Saturday, May 22, 2010

Book-A-Day 2010 # 108 (5/22) -- The Amazing Cynicalman by Matt Feazell

To start off with, you should know that the best way to buy The Amazing Cynicalman is directly from the author, Matt Feazell, and his Not Available Books -- that's how I bought it, and my order came with a signature (and sketch, and a "Cynicalman Seal of Grudging Approval" stamp inked inside) in the book, a minicomic, and a single-page strip on something like a cover letter. Sure, I'll throw in my usual Amazon link at the bottom, but we're in the era where we're supposed to be buying cool things directly from small, quirky creators, so you might as well get used to it.

And Cynicalman is well worth getting. Feazell has been drawing his stick-figure comics for almost thirty years now, and that's not because he can only draw stick figures (as anyone who ever read Ant Boy! can attest) -- his drawing is deceptively simple but very expressive, and wonderful for short gag comics.

In an odd twist of fate, this book primarily consists of short gag comics -- the full run of the "Cynicalman" strip (1997-2002), which appeared in various newspapers (mostly in Michigan). But Cynicalman has been around for much longer than that -- Feazell has been doing minicomics about him (and various other amusing characters, like Cute Girl, the evil Dr. Pweent. the Board of Superheroes, Stupid Boy, Spud and Ernie -- Cynicalman's fan club -- and Bother) for about as long as he's been doing comics.

As you can guess from the names, Feazell tends to the stripped-down in his writing as well as his art -- this is cartooning, full of gags (cheap and otherwise), with lots of clever situations and amusing dialogue. And, as I've said before, Cynicalman is a product of the midwest and the early '80s -- he's cynical, but not corrosively so; his attitude is that things will probably go wrong, and that the world is filled with unpleasantness.

There are some good examples of Feazell's work at his site (link above); go check it out if this sounds at all interesting. He's one of the great, and longest-running minicomickers, and an inspiration to anyone in comics who wants to try something new and different -- he certainly hasn't gotten rich from this, but he's had a long career doing what he wants to do, and created some very entertaining stories and strips along the way.
Book-A-Day 2010: The Epic Index
Listening to: Hexes & Ohs - Wildfire!
via FoxyTunes

No comments:

Post a Comment