Friday, April 6, 2012

Wondermark Vol. 3: Dapper Caps & Pedal Copters

by David Malki

Wondermark is one of the few webcomics that I actually make a concerted effort to read with regularity.  I enjoy David Malki's humour, and the cognitive disconnects between his Victorian art collages and the modern-day issues and topics he discusses in his strips.  Also, unlike many webcomics artists, he sticks to his schedule, and is consistent about producing new material.

I am, at the core though, a collector.  Part of why I don't enjoy webcomics usually is the ephemeral nature of them; just as I continue to buy all my music on compact disk, I prefer to read my webcomics when they are collected and published as books, such as this one, the third (and final - there hasn't been a new one in a very long time) of Dark Horse's Wondermark series.

As mentioned above, to construct this comic, Malki disassembles old pictures from the Victorian era, and then using xeroxes and other tools of manipulation, reassembles them into one, three, or four-panel comic strips (for the most part) that range in topic from family and relationship problems, alien (Gaxian) culture, and contemporary politics, all addressed with Malki's oddball humour.  Malki's visual creativity extends to creating some rather fanciful inventions, such as the pedal-copters of the title, or the robocall devices that have a steampunk aura about them.

There were many times when reading these strips caused me to laugh, especially when after a tough day at work, I read a strip that more or less portrays the person that made that day so difficult.  In addition to a collection of the regular strips, this volume also includes the long piece about timeshare sales gimmicks that originally saw print in a volume of MySpace Dark Horse Presents, and some ephemera.

I hope that another volume of this series is in the production pipeline...

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