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An accomplished draftsman and designer, Aaron Costain eschews witless gloss in favour of economy and nonetheless offers an immersing experience. His new minicomic, Entropy, collects some of his latest work between striking illustrated covers. Part 1, which follows an anxious golem as he walks through the woods, is an accessible if somewhat enigmatic riff on the nature of creation. It reads like an introduction to a longer work, piquing interest in the subject matter, but don’t expect continuity–Entropy 1 and 2 share little more than a title. The second issue contains two short, nearly wordless works: a winning story about bike repair and a marvellous, delicate piece of “automatic drawing.” Sometimes minimalism misfires, forfeiting substance, but these panels (which are the size of postage stamps in the latter story) do not founder. As a cartoonist, Costain appears to intuitively grasp the medium’s ability to act as a receptacle for outside thoughts and impressions. He gives the reader ample room to breathe and, in doing so, lends his work a certain depth. In one of his encounters, the golem refers to the work of Haruki Murakami; though removed from Murakami in many ways, Costain has a similar talent for telling dream-like stories without the tedium that usually accompanies other peoples’ dreams. In anticipation of a more sustained narrative from the author, Entropy provides an assortment of brisk, finely crafted material. (Daniel Marrone) 202 Crawford St, Toronto, ON, M2J 2R5

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