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Beaty, Nate – Piecemeal

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Piecemeal

I’ve been hoping to catch something else from Nate now that Brainfag is dead and gone, and the man was nice enough to send along a copy of his latest.  If you’re not a regular reader of the site I highly recommend going back and reading my reviews for his various Brainfag books.  Not that I said anything particularly penetrating or insightful, but that collected edition is something every comic fan with any taste should own.  So how about this one?  Was his talent connected only to the title of his last comic?  Um, no, of course not.  What a stupid thing to think.  There are two stories this time around, the first dealing with all sorts of embarrassing moments from early puberty.  There’s the formerly complicated setup and take down process involved with watching porn back in the day (kids, us old folk often tell you to appreciate things that we didn’t have growing up, but internet porn would have led to an entirely different generation), a drunken party filled with kids in high school, his recent ex and the fact that every guy in town seemingly wanted to get with her now that she was single, and a delightfully awkward depiction of some “hot” sex with his ex.  The second part of the comic is the wordless tale of a dream, half-dream, or possibly just the weirdest night of Nate’s life.  He climbs up a gigantic tree, but as he goes too high a branch cracks and he’s lucky to land on his little makeshift treehouse instead of what looks like at least 50 feet down to the ground.  He then proceeds to cautiously go down his rope ladder, but it hasn’t been secured properly and this also collapses on his, leading to a lengthy and painful crash to the ground.  Here’s where things shift a little, as he stumbles into a dark house and is desperately trying to get away from a shadowy creature.  Then a white bear shows up…  on second thought, you can interpret all this for yourself.  I have my own theories, but I’ve also been known to take things too literally and that’s clearly not what he’s going for with this story.  Overall it’s a solid mini with a healthy balance of past humiliation combined with a widely open to interpretation silent piece.  $4