recently, i read DAYBREAK and OPTIC NERVE #12 and enjoyed both. DAYBREAK can be seen as a spot on allegory about today. you know, people out of work and the world-wide economy just getting worse, not better as the economists having been predicting. it’s not implausible that the scenario in DAYBREAK might actually happen. (just substitute zombies for homeless people out of work with no place to belong, simply trying to survive!) DAYBREAK’s ending is sad, but brian ralph does a great job to soothe the reader’s sadness with the awesome book design. especially the engraved, raised parts of the outside covers, which give the reader a beautiful tactile clutch.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ART FORM KNOWN AS HORTISCULPTURE is a well-written and drawn story by adrian tomine. adrian shows a warm side, not revealed in his previous stories in OPTIC NERVE. he achieves this through his characterizations and his looser illustration (reminds me of frank king). a lot of us can relate to the main character since many of us have taken up a passionate interest and tried to share our love of it with others. but for the most part, our love was never reciprocated by our intended audience since having similar taste is not universal.
i also like the redo of AMBER SWEET with further development of the character. i didn’t think KRAMERS ERGOT 7 worked as something one could read due to it’s cumbersome weight and size. so, i’m glad to see AMBER SWEET as a pamphlet story, which turned out better than it’s first version. and finally, the two-page strip at the end of the issue is charming and topped off the whole issue with a nice touch. adrian does a nice caricture of himself through the writing and illustration. i like the direction his new work has taken (SCENES FROM AN IMPENDING MARRIAGE was when i first took notice of this direction), which shows a lot of heart and not as dour and heavy as SHORT COMINGS. photo by chris anthony diaz & graham willcox