Creator: Corinne Mucha Publishing Information:maidenhouseflycomics, mini-comic, 28 pages, 2007, no price given Ordering Numbers:
Shithole is the story of the apartment shared by author Corinne Mocha (or her fictional stand-in) and six roommates her sophomore year in college. Both its charms and its limitation are fairly self-evident. Mucha has a fun figure drawing style that recalls the abstractions of Mark Beyer or perhaps Debbie Drechsler more than it does the rigid simplicity common to most comics of this type. She also displays a natural voice for comics essay writing of the autobiographical variety, moving easily between self-mocking and earnestness with an endearing grace. The stories are specific enough they hold the reader's interest but also speak to universal truths about having roommates as a young adult, the ultimate step in a long journey begun as pre-teens where we build self-worth through the eyes of peers rather than family members. All of this speaks well to future projects. This one overall proves fairly forgettable and it's infused with a not-insignificant amount of preciousness in its presentation that readers may find cloying rather than another reason to pay attention to the details of Mucha's story. Still, I'd watch this one. It's not easy to find a voice like she has, both in terms of visuals alone and the way she presents her stories on the page.