Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Saw You...: Comics Inspired by Real-Life Missed Connections

Here's how this works. I read a book or two and tell you about them and try not to get too long-winded, and maybe you'd like to think about reading them as well. This time, a review of I Saw You...: Comics Inspired by Real-Life Missed Connections (Three Rivers Press, 2009).

While in Boston this summer, I stopped into one of our nation's very best comic shops, the quite awesome Million Year Picnic, and picked up a few things. Among them is this very interesting anthology edited by Julia Wertz. Apparently, and this is what I get for never having paid any attention to either traditional classified ads or to Craigslist, there's a whole subculture of people who are too shy to approach attractive people in public, and so they resort to leaving optimistic little mash notes somewhere they hope their crush will read. That strides a deliciously uncomfortable line between "desperate" and "pathetic," doesn't it?

Obviously, there's a great potential for comedy in this odd, odd approach to meeting, and the dozens of cartoonists who have contributed to Wertz's book find takes ranging from slapstick to wistful to mean-spirited. Kazimir Strzepek, Shaenon Garrity and Alec Longstreth contributed particular favorites.

Many others weren't to my taste. Some of the artists choose to work in styles which I found confusing or difficult to read. Some of them are totally ready for prime time. Some of them, like Pete Bagge and Shannon Wheeler, have been there for years. Nothing in it really bowled me over. Some comics made me scratch my head and wonder what the heck I just read, but more of them made me smile and laugh. Certainly worth a look for older readers.


Anonymous said...

If I can order this online, I might just get this. I use to read the CL's "Missed Connections" all the time.

Grant, the Hipster Dad said...

The image links to its Amazon page, or you could possibly see it for yourself at Adventure Cards & Comics on Elmwood Avenue, near West Delavan. :-)