Various Mallard anthologies – Mallard #3

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Mallard #3

What’s the word for an anthology that, although it has its moments, ends up falling pretty squarely in the “meh” category?  It’s not awful, it’s not great, but to call it mediocre seems a bit harsh.  Mediocre with dashes of brilliance?  Closer.  Anyway, the concept is fine, with Tom England (editor and contributor) pulling together various pieces by friends and strangers.  First there’s part 3 of a text story by Christopher Leahy, in which the dialogue was amusing (once it got to the dialogue) but, being part 3 of a series, was a little hard to judge from my perspective.  Maybe a recap of some sort for people like me who come in late?  Fuong Mai Nguyen has a couple of shorties in here, one showing her room and one showing her face throughout the years.  Hard to work up much enthusiasm for either, but the drawing of her room was at least impressive in its ambition.  Philip Gyres probably has the strongest piece in the book next, a simple illustrated diary of a middle aged man going about his daily life.  Dan Dyer has a few three panel strips after this, notable because one of them goes all the way to 6 panels to tell a story.  Notable to me anyway, because it seems like most people who pick that format feel obligated to never change it no matter the story.  Mostly mildly amusing, with a few of the punch lines the sorts of things you see coming from miles away, which is the danger of being required to end on a funny.  Tom England has the biggest (illustrated) piece in the book, a meandering story about philosophy and flying (and swimming) monkeys.  Finally there’s Claire Simmons with a text story about a young hog who decides to eat the world and the reaction of the rest of the forest to the disturbance.  Oh, and Joe Baddeley has brief panels up throughout the comic that put the “minimum” in “minimalistic”, but they’re mostly funny and a nice break while reading the text pieces.  As a whole maybe I should bump this up to “pretty decent with flashes of brilliance”.  Claire’s story was creepy and fascinating, Tom’s bit at least got me thinking, and Philip’s story sounds like me in ten years.  Based on the currency exchange rate, this is probably around $2.


Posted on May 2, 2010, in Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Various Mallard anthologies – Mallard #3.

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