Losers Weepers #1 by J.T. Yost
Are you the type of person who picks up random scraps of paper if you see that they have handwriting on them? How about journals or notebooks that you see lying around? I'd answer "yes" to each question, provided that they're not laying in a puddle of gunk or something equally nasty. J.T. uses a couple of found items as launching pads for a few stories, fitting nicely into the "tragi-comic" theme he mentions in his intro. First up is a journal that he found and decided to keep because only a few pages had been used. But those few pages... hoo boy. He's also nice enough to reprint the entries in legible writing, and kudos to him for that, or this would have been a whole lot tougher to follow. The gist of it is that a young woman is dating a guy and doesn't know how to get out of it because the guy is not all there mentally and she's sure that her leaving will devastate him. Then there's another entry much later (when she's much less concerned about what's going to happen to the guy) and one final entry dealing with her moving to a new town and having a hard time making friends. The story for this one bleeds into both of the other stories, and they involve a set of wildly offensive lyrics and one garbled note about watching a wallet and "borrowing" some coke. All of these elements end up jumbled together and we get a story about a new relationship, running into an ex on the street, an open mic night involving those lyrics, and the potential meaning behind that last note. It's a combination of stories that could have fallen apart pretty easily, but J.T. makes good use of the material and crafts and pretty compelling piece about it all. There's at least one more issue in this series, and I'm very interested to see if he can pull this off twice, but this issue was solid. Entertaining, darkly funny at times, and yeah, a little tragic.