LOCAL

This is a group workblog for the Oni Comics series LOCAL.

"Perfect three-minute single. You're going to want this one. Trust me." - Warren Ellis
"Some of the sharpest slices of life the medium has ever seen. Highly recommended." - Brian K. Vaughan
"a rare and enviable thing... painfully easy to enjoy."- Gail Simone
"the coolest short film never shown on the IFC or Sundance Channel." - Sequential Tart
"best of 2005" - The Daily Oklahoman

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Jog

I find myself anticipating Jog's comments every month: (scroll a bit for Local)


"It seems that every new release in this series is determined to play around with a different approach to presentation - we had the repeating imagination structure of #1 and the long silent stretches of #2, and now we have a drifting mass of events floating from one member of a recently-disbanded musical quartet to the next, as all of them attempt to engage with a post-band life...

Involuntary narration is provided by the band’s singer/guitarist, who spends way too much of his day talking on the phone with a music journalist, who largely seems intent on relating everything going on now to the band’s past. Why did you leave Virginia? How was your sound changed? What do you think of your fans’ reactions? Writer Brian Wood quite nicely handles the tenor of the interview, the journalist adopting an apologetic stance for tough questions, gently flattering the subject to get him back on track (“Happy birthday.”) - I’ve listened to the recordings of interviews like this. The singer/guitarist thus represents the inescapable presence of what’s gone on before, (literally) stuck dealing with his and his bandmates’ own past accomplishments.

Elsewhere (as the narration continues), we have the group’s bassist/vocalist, who’s attempting to restart a relationship that got shunted aside for the sake of her art. We have the drummer, who’s dealing with the economic side of things, hawking off his old works at inflated prices... And we have the (non-singing) guitarist, who’s playing a solo set at a small club. All the while, the conversational narration continues, sometimes complimenting what we see, and sometimes contrasting with it. It’s ultimately clear that the realities of the breakup situation and the ephemeral qualities of recognition are so great, that the only truly lasting pleasure comes from the act of creation itself, and only one band member is ultimately glimpsed in what can be read as a state of unrestricted happiness.

It’s a good, low-key little story, possessed with authenticity of theme, and willing to allow its themes to simmer. The space-spanning narrative structure allows for some nice local color, and Kelly continues to do a good job with the atmosphere. For bonuses, there’s the expected essays, two pages of designs and roughs, a pair of pin-ups by Richmond-connected guest artists Chris Pitzer and Rob G., and two pages of the new ‘My Local’ feature, in which readers can send in pictures and words about their own surrounding environs."

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