Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Small Comics by Andrew Fulton

UK cartoonist Andrew Fulton sent me a big batch of his "smaller comics": hand-crafted minicomics that indulge the artist's scatological side and show off his excellent chops. With his scratchy and delicate line, he reminds me a lot of Joseph Lambert, especially since both often like to draw silly and/or childish things. Telep is a lesser, earlier work about a woman's frustration with a dropped call. The storytelling isn't entirely coherent in this one. Pee Merm, on the other hand, is about a drunk's pool of piss transforming into a magical pool featuring the titular creature, only to have her be far nastier than she initially seemed. It's an excellent joke that he executes in a spot-on fashion, keeping things cartoony and simple. Super is about an encounter between a pervy customer and a supermarket check-out girl that turns into a very amusing and surprising game of riding a cart down a hill, with both parties winding up in compromising positions--but not unwillingly so.

Fulton's comics are invariably about being lonely and isolated and taking extraordinary means to try to relieve this state. Ben Lives In A Cabin Up A Mountain is about a big guy living in that titular cabin who shits off the edge of a mountain every night. The punchline is that he's created his own sort of shit sculpture that resembles a human--company at least, as he leaps off the mountain! Along the same lines is Can You Still Get Pregnant If The Dude Just Cries The Whole Time, which is about a hairy, tubby guy who blows up condoms, draws on them so they look like women, and then jumps up and down on them with a great deal of glee. Like all of Fulton's comics, it would be repulsive if it weren't drawn in such a cute manner.

Fulton's more recent work is a bit more introspective, while still very much in the same vein. Mad Bonaz 4 Lyfe is about two men who were lovers who are trying to break up. One makes an effort to masturbate to the thought of women while the other tries to have sex with an actual woman...but it's not quite the same. Connected by orgasm, the two simply cannot be apart, which makes for a surprisingly tender conclusion in a comic dedicated to a couple of Fulton's friends. Finally, Good abandons sex and scatology and instead focuses on a father and his children. Only this father is nearly fetal and feral, presumably after trying to look after two rambunctious boys. The way the boys draw their father back in and the way he comes back in feels both real and exaggerated, the way that parenthood itself often feels. Fulton's drawing has become much more assured as he really took time to draw dozens of tiny, scraggly lines of hair on the man's head, giving him a properly disheveled appearance to go with his long, angular limbs and torso.  These minis clearly seem to be Fulton having a bit of fun and knocking out quick, silly ideas, but it's clear that he's talented and has deeper ideas lurking under this veneer of silliness. 

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