Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sounds of Your Name by Nate Powell

Oh boy, the first book of 2008. I picked this up at Half Price books in Monroeville, PA after Christmas because it was published by Microcosm and I like the cover and the art as I flipped through. Despite my copy being one of the misprints (which I found out later), the words were still legible. The art was really dynamic, if a little gray, even in the couple of stories effected by bad scanning.

Nate Powell was a 90s zine-y guy which may be why his name sounded familiar. SYN is a collection of his self-published work. The stories are mostly about dissatisfied folks, boys, girls and men, who make bad decisions and drive around. There is a lot of love that can’t be had, or was lost, by young adults in sweatshirts. To put it mildly, these are not my favorite storylines. “Wah, wah, wah,” I think. Maybe I’m too old for these.

My favorite story in the collection was “Frankenbones.” It was written by Emil Heiple, and perhaps that’s why I liked it the most. Two cats roam about and protect the bespectacled gal that has taken them in. I loved the humor and the pacing of the story and the cat with an eye patch.

I love Powell’s figures and movement. They way he incorporates the environments of the characters’ into the panels is superb as well (a wind gust, trash, cold). Still, even in comics, I need some kind of compelling narrative to pull me through and SYN just didn’t do it for me.

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