Saturday, January 17, 2009
It's not often that one runs across an anthology collection containing not a single dud story, but such is the case here. Featuring thirty-seven stories created by students and alumni of the Savannah College of Art and Design, each segment tells a tale driven by sheer visual storytelling and not a trace of dialogue or captions, a limitation that would daunt many of the so-called professionals working today in the mainstream comics biz (or even in the indies, for that matter) but causes the book's contributors to rise to the occasion. Operating in several stylistic arenas, the stories range across an equally wide gamut and yield entertaining and intriguing vignettes that keep the reader glued to the page. Each entry is communicated with the utmost visual clarity and several stand out for charming and loopy creativity, chief among which are Kevin Burkhalter's "This Really Happened Once," Jason Clarke's "A Matter of Perspective," Brianna Alexander's "Sunny Side Up" and Falynn Koch's "Fruits' Funeral." Exercising strong doses of whimsy and humor, PANTOMIME is definitely worth checking out, and if there's any criticism to give it's that it's a very quick read and the reader will be left wanting more.