October 3, 2010

  |  

Three Mini-Comics by JP Coovert

All comics have these credits:
Written by JP Coovert
Illustrated by JP Coovert
One Percent Press

Continuing my run through some of the mini-comics I have but didn't read as soon as I got them, here are three by JP Coovert, who is part of the artists participating in One Percent Press.

Adrift, shown to the left, is a nearly wordless story narrating the tale of a man lost at sea. He's in deadly danger as the various creatures that populate the vast oceans vie for supremacy. Can our poor castaway find anyone to help him in time? His salvation may come from an unlikely source.

Coovert's story is a simple one, but his expressive characters give this an interesting edge that it might not otherwise have. The artistic style borrows heavily from Craig Thompson, but that's not a bad thing. This mini does a good job of showing what you can do with a comic of this size and style.
Simple Routines #11 is Coovert's ongoing diary comic. Covering the fall and winter of 2008-09, there are 23 four-panel comics, each of which cover a moment in Coovert's life.

These comics are much simpler and basic in style than Adrift (or Rematch, below). Instead of the flowing lines of the other comics (and cover), the insides feature much more angular work. It's a bit of a jarring change if you are reading these books together, as I was.

Coovert's personal strips all tend to the positive, even when things aren't going quite as well as he'd like (mostly in relation to having a job). As a result, there seems to be a layer between artist and reader, creating a distance that I think hurts a diary strip of this nature.


Rematch returns to the Thompson style that worked well for me in Adrift. Another flowing male character rockets into space in order to challenge for a ping-pong ball belt against an alien of unknown origin. When the alien refuses to give up when he's beaten fair and square, the book turns into a brawl on the moon.

Yes, this is a book about a ping-pong match that turns into a moon-based fight. And oh yeah, the fight involves robots. How cool is that?

This was my favorite of the three comics, showing a good artistic range for Coovert within a consistent style. There's even an experimental two-page spread during the game that was particularly nifty and shows that mini-comics can do interesting things with page layouts, too.

Overall, I think Coovert has a lot going on in his comics that make him someone you should definitely check out, if you like fun, upbeat stories with flowing lines that never seem to come to an angle. I'd say start with Rematch and go from there. You can check out Coovert's work (and the rest of One Percent Press) here.