Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Review: Anapest: The Minicomic by David Chelsea & Chad Essley

So it's been a while since I did any reviews. I've decided to give myself a kick up the arse, as I have a growing pile of very good comics to get through! Expect more regular reviews from now on.

So, first up is "Anapest: The Minicomic" which is a nice large format 12 page full colour mini, which uses rhyming verse to tell all of it's stories.

David Chelsea isn't a stranger to me, having previously read his "Welcome To The Zone"; the brilliant satirical and surreal alternative/ underground graphic novel he created in the '90s.
Anapest has 3 small strips written and drawn by Chelsea, and a longer strip written by him and drawn by the talented Chad Essley, which I'll start with first.

"Chastity Blasé" tells the story of a pious and self righteous fundamentalist christian virgin who appears at a University to lecture the students on the virtues of celibacy and the perils and damnations of the lustful sinner. During her speech however, an accident occurs which cuts her short.

The comic is not only a satirical swipe at the religious right, and somewhat of a poetic justice-type fantasy, but it also looks at the self-denial and repressed anger of the devoutly pious, and what it means for someone who has veen virtuous in the hope of an afterlife, to suddenly realise that they've been cheated. I thought this was a nice idea and a funny strip.

The first of David's solo strips is a spoof of old superhero comics (particularly the old 1940's and '50's style serials) with damsons in distress, a dastardly villain, and the cliff-hanger where the hero teeters on the brink of oblivion. In this instance however, the hero is 'Kangaroo Boy'; a rediculous costumed marsupial. The artwork is beautiful and the colouring is similar to old fashioned comics printed on yellowed paper. A nice light-hearted jaunt, but my least favourite of the comic in terms of ideas and storytelling.

 "The Christmas Story" involves the Grinch hijacking Santa's "Wayback" machine, and going back in time to eliminate christmas. After being alerted by his elves of this fiendish plan, Santa persues the Grinch and bumps into Mary, who has had a change of heart about it all.

I won't spoil the ending, but it's got a funny punchline/ payoff.

Finally, another genre spoof; this time Chelsea satirises the stereotypical staple of autobiographical comics; a single 30-something, porn obsessed slacker who writes confessional comics whilst working in a comic store.

I thought this was a very clever send up, and instantly reminded me of a couple of autobio comics I'd previously read:

Nod of the head to Dan Cottle too, for doing a nice job with the colouring on this one.

Overall, I thought this was a very enjoyable mini, and nicely produced, my only qualm is that it could have had more strips in it, as it was a very quick read.

But then, it is a mini-comic, and as such, contains a lot more effort than most!

The artists can be contacted at:



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