Comic, Jordan Reg. Aelick & Jen Bolt, 32 pgs, [email protected], $6
The worlds created by Toronto duo Jordan Aelick and Jen Bolt (aka Boltlick) are filled with vibrant colours and psychedelic landscapes populated by a menagerie of odd creatures. Overgrowth, the team’s first collection of stories and art from 2014–15, features a number of short stream of consciousness type narratives interspersed with colourful mandalas and flowery illustrations to make a cohesive experiment that flows quite well and avoids bogging itself down in self indulgence.
The characters making up Boltlick’s word include Viddle — a lion-esque creature with a beak, Viddle’s teacher — a floating Wendigo head and the tear drop headed Fret. They deal with aging, the shock of dealing with the unknown and learning how to communicate with lovelorn crustaceans.With great use of coloured pencils and stylized lettering, Overgrowth is a quality first release by the Boltlick team.
The stories teem with positivity and optimism among the weirdness that doesn’t get too gooey or new age-y. There are minor quibbles with unreadable lettering at the beginning of the “It Began to Grow” story and the watercolour-like effect being headache inducing in “Moving Way”, but on the whole I’m on board to see what any future adventures in the Boltlick playground might bring. (Matthew Daley)