Whatever showcases a remarkable collection of humorous and beautifully drawn short stories by Ignatz-nominated and Xeric Award-winning artist Karl Stevens. Set in the world of young artists, dreamers, drinkers, layabouts and dime-store deep thinkers of bohemian Allston, Massachusetts, the strips - originally published in The Phoenix, Boston's leading alternative weekly - are revealing snapshots of real-life urban America at the dawn of the 21st century. In addition to The Phoenix strips, Whatever features ten exquisite color pieces expertly rendered in watercolor.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.6" Width: 5.7" Height: 0.4" Weight: 0.3 lbs.
Release Date Apr 23, 2008
Publisher Alternative Comics
ISBN 1934460036 ISBN13 9781934460030
This slim anthology covers a wide range of situations and sensibilities. Each page appeared originally in the Boston Phoenix, the way Feiffer used to appear in the Village Voice. There's no similarity between Stevens's work and Feiffer's, though. Stevens documents the daily reality (and unreality) of twenty-somethings fresh from college, with their couplings, uncouplings, ethanolic excesses, room-mate woes, and the general angst of daily life
Some of these pages stand alone: teasing an over-serious art student's commentary on grafitti, or dealing with the vegetarian at Thanksgiving. Others appear as series, like a brief continuity about a small band's big break or a young woman deciding what to feel when her girlfriend seems to be drifting away. Stevens draws uncommonly well, usually in pen, but at least one page looks like B&W ink wash and some gorgeous color pages appear, too. One set of the color paintings was adapted for the cover, a young woman in tiny red bikini, obsessing in front of a mirror. Perhaps those pictures best capture the sense that unifies this whole collection: a scene that's very real and familiar, to at least some set of viewers, and emotionally ambiguous. I don't mean vague, I mean that so many possibilities lie inside the characters that it's hard to guess which dominates.
Although conspicuously set in Boston, this should appeal to anyone fresh out of college. The adults not wholly ready for adulthood are sure to represent someone familiar. Any one who like visual story-telling can enjoy it, though. I recommend this book very highly.