Inside the Slow Spiral
OK fine, there are probably too many stories out there already dealing with alienation and isolation upon entering college, but isn’t a good one always a welcome thing? This one deals with Jon’s entry into film school and his propensity for spending his entire day in the film lab watching strange independent films while smoking pot (and hastily clearing the air). The woman who works down there starts up a friendship with him and he doesn’t seem like a total social misfit when he does go out, it’s just that he prefers digging up and going through old student films. He eventually watches a film called “Inside the Slow Spiral III,” which sends him digging to find other films from the man and trying to figure out who the guy was. Jon readily admits that the films are boring, but thinks that that was why he loved them. The title also tracks up nicely with Jon’s own progress, and I loved how his activities during his drunken blackout were referred to (I got the impression that they weren’t his finest moments) but that it was mostly left up to the imagination of the reader. The fictional peek into the mind of the filmmaker of the “Inside the Slow Spiral” series at the end was brilliant too, but I’m not allowed to divulge too much about that. I’m not sure if this is the same Jon Allen I’ve seen in various anthologies (the website isn’t particularly helpful on that front), but if he is I’d say he’s gone a long way to mastering his craft. If it’s an entirely new Jon Allen then he’s way too good at this stuff to be brand new. Either way you, gentle reader, should probably give this a shot if you’re here for unique and interesting comics, and why else would you be here? No price, but my gut says $4.