Libby’s Dad by Eleanor Davis. Retrofit / Big Planet Comics, 2016. 9781940398525. ~32pp.
Frontier #11: Eleanor Davis, BDSM by Eleanor Davis. Youth In Decline, 2016. (No ISBN) 32pp.
Gene: Here are two mini-comics by Eleanor Davis, and I’m so pleased to say that one of them is available at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park (just north of Seattle), which suddenly has a nice little mini-comics section. I’m so happy to see they have that! That will keep me going back there and I’ll buy lots of books.
Sarah: I’ll make a trip there. I used to only be able to get that kind of stuff at specialty shops or downtown.
G: Zanadu Comics in downtown Seattle had some, but it just closed down. And Elliot Bay Books has a very small selection, but they’re mostly ‘zines.
This is Libby’s Dad.
S: I love Davis’ colors, I love her shapes.
G: It is the best. This comic is from Retrofit, which is cartoonist Box Brown’s publishing company. He publishes small comics, some of which are perfect bound, though others, like this one, is stapled. This looks like it’s drawn in crayon or colored pencil. It’s about five girls having a pool party at Libby’s house. Her mom and dad are divorced.
S: Look at that!
G: All the girls are very different: Libby, Emma, Mun-Hee, Hailey, and the narrator (“and Taylor, usually, but this time Taylor didn’t come.”) They talk about her. Libby says she did invite her. Mun-Hee: “No, Libby, you invited our friend Taylor. Not the weird Taylor who, like, replaced her.”
S&G: (both laugh)
S: I have to say, people will talk about needing diverse voices, and it’s a great sentiment, but then you actually pick up something like this and it’s like oh my god this is f’ing perfect! This is not the voice of anyone else. Diversity isn’t just good for the world, you’ll find some amazing work.
G: I love how loose and natural the whole thing feels. The drawings seem to have flowed out of Davis. They’re cartoony enough not to be anatomically correct, but they give a great sense of character and how a person moves and holds themself. And they’re just all colors. It looks like the word balloons are all pencils. It feels temporary, quick, like this came right out of her head. And look at that drawing of Hailey half in a pool with her hair floating.
So Libby’s mom told everyone that her dad said he was going to shoot her, and that’s part of the plot. The girls hang out, it’s night, the pool is kind of glowing. In the sleepover room they’re talking, and then they spill nail polish. And they’re terrified of telling Libby’s dad, all they can think of is the gun. There’s a representation of the gun in their thoughts, done in negative space because the girls are trying not to think about it, and it’s the most amazing page in a short comic full of amazing pages, as the girls freak out.
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