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posted November 13, 2006
Slave Labor Group, 28 pages, October 2006, $2.95
Pretty much anything I have to say of interest about Dork!
#11, the all-gag issue, came out in my recent interview with creator Evan Dorkin
here at CR
, including the physical task elements of putting together such a dense issue, the gag-panel cartoonists he admires, and how he feels about doing one of his all-too-rare solo title issues in this manner. What's left is whether or not I think it's funny. I think it's funny. There are a few admirable jokes on every page. Moreover, the effect per page is a positive one -- none of the humor is cringeworthy in a way that shakes you out of the reading experience. Also there's a confessional subtext that you can use to pass the time.
This is primarily seen through a cartoonist character that looks sort of like Dorkin, and frequently acts as if he's a cartoonist compiling a comic book of jokes like this one. There are also domestic jokes that use rough versions of these characters and some anxiety-driven joke sequences natural for a father of a young child, such as the Bad Dad page. The overall effect is of performance, the creative act shines through more than the creation. Even if you end up not liking as many jokes as I did, it's hard to hate someone trying this hard, drawing so furiously, riffing in a variety of ways. Let's hope there's not another several-year wait between issues.