by Nick Maandag
To me, the nicest surprise of Free Comic Book Day was that two local cartoonists, Nick Maandag and Jason Kieffer stood at a busy intersection and handed out their comics to passers-by. Kieffer's work is all stuff I had previously bought and enjoyed (especially is Rabble of Downtown Toronto and his biography comic about Zanta), but they made great gifts for some co-workers.
Maandag's Streakers I had never seen before, and thought was excellent. It tells the story of a group of three sort of friends who make up the 'Streakers Association of Summit City', an advocacy organization for streaking enthusiasts, of which they are the only members.
The main character is a sad figure. He has a job as a dishwasher at a busy restaurant, but over the course of the story, becomes demoted to junior dishwasher, because he's just not that good at his job. His dream is to start streaking, but so far, he's only been interested in talking about it.
Maandag gives us a good look into this character's life, and contrasts him with the much more accomplished leader of their group, who once interrupted an important marathon with his carefully planned streak. The third in the trio is more of a flasher than a streaker, and he gets off showing women his junk while hiding his identity.
These guys are creeps, which is especially clear after a couple of young women come to one of their meetings, but they are also sort of endearing and kind of relatable. There is more depth to this book than you would expect from a comic about people who like to talk about streaking.
I'm thankful for the unexpected gift, and wonder how many of the other people, who are probably not comics people, that received it last Saturdy, felt about it.