Comic, Robb Mirsky, #1, robbmirsky.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
As a series of one-off comics, Robb Mirksy’s Life Without Parole is an engaging collection of happiness and misery, all served up in a single collection. Each three-panel comic details a slice-of-life moment without much narrative but with plenty of attitude and style.
Robb’s drawings are quite awesome, sometimes abstract and occasionally poignant. It’s a grab bag, no doubt, but there is a commonality in terms of tone. We have a visit to the doctor’s office, a fatal car crash, space travel and a thwarted suicide attempt. This sounds dark on the whole but it’s really not, since Life Without Parole somehow conveys playfulness even when Mirsky deals with heavier themes, like, y’know, people dying or the diffusion of time bombs. There seems to be a fairly ‘80s and/or ‘90s sensibility at work here, although perhaps I’m just projecting the fact that Life Without Parole might be in the neighbourhood of Life in Hell in style and theme. Whether this is intentional or otherwise, this comic is also compelling because of the familiarity conveyed without copping to any obvious lifting or backhanded references. This is, quite simply, a hand-drawn POV collection that is fun and kinda gross, in a good way. (Cam Gordon)