Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Curses by Kevin Huizenga

I'm not quite sure how to pigeonhole Kevin Huizenga's comics work...and that's a good thing. When I saw that his stories were mostly about a single character, Glenn Ganges, I expected that Huizenga would be a pseudo-autobiographical cartoonist, maybe in the Peter Bagge vein. But the Ganges stories -- at least the ones in this book -- mostly don't feel autobiographical.

In fact, the lead-off story in this collection, "Green Tea," retells a nineteenth century horror story by J. Sheridan Le Fanu, and other stories repurpose an Italian folktale, Chinese adoption records, and evangelical theology. Ganges is the main character in only a couple of the stories; in others, he seems to be the viewpoint character, but then the story shifts away from him.

I still think Glenn Ganges is a stand-in for Huizenga in some way, but Huizenga is clearly not using Ganges to retell his own life -- at most, it's an outlook on life or a viewpoint that Ganges shares with Huizenga.

All of the stories in Curses are interesting, and some of them (I liked "Lost and Found" in particular) are really strong. It's a very strong debut collection, and I hope we'll be seeing more from Huizenga soon.

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