Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Delayed Replays

Delayed Replays
by Liz Prince
Top Shelf 2008

Hillary Brown: What can you even say about a book that is so tiny and simple? It's a collection of mostly three-panel strips with fart jokes and lots of snuggling and general behaving like a dork. To some people, that's a huge turn-off--tantamount to saying "it's a complete waste of time because, after all, I already live in reality, which has farting and snuggling and dorkiness, and so why do I need it even to be shaped or selected or drawn?"--but, um, not to me. I like short comic strips with jokes. And I don't mind being reminded of reality. I'm pretty okay with it. Yes, you could say this is easy to do, but I think it takes a good eye and ear to pick out something that'll fill three panels nicely, and, while I read the whole thing on the brief bus trip from downtown to my office, brevity is a virtue. It's not very different from her first collection, Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed, but it is a little less cute, so if you hate people in relationships or fuzzy kitties, you might like it a tad better.

Other notes: I am a fan of the way she doesn't erase the sketch marks in a lot of places. Have you read The Fart Party? These ladies have a lot of similar interests. I'm sure they know this. Julia Wertz has a bit more aggression to work out though. And, finally, does she break up with her boyfriend mid-book? And is it weird and invasive for me even to be thinking about that and being a little bit sad about it?

Garrett Martin: The beats of a successful humor strip are hard to hit, it's true, but Prince nails 'em more often than not. I like her art and its sketchy cuteness, but Delayed Replays floats solely on its humor, which is about the most subjective thing ever. Shit, this is probably the most subjective book we've ever discussed, I think. If you don't share Prince's sense of humor, or find her observations funny, then there's probably not enough to the art to grab your interest. Fortunately I thought it was really damn funny pretty damn often, and greatly enjoyed the twenty or so minutes it took to read the whole book.

Yeah, I was wondering about the disappearance of Kevin, the boyfriend guy, about halfway through the book. Turns out I was introduced to that guy Kevin at Still Flyin's show in Boston last fall. I didn't even know Prince lived in Somerville when you first recommended her. It's weird to be reading a comic and realize one of the characters is a friend you're in a band with.

Also, I've never read Julia Wertz before; I might have to track her stuff down. I'm still new to these autobiographical mini-comic things.

HB: You have a meeellion to read, then. There are tons of them. And some of them are good and others are less good. I think Prince's are good because she doesn't try to do too much. It's just like the way I enjoy Jeffrey Brown's strips more when they're a page long. And have lower standards for 22-minute sitcoms than for hour-long dramas with no commercials.

So does that mean Kevin's still around? He seems to be. I guess you really shouldn't be speculating on it too much, considering the possibility that you'll be running into her. She's nice, by the way.

Also, now I want fudgsicles.

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