Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Book-A-Day 2010 # 216 (9/7) -- All and Sundry by Paul Hornschemeier

Odds and sods collections are nearly impossible to review -- particularly (as in this case) when the reviewer isn't deeply versed in the particular creator's work to begin with. The only Hornschemeier book I've read before this was his first graphic novel, Mother, Come Home, and I only got to that a few months ago. (Yes, that was very late, but I was misled by the cover of his book Let Us Be Perfectly Clear into thinking he was a very different kind of cartoonist than he is. So, if you're at all like me, don't look at that cover and form any kind of assumptions.)

All and Sundry is a very traditional sort of random-stuff-from-my-file-drawers collection, subtitled "Uncollected Work 2004-2009": the first half is "Drawings and Stories," which are finished pieces (more or less), all of which were published somewhere before or created for some particular purpose, such as foreign covers, standalone short strips, T-shirt designs, movie posters, CD inserts, and other odder items. Most of these pieces were designed to stand as separate artistic works, and they're all pretty successful. (There are some mostly-text pieces here as well, all published originally in Mome, which are of respectable-literary-quarterly style and quality -- that's much better than many comics types can manage when they venture into pure prose, but it's a kind of writing that usually has only a small audience.)

And then the second half of the book is "Sketches and Notes," the inevitable selections from the notebooks Hornschemeier kept for the last five years. These pages are less finished, obviously, and would be of greatest interest to other cartoonists or really serious students of Hornschemeier's work. They're decent sketchbook pages, but I'm really not qualified to judge anyone's sketchbook pages, so I'll just leave it at that.

You need to be a Hornschemeier fan to want this book -- it's very miscellaneous, and full of interesting but minor pieces -- but, if you are one, you'll find a lot to be excited about here.
Book-A-Day 2010: The Epic Index

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