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12 Postcards By Tom Gauld
posted December 2, 2010
Self-Published, set of postcards, 2010
Ordering Numbers: Available Here
So unless someone finds a model that works and develops it to the point that it makes sense and gains purchase with a generation of cartoonists used to working elsewhere, the alt-comic pamphlet is about as dead as anything gets in the admittedly backwards-looking, slow-to-change world of funnybook production. A books of postcards makes as much sense as a substitute for such a publication as anything else out there, and there are times when poring over Tom Gauld's 12 Postcards
that one feels like they could be reading a small-than-usual comic book with severe spine cohesion problems. It's a short burst of material, enough to introduce or remind as to what Gauld does and allow you the fleeing pleasure of being bathed in his particular artistic voice. Plus you can send people notes with them.
Gauld's cartooning continues to mine the gentler side of smart, conceptual parody. He frames almost everything at a distance that fails to afford him much in the way of evocation through figures as they are visualized in the panels. Gauld favors a sense of faux-authority over the more common brand of hyperactive, self-regarding glee that many cartoon satirist employ. Gauld's one-pagers are like the posters that might hang behind the desk of a demented science teacher that managed to hide this fact from her students save for the one in the front row who's a bit too intimidated to double-check with he teacher to make 100 percent certain. They whisper and suggest more than trumpet; you have to bring yourself to them a bit in order to fully get where they're going. The best one-pagers in this set favor oblique strategies over the explication of a certain kind of high-concept. None of them hit as hard as the best of Gauld's classic work, but fans should walk away pleased and non-fans could be made into new ones.