Sunday, 24 June 2012

Skyscrapers of the Midwest

Firstly, let me admit straight away that I don't know anything about comics. There are a few comics that I have particularly enjoyed in the past, though. Trains are Mint by Oliver East is one of these. Another one is Midnight Sun by Ben Towle, which involves a) almost real historical events and b) airships, so it ticks all the boxes for me. Skyscrapers of the Midwest by Joshua W. Cotter is the one I particularly wanted to talk about today though.

I bought the 4 issues of it separately when they came out, and then I was bought the book as a present. You probably won't be able to find the individual issues, but the book is probably available on Amazon, or you can find it by clicking on the bit where I said 'Skyscrapers of the Midwest' up there.

Anyway, the comic's about an adolescent cat and his younger brother. Well, they're kind of cats. Or humans with cat ears. That bit's not really important. This particular cat/human is a bit of a loser. He doesn't really have any friends and nothing good ever seems to happen to him. The majority of the story is spent lurching from one disaster to another. It's pretty heartbreaking stuff!

In between the main narrative, there's comic strips, fake advertisements and an agony uncle column with a guy called Skinny Kenny, whose advice is usually either wholly inappropriate, insensitive, or both. I'm going to attempt to describe one of the strips that I particularly like now: mouse in a shirt and tie says to his wife 'I'm off. I'll be back in time for supper. Unless, of course, I'm consumed'.

All in all, it's a pretty bleak tale. And then at the end something really lovely happens and it'll probably make you want to cry, because it definitely made me want to cry. I'm a sucker for coming-of-age type stuff, so I tend to well up at things like this. Sometimes when I'm in a grump I like to read the last ten or so pages and then I always feel better.

I'm not going to try and describe it anymore because this isn't going especially well. Just buy it! Or if you know me, ask me if you can borrow it from me. Joshua W Cotter does other things too and I'd heartily recommend going over to his site to have a look at some of his illustrations and comic strips and things. Here's one! Also, if Joshua W Cotter is reading this and you'd like me to remove your images, just let me know and I'll get rid. Many thanks.

1 comment: