Lose #2

Comic book, 2010

Should I mention that I haven’t read Lose #1? I haven’t read Lose #1. But that doesn’t seem to matter- I can still see what everyone’s so excited about. When I was reading Lose #2 I felt like I was reading a new Eightball or Acme Novelty Library for the first time; That this was my first viewing of an artist that’s going to end up being a major figure in a turning point for alternative comics. Clowes and Ware pushed the boundaries in their time by showing that comics could be serious, literary works of fiction. Deforge is pushing the boundries of comics by showing that they don’t have to be rendered in a traditional, representational style. This is not because the author (Michael DeForge) is doing anything blazingly white hot new that no one has ever seen before (he’s not), but I think he’s taking the current vanguard and spinning it in a way that can be enjoyed by a wider audience. He’s got the Powr Mastrs school of nightmarish, naive cartoon imagery, but he also has linear plots. I’m not trying to imply that DeForge is purposely repackaging the Picturebox school of comics for a broader appeal, because his work doesn’t feel insincere, but that is the end result. And that result is a pleasurable, emotionally resonant horror show of bizarre imagery, both cartoonishly simple and intricately ornate. 4

(Aside: How much does my bestowing the crown of alternative comics parade leader on DeForge have to do with Lose being an actual comic book? Would I draw this same parallel if he were doing webcomics or mini comics instead? Have I and others passed by many other worthy contenders for this reason? I think this may be the case, unfortunately.)

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