- Posted by Johanna on December 18, 2005 at 7:46 pm
- Category: Graphic Novel Reviews
- CREDITS: by Liz Prince
- PUBLISHER: Top Shelf Productions; $7 US
This charming little minicomic has 72 pages and a spine. That gives it the feel of a pocket book, and I wound up carrying it around for several days, dipping into the cartoons it contains randomly for small pick-me-ups.
Prince captures a variety of couple moments between herself and her boyfriend in simple, usually four-panel, strips. Her figures are one step up from stick, with round heads that still exhibit construction lines. It’s pretty much the opposite of what I usually champion, but I fell in love with it while browsing. I randomly opened the book and read the following exchange:
“Do you hate me?” “Nuh-uh.”
“Do you still love me?” “Uh-huh.”
“Is something wrong?” “Nuh-uh.”
“Are you ok?” “UH-HUH”, with almost-icicles deforming the bottom of that word balloon.
It was such a perfect capture of a moment my husband and I have lived through, of a couple getting on each other’s nerves and knowing it, but still reassuring each other. The book is full of moments I know so well, interspersed with experiences I’ll never have. It’s a catalogue of all the many ways a couple interacts with each other, with an emphasis on togetherness and sex.
While talking this up to someone at SPX after it had just won the Ignatz for Outstanding Debut, they dismissed it as a Jeffrey Brown rip-off. I suspect they hadn’t read his introduction, a four-panel strip he drew.
“Ha ha! These comics are great! It’s kind of what I try to do…”
“Except cuter, and funnier, and without all the wallowing in self pity, and…”
The third panel is silent, with the fourth showing him just staring into space.
That sums up why I like it. I doubt I’ll ever read Brown’s work for those reasons, but this is sunny and happy and funny and sappy and silly. I keep reading it in different ways, rereading pages for cute bits of coupleness, frozen on paper.