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posted January 7, 2009

imageCreators: Don Freeman
Publishing Information: D&Q, hardcover, 96 pages, 2008, $19.95
Ordering Numbers: 9781897299586 (ISBN13)

The pedigree on this book is fascinating to the point that the work itself fails to match it. This is essentially a self-published lithograph comic novella by artist Don Freeman from 1955, a short urban fable about a man who splits into two people to follow both halves of his personality during the day. Upon returning home, Floyd W. Skitzafroid confronts the problems created by this arrangement and comes to a sweet solution. Freeman's picture-making proves to be a lot of fun: it's a complete and recognizable world, and the "acting" of the cartoon figures seems open and generous and funny without slipping into preciousness. The background material by Dave Kiersh about Freeman's identity less as a man divided than one without an artist "country" carries the bulk of one's reading time -- Freeman's cartoon story is not only simple but it's very quickly told and if you're one of those people that counts pages or seconds on the clock you're going to be disappointed. I liked it without loving it, and am more pleased than that to hear about another work in the not-exactly-comics, yes-exactly-comics tradition from half a century ago.