Sunday, August 26, 2007

When a day filled with shameful consumerism becomes night, what else is there to do but buy comics?

At Forbidden Planet I perused the single-issue racks for something new and saw the cover for Tear-Stained Makeup #6. I liked way the cover girl’s life was in her room and obviously not going so well. I flipped through and liked what I saw and being the narrative completist that I am I was pleased to find that all the back issues were available.

TSM is a story of a band, a librarian, a possibly evil plot and lots of broken hearts. The art is noticeably, wonderfully handmade. You can feel the hours artist Marcos Perez put into each issue. In issue six, he gives us a page-by-page breakdown of what each section took, in both an artistic and emotional way. I love each of the covers; numbers 2, 5 and 6 are the ones who get left more in the will.

The one stumbling block to my total enjoyment of the series is the writing. On the whole it is the better side of serviceable, but Perez stumbles here and there with dialogue and weird, encyclopedic sound bites that float from the characters’ mouths like doo doo-filled balloons. Tildy, the librarian, has an awkward exchange with her former roommate in #4 about the Lower East Side’s history: “That’s what I love about New York. No matter how much is changes, coffee shops, boutiques, condos, it can’t lose what came before. All the hopes, dreams, blood… and semen are still there!” Whoa. We learn in this issue that Tildy has a science journal worthy memory, so that’s her excuse I guess, but in issue 6, another character has an ill considered rap session in a music store about the history of the electric guitar. Just get back to the story Marcos! Us smartypants can do our own research.

Even so, TSM is a fun read and I can’t wait to see what happens next. TSM has certainly convinced me that I need to check out the rest of Cliff Face Comics stuff.

I also got a blue and maroon inky issue of Paping that I can't wait to tear into.

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