The Comic Queen

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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Lunch Hour Comix #1 Joint Review

Lunch Hour from Lunch Hour Comix #1
By Robert Ullman
Alternative Comics $4.95

KERRY: Lunch-Hour Comix #1 is an interesting experiment by Robert Ullman. The goal was to keep a comic journal of events as they occurred in his life. Part of those results make up the book. The comics had to be completed in an hour or less from forming the idea to drawing, lettering, and inking.

ERIN: Sometimes these “conditional” concepts get a little old or forced, but Ullman manages for the most part to keep his strips fresh. The qualification that the strips were each completed in about an hour isn’t really important unless you’re wondering where the book’s title originated.

KERRY: I discovered Ullman’s work last year and quickly ingested Grand Gestures and From the Curve. Eagerly, I awaited Lunch-Hour Comix and I wasn’t disappointed. Ullman’s style lends itself well to this type of strip. He is awesome at capturing the humor of truly absurd moments. Some of the strips are almost like Seinfeld -- about nothing but hilariously funny anyway. Ullman covers a lot of material here from the more disgusting like dog poop and scabs to the mundane like the DMV and listening to music. Sometimes, he even covers current events like the November presidential election. His take on all these things is successful and comical. I laughed out loud at a number of strips.

ERIN: What I found refreshing about the strips was their tone. So many “alternative” books, especially of the diary ilk, have a melancholy feel to them – a certain sadness. While I do like that style, Ullman’s lighter, succinct tone is a nice departure from the sometimes gloomy nature of other biographic comics.

KERRY: Ullman’s drawing also works well in these types of strips. The lines are relatively thick and there isn’t a lot of detail to weight the strips down. There is also a lot of high-quality work here considering they were all completed in less than an hour. For a non-artist like me, it is a mind-boggling concept.

ERIN: I think Lunch Hour Comix is Ullman’s best offering to date. There is a marked improvement in his drawing especially. Everything is tighter -- art, words, and composition. This makes me hopeful that we’ll continue to see Ullman mature and continue to put out continually higher quality material. Also worth mentioning is the inclusion of a few strips by Ullman’s friend Bill Burg, which are also worth a look. I particularly enjoyed Berg’s illustration style – a little more detailed and with some nice use of perspective.

KERRY: Ullman continues to impress me. I love his easy style, sense of humor, and sarcasm. It is exactly what I want in a biographical strip. He is on my short “must-buy” list with Craig Thompson and Andi Watson. I’m looking forward, as always, to his next book.

Kerry’s Bottom Line: A
Erin’s Bottom Line: B+


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