Habitual Entertainment: Others By Will Dinski

Categories:  Reviews

Habitual Entertainment: Others
By Will Dinski

Will DinskiIt would, of course, be a bit melodramatic to declare the mini-comic dead. However, in spite of my own involvement with the alternative comics scene, until visiting the MoCCA festival, a few months back, I had never realized the few breadth of the incredibly active community surrounding the form, which is to say that, while we blogs do attempt to show some love to the those toiling away through paper-jams and hands blackened by ink cartridge replacements, mini artists don’t get a lot of face time in the press.

There are surely plenty of explanations for this phenomenon, but the primary one seems to be—to bastardize that old adage—why buy the cow, when you can download the milk for free? Upwards of $10 a pop seems like a high price to pay for something you can likely read for free, with just a few well-placed clicks of your Web browser. Naturally, there’s a certain pleasure in a hard copy that just can’t be digitized. The key to a successful mini seems to be the ability to harness that pleasure sufficiently enough as to justify parting with a few hard-earned bucks.

It’s a concept on which Will Dinski has a rather firm grasp. His Habitual Entertainment series contains some of the most lovingly packaged minis that I’ve seen in a long while. At MoCCA, he handed me Are You Often Impulsive in Your Behavior?, the tongue-in-cheek story of someone who stumbles into a Church of Scientology, which folds out into Dinski’s own Scientological test results, and the cigarette pack-shaped An Endorsement of Smoking.

The format of Others is a touch less gimmicky, but the package retains Dinski’s affinity to high-grade paper stock and silkscreen, bound together by a single twine tied around the top, for rather stunning results.

Others continued two rather short stories—running four and five pages, respectively—in fact, everything about Others is miniature, from the page-count, to the text, to the paper dimensions, to Dinski’s own simple, but detailed art, which manages to cram a good deal of lines into every panel, while maintaining it clean presentation.

The lead story, The Pressman, is a hilarious concept, which is over long before it has a chance to grow tedious. The protagonist, a nightshift printer at a daily paper, spends his daytime following office workers around, getting lunch where they do, sitting in traffic for giggles, and watching them in their workspace, veiled by little more than a potted plant (which, in Dinski’s quasi-cartoon reality, seems to do the trick). In five tiny  pages, the story manages to come full-circle, a testament to Dinksi’s storytelling talents.

Printed on orange ink (versus Pressman’s navy blue), Get Away is narrated by a bird who is rather unimpressed by the pack mentality of the humans in the city below. Get Away is even more simple in its storytelling (and is fittingly a page shorter), and opts to end the proceedings on something rather like a moal, but is still a rather charming little end to a rather charming little package.

–Brian Heater

No Comments to “Habitual Entertainment: Others By Will Dinski”

  1. Max | August 14th, 2007 at 11:49 am

    Will’s books are truly art objects. I picked up a mess of his work at the Des Moines Comicon this year. Well worth it. It is wonderful to find that the storytelling and art match the bar set by the presentation.

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