer plants a field of corn, the elf is reincarnated or reborn as an ear of corn with a little elf face.

At this point you’re only on page 7. It gets much more bizarre – and more wonderful – in this 24 page mini-comic.

The Amish Elf is a silent and almost completely caption-free comic, but it’s easy to track the journey that Kerr devises for his tiny little protagonist. Beyond the story though, and much more important in this mini, is Kerr’s enthusiasm for drawing. Look, he doesn’t seem to be the most technically proficient comic artist out there, but he’s not trying to be either. There’s a joy and playfulness in his illustrations that’s lacking in artists that try too hard. I know, I see it in my own attempts at mini-comics.

On a few pages, Kerr abandons his unadorned lines and just sketches for fun. In this page he’s drawing things in nature; the page is so different from his other art in this mini. I like looking at the dark eye of the hawk and seeing the ink marks, spiral after spiral, line upon line, forming a dark circle. The imperfection, the not quite blacked out eye, exposes the human hand at work, giving the page an organic aspect.
Before I give you the contact info for Kerr, I’ve got to share this page. Regardless of what anyone tells you, even me at some later date, this is one of the most perfect comic pages ever created. You’re free to disagree of course, but you would be wrong.

The Amish Elf is $5. I got my copy at Quimby's. You could also try contacting Chris Kerr through his web site, where I noticed all kinds of neat art.

No comments: