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Vigneault, Francois – Friends #3


Friends #3 Now Available! $4

I may resort to gushing in this review, which I apologize for in advance, not because I’m sorry I like the comic so much, I’m just sorry about the gushing; it’s unseemly. This whole issue is dedicated to the story of the Jacks from the previous issue. They deal with crushes, friendship, reality and when exactly it’s time to leave a town. One of the Jack’s is set on leaving, while the other has known for a little while that he doesn’t want to go (mostly because of a crush on a girl) but hasn’t made that information known. Gah, every time I think of a point I want to make I realize that it’s ruining something about the comic, and I enjoyed this so thoroughly that everybody should be able to read it without much of a preconceived notion, or so the logic goes in my brain, anyway. Francois bemoans the fact in the back of this that it took almost a year to get this issue out, but sometimes that’s a good thing. There are layers and layers of meaning here and the art has made another leap forward. There’s also a pretty through synopsis to start things off, so it’s not the end of the world if you missed the last issue. Absolutely, positively essential reading. $4

Vigneault, Francois – Friends #2


Friends #2

Well, the second issue is usually the one that convinces me of a book, and I’m officailly won over with this one. It’s not a continuing story, by the way, so let’s establish that right now. The first story in here is about two guys named Jack who want to join a card counting scam in Vegas. One of the Jacks hates everybody and sees the value in keeping this information secret before they leave, the other one has different ideas. The second story (or really series of stories) is about some of the various crushes that Francois has. The fascinating thing about this, besides the fact that I love the hopeless crush stories anyway, is that the subjects here know that they’re going to be in a comic, and they know why. Or at least they do eventually, but I may have said too much already. There’s a bit of sloppiness in the early crush stories, but as they’re called “sketchbook confessions” I think that’s allowed. That’s as close as I come to criticism here. A thoroughly enjoyable comic, which is the reason I keep doing this website. $3

Vigneault, Francois – Friends #1: Speak Now, Or Forever


Friends #1: Speak Now, Or Forever

Sometimes the simplest stories are also the most enjoyable. This is about a guy who meets a girl on a bus from Chicago to L.A. Sounds simple enough, or at least it probably does if you’ve never met a girl or a guy on a bus, train or other random place where you only had a finite amount of time to get to know them. The art is a bit raw here and there, and yes, that cover is off-center, but this is also his first comic (or at least I got that impression from the letter) and those kinds of things tend to work themselves out after a few issues. The important thing is that the man can write, as it would have been really easy for this to slip into silly melodrama or “woe is me” stuff. Never happens, and it’s a pretty damned good story because of it. This is the first in a series; no idea yet if it’s one big story or just little ones under the same title. I should have the second issue up here in a few weeks, which should clear that mystery up. Until then check out the website, unless you don’t like comics. $4