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Astrophysics: Big Questions Volume One, Number Three
posted April 3, 2003

Creators: Abel Brekhus
Publishing Information: The Nut Street Union
Ordering Numbers:

In Hollywood speak, Astrophysics: Big Questions reads like a cross over between True Swamp and All the Wrong Places written and drawn by Warren Craghead. Of course, marketing-driven language is used with the hope of generating a large crowd of buyers, and the shared audience of the above might fill a Pizza Hut. And it's not like the comic in question is mess of influences; the fact it reminds of some of the more interesting small-press work of recent years is intended as a compliment.

Certainly Brekhus' works has its own unique charm. This issue features several interrelated vignettes. Most feature a groups of birds, who display varying levels of dissatisfaction, philosophical proclivity, lovesickness and stupidity. Interspersed with the birds is a sparely draw portrait of poverty and helplessness featuring an old woman and a feeble-minded male, perhaps her son. The artwork is spare, but decorative; all of the stories are well-paced and Brekhus uses the page effectively.

Some comics artists appear on the scene fully-formed and ready to impress. Brekhus seems to be a good example of another kind: the cartoonist who displays an inherent grasp of several key elements of the whom, and for whom any weaknesses are in those areas where time and dedication almost always leads to improvement. Improvement is key, but this is a very readable, interesting comics as is. It's even nicely packaged. Astrophysics: Big Question is my surprise of the year-to-date, and a good example of why "Hit List" was started.

(The cover cost is $2.50, and the address inside is 2867 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60618. So if you were to send $3.50, you might stand a good chance of getting one of these. Or try the Quimby's/Chicago Comics; they might have them, too.)