Issue six of Jeff Zwirek’s one-man anthology minicomic, Blackstar collects a mixture of previously printed and never-before seen comics. This issue is a perfect showcase of Jeff’s talents. The main comic, “Sales,” follows the success and ultimate demise of a word-balloon salesman. In a clever gimmick, the salesman speaks, and then ties his word-balloons with a string and sells them to children. Unfortunately, the salesman hits a run of lousy word-balloons, sales dwindle, he loses the love of his life, and ultimately becomes a creepy vagrant, bottling his terrible words, and leaving them in the park for children to find.
Like “Sales,” most of the comics in Blackstar No. 6 are wordless, and play with form. Pages unfold, and should be turned upside down to read, structures usually invisible to characters in comics become tangible objects in their world. Some of these comics are hopeful and heartwarming, while others are depressing and troubling. Jeff’s style is very cartoony, almost to the point of iconographic at times, but then his rendering of a house, or a stag suddenly reveals how well Jeff knows how to draw, tipping you off that you are in some very capable hands.