Drawn and Quarterly #4 COMIC BOOK review [Chris Oliveros]

Book Reviews
Drawn and Quarterly #4 COMIC BOOK review [Chris Oliveros]
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Dec 16, 2001, 00:03

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DRAWN AND QUARTERLY #4 edited by Chris Oliveros; Drawn and Quarterly, 2001

D&Q 4 marks the second issue published in the new, large-scale format. The size, beautiful graphic design (this issue's cover by Steven Guarnaccia is every bit as stunning as last issue's Chris Ware tribute to Frank King), and highly pleasing length (around 160 pages) make this one of the best investments you can make in a comic book anthology. Oliveros seems intent on using these collections to highlight non-American (and especially European and Canadian) work. This issue contains, among other gems, another stunning boxing story from French artist Hincker Blutch, a story about the Russian suppression of revolution in Budapest in 1956, by Hungarian/Israeli author Miriam Katin, and a charming parable by Swiss artist Nicolas Robel. D&Q 4 may not be as strong in content as D&Q 3. Its major weakness is an uninspired 50 page biography of Herge. But this issue's graphic strengths more than make up for its weaknesses. R. Sikoryak contributes a version of the Scarlet Letter told in Little Lulu format that is, if anything, even better than his Batman version of Crime and Punishment in D&Q 3. There are 16 reprints of Harry Mayerovitch's World War II era Film Board of Canada posters that are alone more than worth the price of admission. Best of all, there are another 30 reprints of classic Gasoline Alley strips. It's still shocking to see these beautiful pages. Frank King's use of color, narrative, and spatial experimentation were way ahead of their time and are still complex and engaging enough to get even Scott McCloud running in circles. These reprints are a gift to comic fans everywhere. Ultimately, there's no reason not to run out and buy this issue and, if you don't already have it, issue #3 as well.

-Jason Cons

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