Sunday, November 13, 2011

Popgun Vol. 4

Edited by DJ Kirkbride, Anthony Wu, and Andrew P. Knave

There's nothing better than a thick, heavy, well-produced book full of comics.  The Popgun series of anthologies has garnered a lot of attention for their ability to bring greater exposure for emerging and lesser-known cartoonists and artists, and placing them next to some of the biggest names in the industry (although to be fair, in this volume, that's just Erik Larsen).

This five hundred-plus page fourth volume has some seventy-three contributors, which is amazing.  Some of the stories in here are great, and I've found a few people whose careers I'm now interested in following (such as Anthony Wu, Frank Stockton, Darren Rawlings, and Stuart Livingston).

It also has some work from creators whose work I've been enjoying for a while, like JM Ken Niimura, Tom Scioli, and Salgood Sam, who we don't see enough from.

I have some problems with the book though.  In a book this full, there are plenty of very short stories, and that has the cumulative effect of making none of them feel very consequential.  I found that most of them had left my memory almost before I'd started the next one.  As well, the level of diversity sometimes works against the book.  I support a wide range of comics, and like to see a lot of variety in books like this, but don't understand why stories that are so obviously for young children are included in a book with nudity and strong language.

Still, in the overall, I got a lot of enjoyment out of this book, and should probably read the two volumes I haven't gotten ahold of yet.

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