Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This is What Concerns Me by Susie Cagle In This is What Concerns Me and This is What Concerns Me Presents Remainders, Susie Cagle catalogues the things that bug, perplex, or annoy her. Shopping for vegan safe food, used condoms on the sidewalk, security cameras on the rooftops of her neighborhoods - everything is fair game under Susie’s pen. Over 13 black and white pages, she uses whatever space is necessary to get it out, even devoting 6 pages to the two-part “Security.”

The cover to This is What Concerns Me is my favorite part of this issue. Her body language suggests a real weight, which is also shown by the letters that form the word “me,” and the backpack Susie clutches. Her head is down as well, lending her the picture a seriousness of purpose. Inside, however, it’s fun and games. She pokes fun at herself as much as she pokes fun at others. Susie’s art is light, expressive and perfectly nuanced with shadow and crosshatch. She hits a nice balance of white space and shading in these pages. The 16-page This is What Concerns Me Presents Remainders is a bit more polished. Her line seems more assured and the wide horizontal page gives the words and pictures more breathing room. Three episodes of “Smashing in the Kitchen” give recipes that range from oiled and baked veggies with Susie to killing, gutting, and skinning a moose with Sarah Palin. Her page layout is at its most inventive over these pages.

Also included in this issue is some quick and easy ways to spot an FBI agent at a potluck, drawings of actual foods from a school kitchen in Harrodsburg, VA, and a nice two page spread on how pervasive corn is in our diet (read The Omnivore’s Dilemma to really get freaked out!). Both of these minis are available from Susie’s website for $2 each plus shipping.

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