Friday, December 23, 2011

The Li'l Depressed Boy Vol.0: Lonely Heart Blues

Written by S. Steven Struble
Art by Ed Tadem, Lindsay Jane, Sina Grace, Jose Garibaldi, Chris Fenoglio, Zach Trover, Kristopher Struble, Jim Mahfood, Kanila Tripp, Roman Muradov, Justin Stewart, Sam Kieth, Jim Valentino, Scott Morse, Evan DiLeo, and Jamie McKelvie

I've been getting a lot more enjoyment out of the Image series The Li'l Depressed Boy than I expected.  Each issue has an effervescent quality to it though - it's utterly charming and fun to read, but it's usually a very quick read, which doesn't stick with me after I finish it.  Part of the problem I've had with the comic is that I don't fully understand a few fundamental things - like why is LDB a rag doll while everyone around him is a normal human being?  Also, why is LDB called the LDB?  He hasn't seemed all that depressed, at least not in the days leading up to his current state of confusion surrounding Jazz, the girl he likes.

I figured that this 'Volume 0' trade, collecting the web comics where LDB got his start, would shed some light on all this.  It doesn't really answer any of my questions, but it does provide a little more back-story and clarity on just who LDB is. And yah, he seems pretty depressed.

Many of the stories here are simple slice-of-life strips, wherein very little happens.  LDB microwaves food, or puts away Christmas decorations.  Nothing special really.  There are some strips that hint towards a dead girlfriend, or at least a dead crush, but really, we don't get to understand just who he is.

There is a long list of artists who worked on this character before Sina Grace became the dominant artist.  It's always a treat to see someone like Jim Mahfood working on a comic, but I think I was most impressed with the contributions of Chris Fenoglio, who I'm otherwise unfamiliar with.

This book could serve as a nice introduction to LDB, but could also put off new readers because it feels like it's somewhat lacking in substance.  It's probably best to start the series off with the first volume, which has a lot more story going on in it.  Still, this is a nice little collection.

No comments: