Queen of the Black Black

Megan Kelso. Fantagraphics, $19.99 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-60699-459-7
This long-out-of-print collection of short stories by Kelso (Artichoke Tales) is an intriguing and evocative look into her early work, quiet little tales filled with realistic emotion and more than a little narrative ambiguity. The stories touch on a variety of experiences, such as childhood perceptions of a grownup party, youthful and innocent sexuality as expressed via imaginative role-playing, commitment to the arts at the expense of one's social adventures, the realities of being "the other woman," unplanned pregnancy, and more. There are also a couple of very bizarre flights of fantasy that are qualified head-scratchers, but the charm of Kelso's art and writing make them as welcome as any of the other concoctions that flowed from her pen onto the page. Kelso's art is simple and somewhat "cartoony," but the style meshes perfectly with the book's thoughtful narrative qualities. Kelso's strength is a gentle understanding of the various undercurrents of longing and memory that motivate us, and these stories show that in abundance. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2011
Release date: 07/01/2011
Genre: Comics
Paperback - 160 pages - 978-0-9665363-0-0
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