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Meow Baby
posted December 31, 2003

Creator: Jason
Publishing Info: Self-Published Mini-Comics, 2003
Ordering Numbers: None

Jason's 2003 convention mini contains a selection of very short, very funny comics. Put into the service of humor, the cartoonist's distinct art style becomes less about a consistent milieu and more about awkward figures pressed into sketch comedy, like a talented cast of a TV variety show with a hyperactive costuming department. The comic may remind the reader of vaudeville -- blank backdrops and quick blackouts, and world that's willing to bend itself for the joke -- or some of the early comic strips which drew on that same sense of humor. You have to be a really solid cartoonist to make this kind of material work, if only because there is nothing in which to become immersed besides the joke. Every gag but one unfolds beautifully. Jason finds humor in presenting an amusing situation and then revealing a small detail that thrusts the reader into an acerbic punchline. In one short, two monsters exchange cordial pleasantries and then break it off suddenly and subtly to begin running. Jason then shows the two angry mobs -- one with torches, one with stakes -- continue pursuit past one another in Keystone Cops fashion. There will one day soon, no doubt, be a whole a book of these strips and others like them, but the mini-comic is worth picking up in the meantime for the smiles it brings.

Originally published as part of the "Minimalism" column in The Comics Journal