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Borb #1
posted July 26, 2013
 

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Creator: Jason Little
Publishing Information: Mini-Comic, self-published, 18 pages, no price, 2013.
Ordering Numbers:

This is a mini-comic giveaway -- I think it's a giveaway -- featuring two cycles of Jason Little's on-line foray into the daily strip format, BORB. (I couldn't find the cover, nor scan the one I have; that's the initial strip above.) BORB #1 reprints the "Teeth" and "Fracture" micro-stories. Like most of Little's comics it is visually compelling and strong conceptually. Little seems to be using the daily strip's tendency to show single instances and to feature compulsive behavior to show a character that declines only to find a new level and then declines again. BORB also recalls the newspaper strip's hallowed tradition of "down and out" characters, only this time there's very little that's charming about the lead except the purity of his motivations.

I think the work has become much more interesting the further it's developed on-line as opposed to the stories we get here. Part of that is that the repetitive nature of the lead's self-sabotage is part of the story -- seeing the protagonist do more damage to himself isn't just reinforcing the main point, in many ways it is the main point. My impression of this giveaway, though, is how pleasurable it is to see Little work this confidently and strongly in terms of comics pacing, these very solid progressions from moment to moment that aren't afraid to either creep or leap forward in time depending on the story being conveyed. I don't know that in this mini-comic we get past the arch, more off-putting qualities of Little's work, that everything gets reduced to cold, formal exercise; then again, I'm not sure it all the way matter with a project like this one.