In the last issue of Papercutter, editor, Greg Means changes the standard format (One main story, with two back-up stories) by giving the writing assignment for the entire issue to Bay Area zinester, Jason Martin. A top-notch list of comics artists draw Jason’s comics.
Jason’s stories start with a reflection on how, even at an early age, comics were a source for coping with emotions and forces too great to deal with on one’s own. When he was a kid, Jason drew his own Batman comics, and even introduced his own character, which in retrospect, Jason realizes was himself. Putting uncontrollable forces in one’s life into perspective through comics is the theme that runs through the entire issue: a dying grandparent, romantic awakenings as a teen, and social differences from one’s peers.
The central story, drawn by Calvin Wong tells in vignettes, the story of Jason’s apartment building catching on fire. Calvin’s drawings match both the energy and fragility of Jason’s telling of the event and its aftermath.
Often when you read a comic written by one person and drawn by another, you have to wonder how much each creator contributed to the the final story. By teaming a single writer up with several artists, you can see how Jason worked with each of his artists, and how the separate voices and visions of the writer and artist are mixed into a comic. In this case, the collected stories each have an individuality but are also collected cohesively. A great example of the skill of the writer, each artist, and I’m sure as well the editor.
Nate Beaty provides beautiful end pages as usual.