Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sleepwalker Issue 1 by Molly Lawless

Molly Lawless’s first issue of Sleepwalker contains three stories and a couple pin-up pages.

“Great Moments in Baseball” documents a not so great baseball moment. Strangely winning their last ever home game in 1971, the Washington Senators were forced to forfeit the game after being besieged by trash and debris from the stands. Here, Lawless crams the panels full of shading and detail. It gives the ballpark a claustrophobic feel that the players probably felt as the game sputtered out of control.

In “The Turning of the Worm,” loser Jeff worms his way into a famous writer’s life. The writer, Martin, is a mess, and Jeff pays Martin’s bills and answers his mail. Jeff convinces his friends that he assumes a much greater role in creating Martin’s books. After three years the relationship between writer and assistant grows antagonistic. Jeff takes pleasure in tormenting Martin, and it looks like just a matter of time before Martin reacts. In the story, you don’t feel for either Martin or Jeff, but when part one ends you are curious about what happens next. “The Turning of the Worm” is written by Carlton King and drawn by Lawless.

By using shading and crosshatching, Lawless adds unusual texture and depth. Her panels are rich with detail, but you never get the feeling she’s trying to hide her line. In “Turning of the Worm” especially, the extra shading gives Martin and Jeff’s world a kind of skeevy sheen.

Lawless also has a short piece about witnessing a crime and doing nothing. The art is sketchier and unpolished, giving it a breezier feel than the two other stories. One of the pin-up pages shows a barefoot Britney Spears carrying baby Sean Preston. Sean Preston is holding a bag of chips and a blank word balloon floats above his head. I filled my word balloon with, “These Cheetos ain’t ‘flaming hot,’ dammit!” I must mention that Lawless sent this mini in long ago, when a Britney and baby reference was still funny. Now it’s just sad…

Sleepwalker is a 16 page mini. You can get your hands on one by emailing Molly Lawless at Also, she has a blog devoted to Sleepwalker. Check it out for more art samples and information.

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