Stipetic, Kristina – Yasha Lizard #2


Yasha Lizard #2

For the record, I don’t consider myself a critic.  When you see the sample (that I couldn’t help but use) you’ll understand what I mean.  Critics are often assholes who tear down the work of others out of some bizarre desire to puff up their own egos, and I have no interest in that.  I’m more of a semi-professional rambler whose main interest is in highlighting great work, and even when I do talk about a crappy comic I try to offer advice that will bring their next effort more up to speed, or at least closer to what I think they’re capable of.  Granted, I have no idea what that level is more often than not, but the main thing I ask for here is a basic level of competence (correct spelling, in the ballpark of correct grammar, no visible pencil lines in the finished product, etc.).  What does this have to do with this comic?  Not a damned thing, and I thank you for indulging me, as I just thought that should be on the “public record” somewhere.  This is ostensibly the story of Yasha Lizard, a (according to Kristina) “poor lizard with dreams of social mobility”.  Really this issue is mostly about the art world (as depicted in this Victorian-style representation, as populated by a large number of talking animals who walk upright), and about one artist in particular: Kreganthus Pigeon.  Kreganthus has hit it big, as he is apparently the first of this anthropomorphized group of animals who has made full use of his ability to see far more colors than everybody else and has an art show opening up.  He seems like a decent enough guy, if unaware that he’s being used by the art dealers, but runs into trouble when he sees an art thief trying to steal one of his paintings after his show.  Some brutality ensues, but the dealers know how to fix the problem: pick a new artist, jack up the prices of the work of the new guy and ensure that the show goes on.  I’ve seen enough glimpses of the art world to know how dead-on this story is, and the fact that it’s told using a bunch of cute creatures somehow doesn’t dull that impact.  As for her artwork, it’s frankly remarkable.  I read a lot of minis, as this is my mostly unpaid job, and very few of them come close to the level of detail involved in this issue.  Many artists (if not most) cut a few corners here and there, leave their characters talking in a blank white background, skimp on the movement lines, that sort of thing.  I just flipped through this again to confirm my initial impression, and it’s true: just about every panel has detailed, intricate backgrounds.  This reminds me of Gerhard doing the backgrounds for Cerebus back in the day: there was already plenty of detail in the characters, but adding those backgrounds improved the reading experience immensely.  I’m just talking about the look of the book, feel free to be offended by some of the views of the creator.  It’s rare that I see the second issue of a mini comic series and think that it’ll look fantastic in the collected edition, but… this will look fantastic in a collected edition.  Anybody with experience in the art world or in art shows should take a look at this and be amazed at the level of insight, everybody else should read this and be amazed by the artwork.  Don’t let any hatred of “funny animal” stories keep you from this, as it’s really a hell of a comic.  No price, but I’m going to say at least $3 for those backgrounds alone.

Posted on May 3, 2010, in Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Stipetic, Kristina – Yasha Lizard #2.

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