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Knickerbocker Monthly #2
posted September 13, 2016

imageCreator: Sean Knickerbocker
Publishing Information: Self-Published, Mini-Comic, eight pages, free.
Ordering: As far as I know, this is not something for order.

I'm enamored of the few things in comics I run across that ape commercial forms but aren't for sale. There are a lot of Christmas cards of various elaborate presentation styles that qualify in this camp, as well as the occasional business-card comic or those few webcomics that seem entirely untethered from a branding or promotional element. Sean Knickerbocker says he's putting out issues of Knickerbocker Monthly, of which the one I just read was a second series issue, to a few friends in order to get the creative juices flowing and perhaps encourage others to follow his lead.

The issue's story is a repeat from an issue of Irene, which means the compulsion to get work out there and seen is as much at work here as any compunction to create more comics. It's not something talk about as much as we did in the 1990s, at the apex of photocopy culture and before on-line publishing options discombobulated the processing of this impulse. The comic itself is fine. Like many younger cartoonists still developing their talent Knickerbocker provides a streamlined picture of a world that's most interesting with every detail exposed, and the narrative itself is no great shakes: there is nothing in the observation of the reality being depicted that distinguishes this work. I liked reading it for free, though. I liked holding it in my hands as I did so. Would that we lived in a world when extra comics like this one could serve as grace notes in and around our direct consumption: cultural marginalia.