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Fine Tooth Comics
posted April 14, 2009


Creators: John Hankiewicz, Jeremy Onsmith
Publishing Information: Self-Published, mini-comic, 44 pages, $5
Ordering Numbers: You should be able to buy one at Global Hobo

One of the great things for long-time fans of John Hankiewicz is that by having one of his comics appear in concert with Jeremy Onsmith's work, which is more straight-forward, you sort of know what Hankiewicz' comic is about. That may be the first time for some folks, even those that are big fans of his unique and frequently surreal approach to narrative. In both of this flip comic's stories, the author stand-ins face what they convince themselves is necessary dental work right before their life circumstances change.

In Onsmith's crisply-drawn contribution, "Crowning The Unemployed," the slighly humiliating experience of getting dental work done both underlines the euphoria of leaving a mostly discouraging place of employment but also stands as a reminder that he'll be working with even less of a life safety net if he goes back to school and sets out on his own. It's a smart comic full of familiar sensations, such as the way free-floating anxiety inherent to a specific workplace becomes more focused as you push it away. You don't get to see Hankiewicz have his teeth worked on in "Mulberry Season," except in the oddest, most obtuse way possible -- no surprise there -- but there's also something universal about his narrator's desire to nail down a career-boosting thing even as he seems to have just dumped that career. I like this book, and it's one you might keep an eye out for at a convention. Fine Tooth Comics reminded me of all the jobs that gave me a lousy last day of work and all the jobs where it was lousy that I didn't seem to have any bad days after I made the decision to leave.