Saturday, October 17, 2015

Thirty Days Of Short Reviews #17: Amy Godfrey

Amy Godfrey's a comics mover-and-shaker. She's the founder of the Durham Comics Project, which used an outreach approach to encourage newcomers to draw stories about their lives. She organizes numerous Drink 'n Draws in Durham and was the driving force behind the annual ComicsFest at the local library. She's also a cartoonist in her own right, using a simple, smooth line and exaggerated, blacked-in eyes (not unlike Neil Fitzpatrick) to give her characters an animated quality, despite the naturalistic nature of her work.

In Between #1, written by John Godfrey, is narrated by a cat and focuses on cats and their many lives. It's a highly clever conceit, as the cat in question says that cats have many more than nine lives, and that in fact, cats just on life #9 are still pretty stupid. Godfrey's illustrations of this are especially funny--a cat chewing a live wire and another knocking over a lit candle. It's all lighthearted until the very last page, where the cat reveals that dying isn't so bad. It's getting stuck "in-between" life and death that's bad, and he knows because he can see them in the mirror. It's a delightfully creepy reveal.

The Laundromat is an older quickie of a comic in which Godfrey and her partner are sitting at a table, and she tells him she's drawing what they're doing. But he protests that "But I'm not saying this". It's a clever little point of view that riffs on quotidian moments and autobio and briefly reveals the artifice behind even the most naturalistic of comics. One can see how Godfrey's line has developed between this comic and In Between: It's smoother, bolder and more confident.

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