This is going to be a bit tricky, so bear with me. There are plenty of people out there doing mini comics who are just great. I’ll read their books, really like what they’ve done, and go on from there. I won’t, however, think that they should necessarily be published by Top Shelf or anybody like that, at least not yet. I liken it to hockey, mostly because I’m a hockey freak. Some players can be great, but they need to be in the minors, developing their game so that they’ll be better players for years to come. Granted, it’s a lot more glamorous to be playing with the stars, but it could damage their careers irreparably if they just jump to the big leagues and are expected to play at the same level. This might be way off base because there are plenty of people who are doing minis and will be perfectly content to stay in that format for the rest of their lives, but I’ve always seen them as kind of a training ground leading up to eventually being published. Like I said, a lot of people would disagree with me, and I still like minis as a whole better than the published books for the sheer heart involved in making them alone, but there you go. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah. Zak Sally. I don’t know how long he’s been doing this although, if I had to guess, I wouldn’t say it was very long. He doesn’t need any seasoning, he doesn’t have any training that he needs before he gets published, unless he hides it really well. The man is damned good at making comics and should already be rich.
There are three stories in this one. The first part is about a man, after winning a contest, seeing a movie that he considers a masterpiece about Hell. That’s all you get out of me, because I’m not ruining anything here. The second story is about the imprisonment of Fyodor Dostoevsky, which was fascinating to me because I’ve read all his books but have never read about this part of life, and it was done incredibly well. Granted, he said that he let Fyodor speak for himself whenever possible, but it still takes a skilled hand to show what he was going through during this time. The last story is a dream from Zak himself, involving him watching a man go through a life-changing experience, and what happens after. Again, amazing. The art reminds me a tiny bit of Jason Lutes, but more raw. It’s probably just the format. Listen, since I’ve started this site I’ve probably run across a dozen new people or so that I’ve been blown away by. I’m always waiting to be impressed, and I often am, by the stuff I receive, but I’m rarely just completely floored to the point where I can’t wait to see anything and everything else the creator has done. These stories all showed a professionalism, a poise, that’s rarely displayed in the published comics, let alone minis. I shouldn’t keep calling this a mini though, as it was obviously published by somebody, but it still feels like a mini, which is what makes it so incredible. It’s $4, and seriously, if you order it and don’t like it, let me know and I’ll send you the $4 to cover it along with a plea for you to never read comics again. Send money to La Mano P.O. Box 2472 Olympia, WA 98507