Walter Scott, Koyama Press, koyamapress.com $18
It’s kind of a corny thing to say, but it’s true: Wendy is one of those books that you’ll actually laugh out loud reading. And not in like, a sighing “heh” way — you’ll have people stopping you asking what the heck is so funny, and can I see it too?
Walter Scott’s comic follows the ridiculous and all-too-realistic life of an aspiring art star and hipster party girl living in what can only be Montréal. The book follows Wendy as she balances regular mid-twenties life (getting shitfaced and losing friends over cute punk assholes) with the cutthroat contemporary art world.
Trendy Wendy is constantly having to eat her words and keep her judgmental instincts in check to figure out who is an ally and who is a foe. The main story of the book (a collection of Scott’s serial comic zine) centers around a trip to an artist residency out in beautiful Canadian nature, where she experiences true collaboration and total betrayal, both for the first time.
As touching as that sounds, most of the humour is charmingly middle-brow (drunken antics and loving caricatures of punks and artists) and highly visual. Scott’s flat drawing style is deceptively simple, and you’ll spit your coffee up more than once after turning the page to find some hilarious facial rendering. Indeed, the dead-on and wildly exaggerated expressiveness of the characters is a soaring highlight of a damn near perfect comic.
As punchy as the comedic elements of the book are, they also remind a lot of readers of the darker sides of the world they may partake in, witness, or prop up. Scott touches on sexism, racism, classism, and gay issues with sensitivity and wit.
Wendy is a hilarious, sharp, and unnervingly relevant work. Bravo! (Jonathan Valelly)