Today I’ll be looking at three books; two by up-and-comers Kristina Stipetic and Greg Vondruska and one by established pro Jordan Crane.
Yasha Lizard is about a frustrated and under-appreciated art student who becomes the unwitting participant in crime. Stipetic uses the differences in how animals perceive color as a pointed meditation on the question of “what is art.” The back and forth on that question is informed by Stipetic’s own scholastic experience. As one who has had his own love for cartooning chastised by many a college professor, I found the struggles of the protagonist to be very relatable. Putting aside my own bias, there is a great deal to like about this comic. The story is great, twisty fun, and includes a diverse and interesting cast of characters. The art is quite nice as well. The artist draws anthropomorphized animals in a way that is reminiscent of classic Disney character design. I also liked how she depicts the paintings that are the subject of the story; using fields of hatching to evoke the mysterious wavelengths of color that are beyond the appreciation of certain individuals. My one criticism is that some of her backgrounds look unfinished and hurried. But I have no doubt that, with practice, they too will be drawn with the same crisp confidence as her characters. Another shout out must go to Stipetic’s lettering, which is just top notch. Serious props there. Continue reading