The Mousehole by Martín Romero

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The Mousehole
by Martín Romero
Self-Published

Weird and beautiful, Martín Romero‘s comics are lovely to view even when they’re untranslated and written in his native Spanish.  Romero’s work is extremely esoteric, to the point of being nonsensical, but he’s a great talent, no doubt about it.  If part of an artist’s job is to offer a fresh and challenging perspective of the world, Romero’s working full-time.

I bought The Mousehole in its English translation at the 2007 MoCCA Festival, but it’s mostly wordless, so the few bits of dialog it reveals aren’t much help in discerning the overall plot.  In the end, this mini offers the kind of comedy that is so ridiculous and absurd, you have to laugh through the confusion and appreciate what’s left over: an innocent young nerd with a very bad bully problem and naught but fantasy and technology for protection.

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Children and God Vol. 1-2 by Kelly Clancy

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Children and God Vol. 1-2
by Kelly Clancy
Self-Published

I am like a pile of warmed butter for this series by Kelly Clancy. Children and God parallels the lives of people living in post-communist Central Asia and modern day Middle America. Through nearly imperceptible changes, Clancy transitions between vignettes that span time and space and paint an overall image of sadness, progress, cultural disparity, innocence, ignorance, nostalgia, and religious fanaticism.

There’s something unique and beautiful on every page, but Clancy also cleverly employs devices reminiscent of other cartoonists’ work: Jeremy Tinder teardrop-shaped word bubbles, Lilli Carré-esque scrolling narration through the panels, Craig Thompson triple-bump noses, and large almond-shaped Sam Hiti-ish eyes. I make these comparisons only to help you visualize the humble curves that make up her artwork, which can be seen here, but there are also completely new aspects to her work. Overall, her comics have a fresh new feel and are more than pleasant to look at as well as read.

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