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One Step After Another
posted March 29, 2005

imageCreators: Fermin Solis
Publishing Info: AdHouse Books, $5, 40 pages
Ordering Numbers:

In his introduction to Fermin Solis' comics short story One Step After Another, Andi Watson invokes the Second Law of Thermodynamics in describing the lead's difficulties in finding balance between personal freedom and stability. Olga's struggle between autonomy and security becomes heightened or slightly deplorable when you discover the character's pregnancy. Solis certainly doesn't make Olga's choice an easy one, particularly when a middle road represented by an employed young man who lets her steal food turns out to be a total creep, directly exploitive in a way that her sweatshop job only approximated to a much lesser degree.

The art is reasonably attractive, although because it was jarring from a design standpoint I wish the English translation were hand-lettered, even if the story wasn't as it originally appeared. Still, there's not much here -- Solis' art isn't expressive or dynamic enough to hit emotional high points with power or to effectively evoke a real-world cycle of job references and limited charity in a way that holds interest. In some ways, the book mirrors the very modest virtues of its narrator, and I can't help but think this will drift into the marketplace without much effect just as Olga stumbles through the urban landscape that is her world.