It’s that time again — four more new releases in the Mini Kus! line from our favorite Latvian comics publisher (and, truth be told, one of our favorite publishers, period) , Kus! This time out the quartet is even more experimental and avant-garde than usual — and “usual” is a word that never applies to these things, anyway. Let’s have a look, shall we?
Alice Socal’s Junior (Mini Kus! #75) flips the tables on human reproduction (not that it features humans, mind you, the female being a cat, the male being — I dunno, is that a dog of some sort?) by having the man of the house wonder what it would like to be pregnant in a dream, only to wake up and find out that he is. Or is he? Or was he ever? And if he was, does he miss it now? Nary an answer to be found in this one, friends, but plenty of intriguing questions, and Socal’s cartooning, while a bit “cutesy” for my tastes, is expressive and inherently witty. If you need your comics to make “sense,” you’re gonna be shit out of luck with this one, but as we shall see, that’s a pattern with this latest crop of releases.
Paula Puiupo’s Maunder (Mini Kus! #76) may be the wildest of a very wild bunch seeing as how it’s part family drama, part complete mindfuck, part purely interpretive meditation on shifting between dimensions or planes of existence purely through the power of thought. By turns deceptively simple and impenetrably dense, Puiupo’s scraggy linework and inventive page layouts are quite pleasing to the eye, but her non-narrative approach to exploring a deliberately confounding subject (or series of subjects) is — well, deliberately confounding, I suppose. As it should be? Sure. As you want it to be? Depends — this is as “your mileage may vary” as comics get, not just from one reader to another, but internally within each reader, as well. I’ve made my way through this one three times, first finding it utterly fascinating, then completely pointless, then a bizarre amalgamation of both. Any work that makes you question it that hard from that many angles is clearly doing something right — but what is that, and toward what end is it being employed? Still working on this one, folks — and I may be doing so for a long time.
Rebeka Lukosus’ Oops (Mini Kus! #77) is Tara Booth-esque in tone, temperament, style, and subject matter — wordless and borderless panels flowing from one to the next as we follow the day-to-day of a woman with six arms who appears to spend most of her time safely ensconced within her own imaginary dreamworld. It’s fun and formally interesting, but in all fairness seems a bit slight to the point of bordering on self-indulgence. As pleased as I was by what I saw in this one, it never made a terribly convincing argument as to why I should need to see it. Falling somewhere between being an agreeable enough use of one’s time and a complete waste of it, I’m finding myself of the opinion that I wanted to like this one more than I actually did.
Hironori Kukuchi’s House To House (Mini Kus! #78) is another one that deliberately gives “readers” the silent treatment as it relates the travails of a fantasy novelist attempting to deliver a book to a bed-ridden reader, only to require — or, in a pinch, be saddled with — assistance of a truly alien variety. The Jim Woodring influence is strong in this one, young Padawan, but Kukuchi offers a novel take on stories of this nature by dint of bright colors and a video game-influenced design sensibility. Not an easy story to follow, but a fun one to attempt making head or tail of, with success being far from guaranteed. There may be some sort of oddball genius at work here — but it sure ain’t me.
I’ll probably find myself returning to this foursome quite a bit as my reactions toward, and appreciation of, each of ’em seems to be developing over time, which means that even if I don’t end up “liking” them all in the traditional sense, I’ll have gotten my money’s worth — as will you, if you order them either separately for $6.00 each, or together at $19.00 for the set. Shipping to the continental US is, as with all items from this publisher, absolutely free. Your link is :https://kushkomikss.ecrater.com/filter.php?sort=date&keywords=&perpage=40
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