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Lust For Life #3
posted June 12, 2006
Slave Labor, $2.95
I've liked chunks of LeVine's past efforts, but Lust For Life
#3 is dangerously close to self-parody. The latest issue of LeVine's autobio/straight fiction comic focusing on matters familiar to those between 22 and 35 years of age features four stories: "Lust For Life," several images drawn to words by Billy Strayhorn; the fictional "One," its sequel "Two," and the not-really-comix illustrated diary "The Final Days of Luxury."
The diary is probably the clearest homage to the 'zine-inspired ethic LeVine aspires to: wry commentary on daily goings-on, a constant inventory on the "things that matter" mixed with instant and not-so-instant nostalgia. For those who enjoy getting a sense of someone else's life, this is for you. I found it a chore, and I suspect that it's written in such a manner that you won't get much more than just
a sense of that life.
"One" and "Two" are the stories I found alarming, though. In those stories we get video games, a sandwich being made, a discussion of other people's relationships, an odd story from one of the character's lives, and not much else. The talk is banal, and the staging is odd: in "Two" the characters stand directly in front of one another, a way to have a conversation I haven't experienced since fraternity pledge lineup. LeVine does a nice job of varying his approach to the scene so that the story maintains some visual interest, but it doesn't save it.
Other people's lives are interesting only when they're interesting.
This review was written in the late 1990s as part of a then-ongoing freelance gig; I apologize if it reads oddly or seems incomplete.