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posted June 15, 2005
Self-Published (Xeric), 56 pages, $7.95
The best thing about this Xeric Award-winning effort from Robert Sato is how unhurriedly Sato develops his central premise. A story about a girl with a completely antagonistic relationship to eating, Burying Sandwiches
provides its readers a much more effective through-line than usually comes from fairy tale-type work; one never feels an impatience with the story. This back and forth -- binge and purge? -- provides Sato several spaces where readers can fill in the blanks with what it all means rather than leaving one element under the light of examination for too long a time. It's assured work in that way.
Some readers will be attracted to the art primarily, which if you squint a bit may remind one of B. Kliban or a similar traveler in grotesques were he a child raised by Jhonen Vasquez. For my own taste there wasn't enough variation in line, and maybe too much in the way figures were drawn -- sometimes all angles, sometimes with one body part bigger than the others for effect, at times thwarting movement and at other times encouraging the eye to the next panel. If you can get away from the jarring experience that sometimes results from the reading of the comics, the illustration can be quite pleasing and worth lingering over, particularly the detail work.
This is one of the better Xeric experiences I've enjoyed the last few years, and I don't mean that to damn the book with faint praise. There's something there. One senses that Sato's path as an artist at this point will include refinement rather than turning around at dead ends and heading towards the last crossroads. I would enjoy seeing more.