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Destined for Dizziness!
posted November 5, 2004

(representative art not from book reviewed)

Creator: Souther Salazar
Publishing Info: Self-Published Mini-Comic (1.5 x 1), No Price Given, 16 pages, 2004
Ordering Numbers: None

The artist and cartoonist Souther Salazar possesses fragile gifts that are seemingly so ideally suited for high-end children books you wonder if he'll ever have that opportunity. His drawing is routinely lovely, and his figures exude an elegance that support movement and still poses with equal charm. Salazar has not yet developed into as talented a writer, but the text he's utilized to date favors simple rhymes and direct, emotional communication of a kind that has yet to tax those abilities. Best of all, the artist grasps genuine poetic truths: he retains the child's sense of wonder at things not understood, contorted realities processed through approximations, a world of routine, arbitrariness and occasional frustration interpreted as play. He is the best mini-comics talent to emerge since Kevin Huizenga, and one of the five best since the mid 1990s heyday of Tom Hart and John Porcellino.

Destined for Dizziness brings a tiny bit of child-like landscape to life in service of a few oblique statements. It lacks the journal-making quality of Salazar's best mini-comics, the sense of an artist at play, and does not offer up any of the artist's sublime deadpan humor. But the combination of declarative language and inky little fingers suggests a William Steig-like bustling grace just waiting to come out. This snack-sized comic suffers a bit for being more of a suggestion of meals to come, but Salazar is a special artist whose work should be engaged at every opportunity, even the minor ones.

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