Two From David Craig : “Brick By Brick”

The surest sign you’ve hit on a winning idea comes in the form of staying power. Anybody can catch lightning in a bottle, or get a stroke of beginner’s luck or what have you, but longevity — well, that takes some real doing.

While I only have two of them myself (the other being 2019’s Brick Breaks Free, which I just reviewed), the just-released (and self-published) Brick By Brick is actually the fourth collection of strips featuring his anthropomorphic (to a degree, at any rate) Brick character from Toronto’s David Craig, and while logic might dictate that the premise would have worn itself thin by now, I feel it’s my duty to remind you that bricks themselves are, in fact, both thick and sturdy — and it appears the same can be said for Craig’s imagination.

Collecting strips that appeared over the last few years in the pages of Read More Comix (where, in fairness, I’d seen them before) and Taddle Creek (where, in fairness, I hadn’t), I (perhaps-mistakenly?) am also of the belief that at least some of the contents of this one are also seeing print for the first time, but hey — even if I’m wrong about that, it’s nice to have all this stuff together between two sturdy covers, as reading it all in one go is a sheer delight. This time out, among other things, Brick joins a band, hangs out with some skaters, tries its luck at skiing and archery, gets stranded in the desert, and comes down with the flu, among other (mis)adventures, and in two collaborative strips — the first done with fellow Read More “stablemate” Robb Mirsky, the second with Jordan R. Aelick — Brick “enjoys” the train-hopping hobo life and takes up agriculture, respectively. I’m frankly not sure how Craig manages to come up with one inventive scenario for his distinctly animated inanimate object after another, but he does — and for that, we should all be grateful.

In addition, although the differences between the earlier collection and this one are subtle to be sure, they’re nevertheless impossible not to pick up on, even for the most casual of observers : simply put, Craig’s confidence in both his abilities and the seemingly-endless flexibility of his premise is reflected in crisper linework, wittier employment of age-old tropes, more inspired and varied color choices, and an overall smoothing-out of rough edges. He’s firing on all cylinders in most of the strips in this handsomely-formatted ‘zine, and that invariably leads to a really fun reading experience.

There, I said it — fun. At the end of the day, that’s what all this Brick stuff is all about, really, and that’s as noble a thing to want to impart upon one’s readership as there is. You needn’t laugh out loud hysterically to have a really nice time with a humor comic, and Craig’s work doesn’t lend itself to that kind of openly jubilant response. It’s all about giving you a grin, getting you to nod along, and creating those “damn, I wish I’d though of that” moments. Judged by those standards, it’s the absolute honest truth to say that these Brick strips seldom fail, and when they hit home — which is far more often than not — they really hit home.

It’s a hard world — so hard it almost takes brick to survive it — and you’ve earned a good time. This comic will give you precisely that.

*********************************************************************************************************

Brick By Brick doesn’t appear to be available for sale quite yet, so don’t ask me what the price will be, but you can find out more by checking it out over on David Craig’s site at https://www.davidcraigcomics.com/product/brick-by-brick

Also, this review — and all others around these parts — is “brought to you” by my Patreon site, where I serve up exclusive thrice-weekly rants and ramblings on the worlds of comics, films, television, literature, and politics for as little as a dollar a month. Subscribing is the best way to support my continuing work, so I’d be very appreciative if you’d take a minute to give it a look by directing your kind attention to https://www.patreon.com/fourcolorapocalypse

One thought on “Two From David Craig : “Brick By Brick”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s