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posted July 5, 2007


Creators: Mark Burrier
Publishing Information: Self-Published, mini-comic, 32 pages, $4
Ordering Numbers:

Mark Burrier is one of the more consistent mini-comics artists working. His latest, Noose, provides a reasonably effective showcase limited by the modest aims of the book. A noose stands over a hole. A procession of individuals interact with that noose or hole (I guess they could be different, similar ones), to wildly different results. My favorite is "Birds," which despite the obvious references to the film in the title and within the story's narrative is nicely staged via Burrier's uniform six-panel page. In contrast to the other stories, "Birds" seems the most oblique and weird, with none of the literary short story earnestness that drives some of the other tales. The most impressive element to be found within the comic may be the staging in "The Break-Up." Burrier maintains visual interest through a series of perspective changes that manage to avoid boring us to death without calling attention to a moving "camera."

Burrier's art has become sharp enough that reading his stories here and the way they vacillate between short-story twists and single, considered effects makes one wish for a bit more, or at the very least may remind of watching an accomplished singing artist open their latest set with a standard perfectly suited for their vocal range. The book is also handsomely mounted, with an attractively colored cover on a stock (French cordtone paper, Burrier's site says) pleasing to the fingers. Noose a fair introduction to Mark Burrier's creative voice, as it were, a style and approach as effective as its ever been. I just can't see this being the comic that sets someone who reads it scurrying to find everything Burrier's ever done.