Eye of the Majestic Creature

Leslie Stein. Fantagraphics, $18.99 paper (128p) ISBN 978-1-60699-413-9
Underground-influenced comics fall into certain patterns—idiosyncratic art, rambling tales of daily life, copious use of mood-altering substances—but Stein makes hers fresh with the addition of a talking guitar. Larrybear, living in the country, is visited by an old friend, builds a coffee cart to meet neighbors, shops at antique junk stores, visits her family, and eventually moves back to the city to get a job. It's Marshmallow, the talking, walking instrument, that gives her someone to open up to. Stein's style is very readable, with sparse linework and a lead character that resembles a more tripped-out Little Orphan Annie, with huge blank buttons for eyes. Stein's settings and other characters show more detail, especially in the complex stippling, demonstrating her outward focus. We learn more about her father, for example, in a few short scenes than we do of Larry's motivations in the whole book. We're told Larrybear likes being alone, a statement belied by the number of times we see her with friends or other acquaintances. Her world is full, even if it's one that's a bit off-kilter—especially with the number of times she gets drunk or drugged. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Genre: Comics
Paperback - 144 pages - 978-1-60699-930-1
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