Overview

Lunch Hour Comix #1

Review

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Lunch Hour Comix #1

Credits

  • Words: Rob Ullman
  • Art: Rob Ullman
  • Inks: Rob Ullman
  • Colors: N/A
  • Story Title: Lunch Hour Comix
  • Publisher: Alternative Comics
  • Price: $4.95
  • Release Date: Dec 22, 2004

Renowned Indy creator Rob Ullman returns to autobiographical work by collecting several of his comic strips, all of which were created in under an hour.

Anyone who has read Ullman’s self-published autobiographical series From the Curve will know what to expect from this collection. His subject manner varies greatly, as he covers everything from soft humor to biting political commentary. Ullman’s friend and fellow cartoonist Bill Burg also contributes a few strips to this book.

Typical of most of Ullman’s body of work, Lunch Hour Comix is not laugh-out-loud funny. The vast majority of the humor is of the very gentle type that simply puts a smile on your face. The book’s funniest moments actually derive from Ullman’s willingness to poke fun at himself. The real strength of his work, however, comes with the honesty found in this work. He has the thoughts and feelings that everyone has, and he knows how to use them to their most powerful extent. When Ullman’s strips diverge away from that normalcy, they generally take up either a sad tone or a political tone. The strips retain significant strength though, as Ullman conveys emotion nicely and has interesting, if one-sided, views on politics. Most impressively, he avoids the trap that many autobiographical cartoonists fall into, by keeping his work personal and at the same time making truly entertaining comics.

As good a writer as Ullman is, his renown deservedly derives from his incredible artwork. His art has a very stylized look, yet he also has a keen eye for detail. He generally uses rather heavy strokes in his art, but he uses them sparingly, keeping his stories in their appropriate light tone. While his anatomy seems very strange at times, he is an absolute master at creating facial expressions. Utilizing one of the most aesthetically pleasing styles in the business, Ullman is truly one of the best artists in comics today, mainstream or small press.

As a brief interlude to Ullman’s work in this collection, Bill Burg provides a handful of strips. His writing very much keeps with Ullman’s tone, while his more angular art style provides for a nice contrast. Perhaps the best and most moving strip in the book actually comes from Burg’s work, with his strip about his fear of becoming a father. Burg is a new name to me, but it is one to watch out for.

Ullman did just what his fans expected in this piece as we await the return of From the Curve. Lunch Hour Comix is neither particularly tear-jerking or humorous, but it is a lot of fun. Both impressively relatable and artistically beautiful, this book is well worth a purchase.

-Eliot Johnson

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