The Assassin and the Whiner #15
I have mixed feelings about this one, but probably not for the reasons you might think. I enjoyed it thoroughly, as I do pretty much all of her comics that I’ve seen. And I haven’t seen a new issue in a while (this is the first new one in three years), so it was more than a welcome sight. My problem is that this issue is all about her complete descent into drinking and depression, and I know this was probably therapeutic for her to write, but I feel like such a voyeur. I know, I know, that’s half the point of these auto-bio comics, but when it’s gotten to the point where she can’t even bring herself to say hello to an old acquaintance because she feels that she just has NOTHING at all to say about her life for the past couple of years… So, this is something of an “enter at your own risk” comic. It still looks great (but possibly with fewer backgrounds than past issues), and she still has a substantial gift of conveying emotions and telling a good story. It’s just more than a little heartbreaking. $1
The Assassin and the Whiner #14
These just keep getting better every time. This one is from a few years ago too, so I still don’t know if she’s still putting these out, but it’s worth seeking out the older issues regardless. This one is about her complete loss of sexual desire, her constant struggle with alcoholism, her first crush and her newly saggy boobs. Hey, I wouldn’t mention it if she didn’t. Everything in here is told with her style of complete candor and, as always, is worth much more than the buck that she charges. This is auto-bio at its finest, contact info is above if you still haven’t read any of these (shame on you!) so you can send her some money.
The Assassin and the Whiner #12
The thing about reading this comic is that Carrie doesn’t pull any punches at all. I was reading things that felt like they should only be told to her closest friends, and it’s incredibly brave to put everything out there for the world (or at least the tiny part of it that reads comics) to see. In this issue she sinks much deeper into depression over the breakup with her girlfriend and starts drinking again. People who have read this book for a while know that she fought a long battle with alcoholism, so this is a pretty sad step back. It’s weird reading this, knowing that it’s 3 years old. I’ve said it before, sure, but if and when one of these jobs comes through I’m going to send her some money and check out her latest comics. Assuming that she still has some copies around, this should come as a revelation to anybody who’s ever been in a breakup that happened because the connection just wasn’t there for both people.
The Assassin and the Whiner #10
One of the first things I noticed upon opening this mini was all the solid blacks, and I’m a big fan of the solid blacks. And the occasional page with tiny panels, which always looks even smaller in the mini format. That’s not necessarily a good or a bad thing; it depends entirely on what’s being said (and how legible it is as some people have a real problem with that). It does feed into my misguided notion of getting more story on the page though. As for the comic itself, well, I loved it. It’s all auto-bio stuff and, when it’s done well, that’s pretty much my favorite kind of comic. This is done really well. This issue is all about moving out to Maryland to live with her girlfriend and the changes that she has to make. She’d never walked around in snow before this! There’s just a wonderful sense of playfulness and joy that permeates this book. She has a deal at the back of the book where you could buy #1-9 for only $6 (or $1 per issue) and I’d say get the whole bunch of them if you still can. This was put out a couple of years ago though so you might want to e-mail her and check to see what she still has available.
The Assassin and the Whiner #11
I was starting to wonder if I would ever find any more of these issues. This is a few years old, granted, but I think she’s still working. This is one of the single most depressing comics I’ve read. She moved to Maryland to be with the woman she loved, only to find out that that woman didn’t really want to be with her most of the time. She gave up everything she knew and this issue is about her dealing with that fact and trying to accept that things just weren’t going to work out, no matter how much she might have liked to believe otherwise. Not that it’s all sad, as there are a few random strips that have nothing to do with her relationship. There’s one about her finding out that an old classmate is a porno star, one about her feelings on porn, a couple with her just walking around town thinking and her trying to adjust to living in cold weather for the first time in her life. Every single one of these that I’ve seen has been a treat and this one was no exception. E-mail the woman and get as many of these as you can, which should be a lot considering that she only charges $1…