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I Keee You!!: A Collection of Overheards
posted March 7, 2007
Benn Ray, various
Atomic Book Company, softcover, 110 pages, October 2006, $7.95
This little volume from the Baltimore-area retailer's still-new book line says a lot of nice things about that company's ability to put together a fine looking
project. The cover by Brian Ralph is fun. The art direction by Scott Sugiuchi flatters the work. An editorial by Benn Ray puts everything in perspective and introduces the concept: overheard snippets of conversation that may or may not make sense, either as overheard or just in general. Unfortunately, the cartoon adaptations of these real-world moments vary greatly in terms of quality and appeal. The ones you expect to be good are good -- Jeffrey Brown, Carrie McNinch, Josh Cotter -- while none of the people with whom I'm projecting most comics fans may be unfamiliar really knocks my socks off. More than individual distinctions of quality, the anthology nature of the book thwarts the natural rhythm one expects of gag strip collections. It's sort of the difference between hearing a comedian perform a series of jokes and a group of comedians telling one joke after another through the same microphone; you lose build, escalation and the interactivity between individual moments. This puts a lot of pressure on the individual gags, and once you grasp what's going on, your interest in individual permutations may slip downwards.