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posted May 12, 2005
Latchkey Comics (firstname.lastname@example.org), 68 pages, $2.
The first of what looks to be a three segments of story about a small boy's adventures on a crowded summer holiday, Jared Katz's Labor Day
suffers from young-cartoonist difficulties (at least I'll assume he's young). The pacing of the story isn't quite sharp enough for the effects I think Katz intends. There are moments when the length of a scene seems to want to emphasize long stretches of inaction or downtime, but since the whole book moves with that same, basic pace this feeling is never really communicated. In addition, as an artist Katz seems to have a fair grasp of design but as yet lacks the chops to create a compelling sea of faces. The best parts of the story arise out of moments when Katz has the patience to let the accumulation of details bring across his point. A scene where the protagonist drags his incredibly large surfboard around causing havoc is funny in and of itself but also amusing because the incident is arbitrary and absurd. I'll be interested to see the rest of the book, and any future projects.
My copy came with a cute micro-mini about a guy discovering joy on a skateboard and the events that cause him to give it up. The art is even further stripped down here, and the story paced even more laconically, sometimes to its detriment. It's a nice little throw-in, though, if that's how Katz is selling them.