Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wigger Haircut and The Diary of Lisa Frank by Zach Hazard Vaupen Wigger Haircut #1 is subtitled “The House that Ska Built.” Joe and Jim discover an obscenely large mansion and Jim tells Joe the house is owned by some guy who got paid tons of money after being discovered skanking at shows. They go to a show at the mansion and Jim instantly takes a dislike to the owner. He tags the mansion and then wakes up the next morning to find his own house tagged by the owner of the mansion. Meanwhile Joe tries to decide whether or not to dump his long distance girlfriend.

This sounds pretty pedestrian, but it’s standard mini-comic fare that obviously means something to the artist. What interests me in Zach’s work is the art. He has an instantly likable style, for me anyway, that lands somewhere in the middle of Frank Santoro’s Cold Heat work and C.F. ‘s style of figure drawing, just a little more thickly lined in this mini. In Wigger Haircut, Zach uses a bright fuschia color that gives the pages a manic, overwhelming atmosphere. Backgrounds are either absent or simple representations. Word balloons are haphazardly placed, but never confusing. The overall effect is one that matches the tone of the story – rushed at times, perplexing, and vital – just like life feels sometimes. You can check out Zach’s work at his blog or Flickr pages. The Diary of Lisa Frank is a 12-page large format mini-comic with eye catching silkscreen covers. Twelve-year old Lisa Frank, who at one point goes to the attic to channel her Grandma Anne, keeps running into a strange guy who works for Mad Magazine and admires her drawings of ponies. After poking through Lisa’s diary and discovering references to a “strange man,” her mother thinks that Lisa has been molested and sends her to a psychiatrist.

Throughout Diary, Zach sprinkles snippets of Lisa’s diary pages on the page: “Dear Diary, PONYS ARE FUCKING AWESOME! i hope Mom doesn’t READ this.” The art in this mini is much lighter than Wigger Haircut.” Zach doesn’t use huge swaths of color, just thinly sketched figures against minimal backgrounds. Occasionally, a character will turn their heads quickly or move unexpectedly and Zach will superimpose the character’s face in a slightly different position overlapping the first face and the third face. It’s a nice touch that lends a sense of movement and uncertainty. Grab your copy of The Diary of Lisa Frank at Zach’s blog. It will set you back $5.

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