Ginette Lapalme, 203 pgs, Koyama Press, koyamapress.com, $20
Not only is Ginette Lapalme an active member of the Toronto craft scene, but she also boasts a strong presence online, with both a popular blog and a thriving Etsy shop. Confetti — a fitting title — is her scattered gallery of artwork, vaguely divided into eight sections of varied length and medium. Within, Lapalme demonstrates an impressive aptitude for carrying her signature themes across a huge variety of surfaces, but in doing so, may run up against her reader’s patience. Confetti is a gorgeous presentation, but it’s one that brinks on stretching too thin.
Lapalme’s style is recognizable at a distance. With her signature wide-eye’d doodles and tahiti-treat colour scheme, she owes as much to Betty Boop and Felix the Cat as she does to a 1977 Miami-pink skyline. She demonstrates a fascination with anthropomorphism, granting every blob, being, and scribbled vagina a face and expression. Curator Karie Liao’s foreword argues that this demonstrates some kind of “postmodern camp aesthetic,” but I might instead attribute this tendency to a general sense of playfulness — one which certainly translates to the reader experience.
That being said, Lapalme’s work traces its characters across 203 pages of zines, comics, doodles, paintings, photographs, and manipulated objects. Though divided into sections, these don’t constitute categories as much as they do floors to a gallery, each one filled to the brim with Lapalme’s little winking trinkets. Confetti may be fun and colourful, but one is forced to remark at the size of the piñata it’s being delivered in. (Joel W. Vaughan)