Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pursuit by Corey Bechelli
Pursuit is a silent 12-page black and white mini-comic. Corey manages to create a menacing mood without text. Instead of words, he uses heavy doses of black ink, sometimes inverting the black and white colors.

The art is photo realistic and very slick. His perspective shots are dizzying as you trace the lone bird soaring through the tall city buildings. Each face, whether human or animal, shoots an acusatory look at the reader. It feels somewhat claustrophobic until the last two pages. These pages eschew the direct gazes from the previous pages, reaching towards the open sky instead.

There's no price on this one, but you can visit Corey's website for information and lots of other comics. Look around while you're there. He's got some fantastic illustrations, inlcuding Muddy Waters, Angela Davis, and Marlon Brando. The Angela Davis one looks ready for a t-shirt.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Pitbull by Paolo Parisi
Paolo Parisi has created a fabulous mini-comic that seems ready to be snapped up by any of several small publishers. His book is fleshed out nicely, telling a complete story of interest to almost anyone. The art has a nice balance of detail and ambiguity, creating a pleasing page at an instant. The prose is as choppy and brutal as the subject matter - a tough street kid makes good pulverizing people in the ring. The Pitbull piles up wins, but the wear and tear on his body catches up. He uses drugs to numb the pain. His relationships outside the ring crumble and he's left facing an improbable comeback against a younger, quicker, and bigger fighter. Sounds a bit like the corny Rocky franchise, but Paolo doesn't take the easy way out with the Pitbull.

This is a high quality mini-comic from cover to cover. The thick, glossy cover is folded over a normal false cover and the interior art has a pleasing mix of black and white art with gray washed tones to lend depth to the backgrounds.

Pitbull is 56 pages and I think you can get your hands on it for 4 euros. Paolo's email is paolo.parisi1980@libero.it or paoloparisi80@gmail.com. Here's a review in Italian from one of my favorite websites, Canicola.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Smith Loves Wesson by Ratigher

Smith Loves Wesson is a wordless 24-page mini-comic printed on yellow paper. Ratigher’s art is tight and unadorned. Smith gets up, showers, and combs his hair a few times to get it just right and then… some other stuff happens.

I love this page with the t-shirts on the bed. Which one to choose?

Ratigher is in Italy, but I’m sure he would be happy to send some comics to wherever you may be. Smith Loves Wesson is only one euro, so that’s like a buck thirty the last time I looked.

Check out the DonnaBavosa website for this mini and several others.

Ratigher also sent a longer mini by Paolo Parisi. I'll look at that for tomorrow. Think Rocky Balboa but much seedier.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Two More by Chris Cornwell

First, Black Wings. This silent mini is done with what looks like a Sharpie. It even smelled kind of inky when I opened up the envelope.

Black Wings works best when Chris does a bit of background to clash with the character. The figure on the ground with the rock looks fantastic. The figure in the air is less convincing without the background.
The thing I like about this is it's mostly done with very short fat lines. Chris uses the occasional longer curved line to delineate the shape of the figure, but it's the short strokes that make up the bulk of the art.

It's unexpected and effective. Not sure how much Black Wings will cost you, but if you contact Chris at thefunkmunk@yahoo.com, he could probably help you out.


Quester is another silent mini that spans 40 sometimes awe-inspiring pages. There's much more of a visual kick to this one.

It's more like I Wanna Destroy You, but the art is more organic. Where Destroy had cut out art pasted together, Quester has thick inky lines making up the figures. The title of this mini is certainly apt; the main character goes on a mind boggling quest that transcends mind and body.

You can get a copy of Quester for $2.00 from Bill at the always fantastic Copacetic Comics website.

Monday, July 02, 2007

I Wanna Destroy You by Chris Cornwell On the first page of I Wanna Destroy You a Mat Brinkman like Oaf meanders through a Charles Burns tapestry. It's a peaceful introduction to a very conflicted story. Inside, a battle rages within the artist's head. Your typical whitebread superhero and your slacker monster engage in a sad battle. Although it's more apt to say that the superhero kind of freaks out and wants to hurt something to justify his existence. This is kind of a sad story, but it's always clear that the battle unfolds only in the artist's head.

Here are two fun pages that I couldn't stand to break up.

When you take a close look at Chris' art, you'll notice that there is more going on than you think. For starters, the characters are cut and pasted onto the simple background. This lends a weird depth to the art that takes a bit of time to sink in. As you take a closer look, you can't help but appreciate the time spent cutting and pasting figures onto the page.

Chris Cornwell is a talented and engaging artist. Flipping through his minis, I'm reminded of just why mini-comics are so fantastic. I Wanna Destroy You is 28 pages for the ridiculously low price of $2.50. You can get a copy at the fantastic Copacetic Comics. Copacetic is fast becoming one of my favorite comic stores and I've never even visited them. From the looks of things, this Pittsburgh shop is a hotbed of comics activity. The above link features Pittsburgh artists and writers. Please do youself a favor. Check them out. Now.

I'll feature two more of Chris Cornwell's comics this week, Quester and Black Wings.