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Part art journal, part autobio strip, Peeling Onions is the first in a collection of Lezley Davidson’s regularly updated webcomics, originally serialized at peeling-onions. com. Like any webcomic’s first volume, you have to give it some time to find its footing. With this in mind, we are treated to a fairly bland beginning as Davidson gets into her groove. Early strips about the day-to-day of working retail at your own store are sometimes amusing, but impersonal and generally unremarkable, the filler of the webcomics world. As volume 1 goes on, though, Davidson opens up more, letting the reader in on breakups, lies that she’s been telling us beforehand and, most significantly, her father’s impending death from throat cancer. It’s when she opens up like this that the strip most seems to live up to its title, and feels most like something worth reading. I mean, it’s making lemonade out of some horribly bitter lemons (onions?), but still. Unfortunately, even after the comic opens up, its quality is still somewhat sporadic. A lot of the comics have a very “daily journal” feel to them, meaning that on a dull day, you get a dull comic. On the other hand though, Davidson’s drawing is one area in which the comic continually improves. As the comic progresses, you can track the development of a distinctive style as lines become bolder, facial features solidify, and the art generally becomes more consistent as Davidson becomes more accustomed to her medium. If the writing could only develop as strongly as the art, Peeling Onions would be set. (Sam Linton)

by Lezley Davidson, 100 pgs First Choice Books #2 460 Tennyson Place, Victoria BC, V8Z 6S8, firstchoicebooks.ca

 

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