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Cherry, Ben – Buny

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Buny

It’s time for another fantastic wordless tale from Ben, and this is going to be yet another tricky review. Should I just give in and do full spoilers for every review? Eh, no. Even typing that made me feel gross. So I’ll do my usual trick of talking around the real spoilery stuff in the hopes that you get enough out of my other word piles to feel compelled to check this out. It’s possible that that last sentence gave away the secret of reviewing. Oops! This is one of those rare comics that starts with a content warning, so in that spirit I’ll pass it along here too: this comic depicts images of child abuse. The story starts off with a young boy on his roof, watching the stars, until he sees a meteor crashing to earth. As this happens he’s roughly yanked back into the house through the window, and the story shifts to the point of view of this alien craft, which ends up being a metallic ball that tries its best (with limited information) to adapt to its surroundings. After a dramatic encounter in the woods, this creature eventually runs into the little boy, who immediately and guilelessly adopts it as his new best friend. But he still has to take it home, and we already saw a solid hint that things weren’t going all that great for this boy. And there it is, I’ve hit the brick wall of the review. I’ll just say that Ben does an expert job of carrying things through to their logical conclusion and leave it at that. Oh, and in case Ben happens to read this: your note said that you shipped two books, but only one arrived in the envelope. Just an FYI if you wonder why I never reviewed the other one. To the rest of youse, give this a shot. It seems like Ben more than has the skills to get picked up by one of the big comics companies if they see his work, so enjoy his time making his own books while you still can! $6

Cherry, Ben – Beastly

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Beastly

It’s another gorgeous wordless mini comic from Ben, on a completely different track from the last one we saw. It’s a simple enough story, but it’s fairly devastating. There’s a hunting expedition (the time frame of this one is left up to the reader; my guess is that it’s meant to take place decades ago, but I could be completely wrong on that) that manages to tranquilize a polar bear. This isn’t the wanton murder type of hunting, as this guy brings the bear back in the hopes of making money off of it. The bear is placed in a cage for a public viewing, but the public isn’t particularly interested, and the bear isn’t particularly motivated to put on a show. The hunter, unable to blame himself for this state of affairs, starts drinking heavily and berates the man he’s hired to take care of the bear. Unfortunately, he does this as the bear’s cage door is open for feeding time, and I should probably stop there to preserve at least a little bit of the mystery. It’s another intriguing comic from Ben, and as always I’m curious to see what he comes up with next. $4

Cherry, Ben – Faceless Nameless

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Faceless Nameless

Sometimes I see these wordless minis where I could sum it up in a sentence (or even less occasionally), and sometimes there’s a whole lot more to be said about them. On those occasions, it also feels like saying all of those things would replace the need to read the comic, and I’d just be telling you everything in it. This here comic is an example of the second case, where I have a lot to say but desperately don’t want to give too much away. So here I go, walking out onto that tightrope! If you just want my quick opinion, yes, I thoroughly enjoyed it, so get yourself a copy. If you need more, what can you determine from that cover? There’s a man in a smiling mask, surrounded by people who are smiling without masks, and that man isn’t smiling at all. But the people who are “genuinely” smiling… well, don’t they look more than a little terrified? This is the story of a man who grows up surrounded by these forced smiles and tries to make his way in the world. Will he ever fit in? Will he ever find anyone else like him? That’s all you’re going to get out of me, so read it yourself to find out. $5