Bird Brain #1
Oh, kids today and their making of comics. I’m assuming that the name of the gentleman who made this comic is not actually “bird brain” (although it may be the name he’s going by to make comics, which is… interesting) but, as he didn’t bother to put his name anywhere in here and it’s not listed on his blog, that’s what he’s going to be called until he corrects me. Also, for the love of all that is sweet and holy, “you’re” = “you are.” Just learn that shit. Isn’t it odd what it takes to get me in a bad mood? Once again, this is even more annoying because it’s a pretty nice comic overall, and little things like that are fixed so very easily. This is a collection of short pieces, and this seems to be the first comic produced by Mr. Brain, which makes bits of it even more impressive. The first story (detailing the “special place” of the main character and how it was his only oasis of calm) seemed like an entirely pointless story right up until the last story tied in with it, which transformed it instantly into a much better piece. Then there’s the piece sampled below, which didn’t really seem to go anywhere, but hey, it worked nicely as a sample. Next is a story of a robot head who was finally reunited with his robot body with less than the anticipated results. Funny bits, robot realizing the boring crap that regular people have to do every day, nothing to complain about here. The story about the couple trying to figure out which car belonged to the punk kid before he got into it took a bit too long to get to the punchline, but at least it was a good one. The “Teenagers” bit also seemed pointless, which meant that the author pulled another fast one on me, as it did tie in at the end. Finally there’s the best story of the bunch, a sasquatch story written by Chris White. A man gets a flat tire in the wilderness, sasquatch comes to his aid and they have a nice conversation about it. The ending of that one got an audible chuckle or two out of me, so kudos to the both of them. No complaints about the art at all, as the artist had been to the Sequential Artists Workshop and this looks really polished for a first comic. Once this guy fixes up the few obvious problems I mentioned earlier he could really be onto something here. Oh, and as a cat owner, the back cover with the method to prevents cats from interrupting you while you’re drawing was fantastic. No price listed, but this sure looks nice, so $4?
Bird Brain #2
If anybody out there hates birds, it’s probably best to move along to the next review. Who hates birds? Well, somebody is bound to, right? People either hate or love all sorts of things that seem to mild to me to feel strongly about either way. Anyway, this is another collection of birds Francois has observed and drawn in his travels. Birds that he has observed include herons, ospreys, tree swallows, hummingbirds, swallows, bald eagles, Candian geese, screech owls, warblers and a few more to leave you some surprises, as I have no idea what constitutes a spoiler in this sort of book. He does a masterful job of conveying the birds, but that’s no surprise because he’s also extremely gifted in drawing people. There’s also a nice introspective author’s note in the back detailing why he loves larger birds and how their sudden acts of violence remind him that our world, though appearing tame, really isn’t far from that sort of thing. In case you think that this is simply a collection of bird drawings, well, no. He makes them funny on occasion and includes his observations throughout, so if you like his other stuff there’s no reason in the world to think that you wouldn’t like this one. And who doesn’t like his other stuff? $2.50
Bird Brain #4
Hey, all you bird watchers out there! Are there any of you? How many do you figure wandering around this country? Just curious. This here is a book for you, and as it’s already on #4, I’d say you have some catching up to do. Luckily there are a few things of interest to the rest of us too, not to mention the fact that reading about these different birds was vastly more entertaining than I would have figured. That’ll show me not to underestimate a book by this man. The only thing I regret was that it wasn’t in full color, but that would be insanely expensive for a niche project in a niche genre. We do get a color center spread, so at least there’s that. I feel a little silly doing a review, as it’s all about Francois bird watching, but I have to say something, right? In this issue Francois wanders around to different areas and makes astute and occasionally funny observations about the creatures he sees. No, they aren’t all birds. I also thoroughly enjoyed the afterward, as he talked about how happy he was that this project is giving him a reason to get out of city and connect with nature a bit. I had one question about this book, or maybe bird watching in general: in the text piece for the center spread Francois mentioned that he and a friend found this dead bird, so he picked it up, took it home and froze it for “future examination.” That part I could almost get, but they also named the dead bird, and that was downright baffling to me. Anybody care to clue me in on any aspect of that? Overall, yes, you’re still getting a Francois Vigneault comic, and after his “Friends” series you should already know that this will be a good read. Unless you only read violent comics, in which case you probably went to the wrong site to begin with. $3