Dave Lapp has been a long-standing fixture in Toronto’s indie comics community all while teaching art to underprivileged kids at various community centres, which is the basis of this collection. Lapp highlights the little moments of this job, whether it’s observing the minutiae of his surroundings or the random things that the kids, or even adults are capable of saying. It’s a very casual, even slightly detached method of observing things, but also very natural and free of judgment towards his subjects.
Despite the bleakness at the centre of many of the stories–extreme poverty, gang activity, immigrant struggles, etc.– the book maintains a fairly upbeat tone overall. The art in turn is a simple combination of pen and brush, often feeling like it’s straight out of a sketchbook, which works well with the casual tone of the storytelling mentioned before. Drop In is a great continuation of Lapp’s body of work and will also be an essential introduction to a larger readership. (Matthew Daley)
by Dave Lapp, $17, 160 pgs., conundrum press-PO Box 55003, CSP Fairmount, Montreal, QC, H2T 3E2, conundrumpress.com