The next volume of Gabrielle Bell’s Lucky series starts off with an interesting comic package. Most of the issue details Bell traveling with a power point presentation of a surreal comic book adventure called “My Affliction,” while the rest of the comic is “My Affliction” itself, giving the comic a wonderful mix between auto-biographical comics and a fantasy tale. Both halves of the book are quite good, making for a very nice comic book.
Bell’s depiction of her travails over first putting together her presentation on the computer, practicing her performance, and then actually going on the road and GIVING the performances is quite endearing, while also at the same time, it is illuminating into the inner workings of a independent comic book creator.
One of the most interesting scenes in the comic shows Bell “stealing copies” of her mini-comic at a print shop. She handles the manic nervousness beautifully.
Heck, manic nervousness describes much of the comic, and it is depicted quite well, from Bell worrying about missing her Chinatown bus to a show or her dwelling upon whether she is being too assertive (or rather, even making any sense) at a panel discussion.
Her artwork has a nice style to it, it is extremely detailed, while still maintaining a cartoony feel. It is actually pretty darn impressive, now that I think about it, as she manages to include all the little nice touches to scenes, like showing bottles accumulate on tables as time goes by during a performance. Such attention to detail is impressive.
The star of the comic to me, though, is most likely the comic that Bell was touring with, “My Affliction,” which is a bizarre tale of primarily a giant who captures Bell and puts her in a cage, but the whole thing is basically a metaphor for poor decisions she has made in her lovelife with choosing men who are bad for her (my favorite bit is where she falls for a man because she owned his mynah bird for a time, so she was used to the man’s expressions via the mynah bird). It’s really a quite impressive look into Bell’s pysche, while at the same time, it still tells a cohesive adventure story – an extremely surreal one – but a cohesive one, nonetheless.
And you have to be impressed by a story that can actual draw pathos out of a rottweiler possibly being crushed by a rat trap.