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STRIPBURGER #58 by Various


96 pages

This volume of Stripburger contains the usual strong conglomeration of interviews (Julie Doucet and Lars Sjunnesson), reviews (Craig Thompson’s Habibi), and a plethora of international comics, wherein “the coming apocalypse” seems to be the loose theme, whether it’s all of reality or a more personal kind. I enjoyed the opening comic from Dakota McFadzean. The Donald Duck riff is full of plump lines that seem to eschew traditional autobiographical comics sensibilities and just revels in a singular passion. The tension in the Lars Sjunnesson piece about taking on comic publishers is palpable, extending through the vibrant art and racially charged bits of the story. I’ve reviewed a number of her self-published works, so it’s always great to see Kayla Escobedo get some additional coverage. By far, the piece de resistance is Mud People from Gorand. It chronicles the apocryphal rise of the titular Mud People, as they demolish the city, march on mankind, and neither “heroes with useless bullets” or virginal young women are immune. It’s all a very Romero inspired commentary on the empty meaningless aspects of life and the dangers of conformity and rampant consumerism. The art is rife with dirty detail and sweaty ink lines inhabiting the stuff of primal nightmares. I loved it. It’s “Grade A+” material, and even includes an annotated guide to the panels. Peter Kuper follows up with Four Horseman, a colorful wash that rapidly tracks the riders of apocalypse through time. I enjoyed the endearing art style of Nina Bunjkevac and the manic erratic lines of Julie Doucet’s An English Lesson. Rakmad Septian brings it home with a wordless extended piece that centers on relational failure, working with black as the predominant color of decay. As usual, Stripburger offers some of the most well-rounded content to be found in an anthology style publication and maintains exceptional value. Grade A-.

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