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But thanks to a link from a commenter over at Sean’s Russia Blog (hat tip to Chrisius Maximus), I located Pangloss (M: Kitai-Gorod, B. So, I hopped on the subway and prepared my best slurry-tenor-man-accent (usually reserved for negotiating cab fares) to meet the comics [Grandpa Frost], which I will review at a later date. Having finished the three collections, I can say that overall the level of artwork and story-telling was lower than what I see coming out in America, Europe, and Japan. Based on previous adventures in dive comics shops in the States, I was expecting the worst: a cramped, tiny space with creepy dudes hanging around, reading super-hero tales and talking about their prospects of someday going on a date.But rather than run through all the mediocrity, I’ll focus on the highlights.In , a pretty weak collection as a whole, the work of Roman Sokolov really stands out. zenko, a Kiev-based cartoonist, who shows promise with interesting greyed-out pencilwork, marred only by the jarring use of terrible fonts for the lettering and a dreadful application of photoshop in the concluding frame.His “Nothing Special” is a short gritty mix of the post-Soviet detective genre and classic Russian anecdote, with a story-within-a-story conclusion that escapes triteness. Moscow's Bogdan blends euro-manga with an older Soviet , collects some strong artists, who one imagines are capable of quite interesting work.
Unfortuantely, editor Sokolov constricts them with the task of writing a story related to the title of the collection, a slogan supposed written on the door of every home Napoleon resided in.
It’s a playful idea, but prohibitively obscure, to my mind, to allow for much creative work in terms of content.
Artist Khikhus does the best job with his matching of dark illustration, busy frame-movement and almost incoherent philosophizing about the meaning of happiness; it reminds me a bit of Peter Kuper’s more psychedelic work in terms of style.
Sokolov puts in another solid effort of a similar type to his work in .
Namida’s “The Cloud” reads like a well-done art school project on an assigned theme: the talent is evident, but some depth is missing.
Alim Velitov and Yuri Maksimov’s contribution is the most developed story, but the artwork suffers from a style that might best be described as Prince-Valiant-meets-MS-Paint.