Blog Archives

Nall, Alex – Town & County #1

Website

Town & County #1

Here’s a good rule of thumb, for any l’il potential comic reviewers out there: if, after reading a new comic from an artist you’re already very familiar with, you’re convinced that the latest book is the best thing they’ve ever done, but then have to go back mentally through all the OTHER times you’ve said that about their previous books… chances are that you’re dealing with a pretty solid artist. Have I mentioned that I’m writing this in the middle of a nasty cold, and that I’m both pumped full of drugs and have slept more in the last three days than I had in the previous week? I mention this because I just reread the first sentence of this review, and want to give everybody full warning that this is going to be one of those “it’s the thought that counts” kind of reviews. Because the thought is clear enough, right? Garbled though that sentence might be, my point was that Alex keeps surpassing himself, and going off in unexpected directions where it would be just as easy for him to fall flat on his face. But he keeps nailing it, and it leaves me in a state of being perpetually impressed. Should I maybe talk about the comic for a bit? That seems like a thing that usually happens. This is a collection of short fictional pieces about the residents of a small town in Illinois. As I was born and raised in a small Illinois town, does that make me biased? Eh, maybe. The first third (ish) of the comic are “pages” from Don’s diary, as he details his dreams, life, history, family and potential future. That’s selling it a bit short, as each of the 12 pages has something thought-provoking, heartfelt or at least a little bit sad, but you’re getting no spoilers from me at all on that part. Especially because it’s listed as a “part one,” meaning he’s maybe planning on putting together a graphic novel of that section specifically, which sounds like a great idea to me. Other stories include the things that a cleaning woman sees and how she unwinds, the most effortlessly successful and popular guy in high school and what might have happened to him afterwards (with a spectacularly misleading title), a revisiting of the cleaning woman from earlier at a party, and a glimpse into the life of the woman whose house was being cleaned (which cleared up a whole lot about her personality). I wasn’t expecting the whole thing to flow together, but it did so quite nicely. If you’ve been reading these reviews for years and still somehow haven’t picked up any of Alex’s comics, this would be an excellent place to start. It’s a #1 and everything! $8