November 1, 2009

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I Cut My Hair #1

Written by Lisa Rosalie Eisenberg
Illustrated by Lisa Rosalie Eisenberg
Self-Published

Journal comics seem to be a bit more numerous than they were before, or maybe it's just that I am more aware of them after becoming a fan of the style by reading James Kochalka. Either way, I find them interesting, because when done right they can give you a real insight into the author's life and their thoughts on it without having to read pages of dialog.

When writing, there's no real limit on what you can say, but in comic form, you only have so much space to tell your story. That's why I find reading journal comics rewarding in a way that reading the diary of "person X who's more famous than a mini-comic creator" is not.

This set of comics is not a day-by-day breakdown of Eisenberg's life, which I think is probably a smart way to go for a mini-c0mic. This enables the reader to focus on what the writer wants us to focus on, without having to print pages of "I didn't do a lot" comics. (I am making an assumption here that Eisenberg updates her comics regularly and then selected the ones she wanted for this comic--that could be totally wrong.)

She talks about being in a new city, being a part-time teacher splitting her life between two schools, and also a lot of honest looks into her life. (Her struggles with starting her day, general restlessness, and finding her place often either dominate or lurk within the comics collected here.)

Eisenberg also writes a bit about the creative process for her, which is a common theme for journal comics. Her artwork gets everying across very well, including different characters so that we do not feel like she is always talking to the same people. Details are sparce here and there, but the drawings compliment the text and help to set the scene being described. Personal comics don't need intricate landscaping to make their point, after all--Kochalka's are always basic, and I think he's one of the best at this style of work.

I Cut My Hair was a nice find at SPX. Someday, you might be able to grab a copy at Ms. Eisenberg's website, but for now, just look for her at a zinefest or comics show and check it out!