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Cryptic Wit #2
posted June 26, 2008


Creator: Gerald Jablonski
Publishing Information: Self-Published, comic book, 32 pages, 2008, $5
Ordering Numbers: PO Box 385 North Greece NY 14515

This is the most out there, best comic book I've read so far this year. Gerald Jablonski provides what increasingly seems to be endless variations on three set-ups: a father-son trip to a school and discussion of same, a barnyard fable, and a silent confrontation between two boys. Where this new issue seems to differ from the last is that it's in full-color on slick paper (!) and he's start to make the tail ends of the word balloons wrap around the panels and each other like something my brothers and I used to fight over to use in our chocolate milk. The comics themselves are quite funny, the trip and fable set-ups stuffed with amusing verbal play and oddball jokes to the point of crushing the evocative artwork. It's a comic book version of that scene right before the scene in Crumb that made you feel bad for expressing admiration for Charles Crumb's cartoons, when the older Crumb brother's energy and devotion to making marks and words on the page made you crack a smile that five seconds later dashed. I don't Cryptic Wit #2 indicates anything close to a similarly tragic outcome, and the comics themselves feel like they may never end at all. I hope these come out once every few years for the rest of my life. If not, I'll always treasure the few I have. Not only is there nothing in comics quite like it, nothing in comics comes close. In a day when a comic seems refreshing because it doesn't pop fully formed from the womb with "please make a movie from me" stamped on its forehead, it's awesome to read someone following their muse to the point of near-incomprehensibility to the average reader. Poopy boom boom still makes me go tra-la.