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Birchall, David – Extricate #9



Extricate #9

If there’s one reason that I’m most likely going to be doing this website (or some version of it in the far distant, unimaginable future) for as long as I’m able to type and convey mildly coherent thoughts about comics, it’s the fact that I get random comics in the mail.  No way that would ever happen if I was just some guy who liked comics.  This one comes from Manchester in the UK (and if the date of 1/28/09 on the letter was correct, kudos to the postal service for getting it here so quickly), and it’s in color with two stories.  Well fine, when I say “color” I mean “one color per story”. First up is “This Is Another Good One For An Acid Freakout”, the loopy and disconnected tale of a man trying to remember the perfect thing to say to cause anybody taking acid to freak out.  From some of the profoundly psychedelic imagery in here I’d say David and the guy he was talking to were on some serious drugs, or possibly that’s just the mood David was trying to convey and I’m interpreting things too literally.  Wouldn’t be the first time.  The second story is “The Oracle At Delphi”, the tale of David and his girlfriend (?) hitchhiking away from Delhpi and the people they meet on the ride.  The art is a looping, whorling mess of confusion, which is odd given how mundane most of the events in here are, but fitting when you think about trying to portray the faces of people you knew only briefly.  The fact that this is #9 of a series is instantly encouraging, as David has stories to tell.  Also, as far as websites go I generally just post the link above the comic and trust people to find it on their own, but in this case you should make a special trip and be sure to check it out.  David essentially has a resume up there if you’re curious about him personally, and he lists an impressive body of work.  It could stand a few more samples though, as I have to at least say one negative thing here.  Not sure on the price, but I’d guess around $5.


Birchall, David (editor) – Tegne #2



Tegne #2 (anthology)

Just a note right off the bat: I’m not entirely sure that David is the editor of this book, but I do know that his publishing group seems to be the one putting this out, and he seems to be the one in charge of it.  That’s a lot of assumptions to make, but if it’s wrong it’ll get its own page, OK?  As I’m still making up how to review anthologies as I go, here’s a list of contributors: Helen Brealey, David Birchall, Afsoon Hayley, Malcy Duff, Reni Fahima, Zeke Clough, Nick Birchall, Mara Duchemer, Honeypears, Tim Gaze, Crippa Almqvist, Jethre Brice, Dr. Nightfield & Laima Jaunnema.  Apologies to anybody whose name I got wrong, but man that type was a bear to read.  Flipping through this book, it’s exactly what an anthology should be: a wide variety of visual styles.  Once you dig into it in a bit more detail, while there are some excellent stories, plenty of it didn’t do a thing for me.  The simple black images, the simpler black smudges: just not my thing.  There are times, as well, where legible text is sacrficed for the sake of the art.  That might be a better idea for the picture, but it doesn’t do me a lot of good if I can’t get across the point of the story.  Still, it’s silly to disregard this whole thing just because I can’t get behind some of the stories.  The strange mirror world of Malcy Duff was creepily engaging, I loved the three strips by Mara Duchomer (about work, a man who could pour coffee directly into his head, and mice getting back at a cat), and I think Nick Birchall’s Mr. Wiggins strip may have given me a seizure (I mean that in a good way).  Like any anthology you have to take the good with the bad, and there’s just enough good in here to make it all worth it.  Again, the price is a guess… $6!