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Ghoulash 2
posted April 22, 2010


Creator: Sam Hiti
Publishing Information: La Luz Comics, softcover, 112 Pages, July 2009, $15
Ordering Numbers: available here

imageI had originally planned on reviewing one of two newer alt-comics works, but as I sat down to sorting out my final choice between them the chops-heavy dose of R. Crumb, Jim Blanchard and Diane Noomin served up by Mineshaft #25 earlier this week gripped the comics-reading part of soul and sent me casting about for something stronger visually. I settled on 2009's Ghoulash 2, by Sam Hiti, a book that went so unnoticed I honestly could not find mention of it on the Internet outside of Hiti's own web site. The first issue was describe in an odd, scattered interview at PW as a place for Hiti to put sketches, drawing and short stories that didn't necessary suggest stand-alone publication.

This newer book certainly reflects that idea ably, and as a result earns its place in 2009's pantheon of comics for which it's up to the reader to find the unifying thread, narrative or otherwise. That sounds daunting, but it's actually fun, triply so in that it's not required. You can just sit back and enjoy the drawing. Hiti's stand-alone riffs on everything from Charles Addams to Frida Kahlo to Toshio Mifune to panoramic westerns are fun in and of themselves. Between longer sequences like the amusing "Phenoms" or a well-traveled Coke ad suggest an artist ripping through piles of paper at a time, attempting to see things by drawing them, asking if you maybe see the same things he does as well. I don't have any idea why no one saw this work. Most of what Hiti does is on-line, and at this point I'm not even convinced that's the best place. It makes me miss a low-level entry point on paper through which the artist could be experienced multiple times until people start to pick up on his unique contributions over his influences. Until we get something like that again, a book like this will have to do. It's very, very pretty.