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Cry Yourself To Sleep
posted December 27, 2006


Creator: Jeremy Tinder
Publishing Information: Top Shelf, softcover trade, 88 pages, April 2006, $7
Ordering Numbers: 1891830813 (ISBN)

The author's bio at the back of Cry Yourself to Sleep identifies cartoonist Jeremy Tinder as a student at the Art Institute in Chicago. That make me happy, because there's greater hope for a young cartoonist to change and grow into his talent. And there's talent on display here. Cry Yourself to Sleep is one of Top Shelf's new lines of emotions-on-the-sleeve reality-grounded stories, stories that are presented in fantasy terms (in this case, anthropomorphized animals and robots) with some fanciful moments as well. Tinder is less of a cry on the sleeve type than a nasty smartass, along the lines of Pete Sickman-Garner. His characters lack self-awareness and plod along anyway, virtuous only in that most people around them seem doubly hateful.

What Tinder needs to develop is a sense of pacing and narrative that matches the quirkiness of his set-up. Very few scenes here fail to unfold in exactly the way one would expect, with the potential exception of a character relating a story about his mother's menopause that comes out of left field and is all the better for it. But I like the character design, I like the page design, and I enjoyed some of the detail work. At $7 for 90 pages it's hard to say Top Shelf could ever be wrong in backing a young talent; I hope he continues to develop.