Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

Home > CR Reviews

Moxie, My Sweet
posted April 25, 2007


Creators: Mark Campos, David Lasky, Stefan Gruber, Tatiana Gill, Dalton Webb, Elijah Brubaker, Scott Faulkner, Kaz Strzepek, Sarah Galvin
Publishing Information: FineComix, softcover, 80 pages, 2005, $6.95
Ordering Numbers: 0976741407 (ISBN)

This is a strange little literary magazine-sized anthology that came out in I believe 2005, but has only just now worked its way to the top of my review pile. If I understand the exercise correctly, the book involves stories or parts of stories from Mark Campos that are then taken and turned into full-blown comics shorts by a group of local Seattle cartoonists friendly with Campos, and, no doubt, familiar to one another. The end result is a real mixed bag of work: Campos' stories -- a stoner's extended fantasy, a longer musician's folk tale, a one-scene piece with a creature making doppelgangers out of pieces of trash -- are fanciful and light, and they vary wildly in an appealing way, but half of them are barely there and the more developed ones creak with a kind of whimsical cliche. None of the artists transcends the material with which they work in astonishing, stand up and notice fashion. A few distinguish themselves, particularly David Lasky and Kazimir Strzepek, and all of them display a quality that could be the basis of a long career. I guess there's an argument to be made that this kind of book serves as a snapshot of a time and a place, but in Moxie, My Sweet the resulting photos feel vastly underexposed. At best one can imagine future fans of an artist or two someday tracking this down as a rarity, a sample of an earlier stage in their favorite's development.