Sunday, January 07, 2007

Two Mini-Comics from David King

Despite the obvious artistic similarity between VICE-PRESIDENT, Shipping and Distribution Office Machines Company and Reliable Comics: Autumn 2006, David King manages to give each mini a very different vibe.

VICE PRESIDENT plods along at a depressing pace that draws on a combination of Jimmy Corrigan, Jordan Crane’s Last Lonely Saturday, and Ivan Brunetti ‘s swollen-headed characters. King gives the story a claustrophobic tempo where the reader is almost locked in with the character’s pathetic life. This is good comics at a very basic level. It’s drawn with a sure brushstroke and the result is immensely entertaining. The simple and tasteful cover is an attention getter as well.

In Reliable Comics: Autumn 2006, King stretches the characters and the canvas. This volume is split into three pieces, beginning with the larger than life, “The Class Liar.” “Class Liar” is a somewhat tedious collection of floating quotes emanating from shifting head shots of a grade school bully. I say somewhat tedious, because it feels kind of one note until the penultimate page, where the kid boils over from one line lies and boasts to just one word exclamations: “Crawdads!” “Yellowjackets!” This little trick perfectly captures the absurdity and excitement of a kid spouting off to his friends on the playground.

“Burger Stand Blues,” a short retro crime story about saving the local burger joint, and “Welby,” an ode to being in love with seven girls simultaneously, close out Reliable Comics. “Burger Stand Blues” is best captured by this geek meets dame page.
“Welby” is marked by the odd juxtaposition of describing each of his loves while using a picture of a plant.
David King has a website and a blog. Reliable Comics is $3 and VICE PRESIDENT is $2.

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