Monday, 10 January 2011

Review - Dork Volume 2: Circling the Drain TPB

This book collects material from Dork issues 7-10 by Evan Dorkin. Like Dork Vol.1, it omits the Eltingville Club strips – which is a shame because the Eltingville Club strips were my favourite strips in Dork and, as far as I am aware, they have still not been collected – but what is here is still pretty good. We get several appearances from the Devil Puppet in ‘The Invisible College of Secret Knowledge’, ‘How to Get Your Ass Kicked in 3 E-Z Steps’, quite a few pages packed with 4-panel gag strips, and lots more. The centrepiece of the book, though, is the strip ‘What Does it Look Like I’m Doing? / Cluttered Like My Head’, in which Dorkin details his mental health problems and a nervous breakdown brought on by the near collapse of the comic industry in the 1990s. As someone who has had to take a ‘happy pill’ every morning for some years now, I found this quite uncomfortable reading and preferred the ‘Devil Puppet’ and gag strips, but it was still good stuff.

This is another slender collection but it is by no means a quick read, as the talented Mr Dorkin packs his panels with content. His strips are always funny and his artwork had become extremely competent by the time the strips in this volume were produced. The fact that Dorkin is still struggling to make a decent living as a cartoonist, while someone like Geoff Johns is probably rolling around in money, is just depressing beyond belief.

Cost: This has a cover price of £10.50 / $13.95 but I got my copy from the Book Depository for £7.80, which probably makes me part of the problem but at least none of my money goes to Geoff Johns.

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