November 22, 2010

  |  

Carl Finds Love Issues 1 and 2

Written by Sara Lindo
Illustrated by Sara Lindo
Self-Published

I first became familiar with Sara Lindo's comics when I picked up Lobotomy at 2009's SPX. I enjoyed that comic a lot (it's hard to believe that was her first effort), and was pleased to see that she's still working in the mini-comic format, even if these two comics are of a larger size than Lobotomy's more traditional half-page size.

This time around, Lindo works with a recurring character, Carl. He's a construction worker (of course) who has a road cone for a head. Palling around with screwdrivers, forks, and spoons, Carl inhabits a world that is a strange mixture of actual humans and items that have been expanded to take on humanoid form, such as Carl himself.

This might be a bit disconcerting in other contexts, but everyone in Carl's world treats it as normal, making it work quite well as part of the story. (One does wonder about a human palling around with a living, breathing, and feeling surf board, however.) It helps that Lindo draws everything to look perfectly natural, even if normal means a triple-scoop ice cream cone walking down main street. Little touches such as giving Carl's foreman a typical boss's mustache are nice tricks, too that demonstrate Lindo's ability to do the small things necessary to take a relationship comic and make it a step above the plethora of minis doing the same thing.

You see, Carl the cone-headed construction worker wants nothing more than to have love in his life. Friends are fine, but he's looking for something more. The premise of these two issues is that Carl just can't seem to make this work no matter what he tries. Being an arrogant jerk may sway those who want a reckless cabbie tomato (Have I mentioned the fun of the little touches?) but it's not Carl's style. Flowers can only go so far, especially when you're supposed to be at work. Can a blind date help? Only the next installment will tell

As I mentioned, this is very much a relationship comic, a sub-genre that I enjoy but isn't for everyone. I've read enough of them, though, to start getting pickier. Carl Finds Love does a lot of little things that make it work for me, such as having strong artwork (which you can see in the cover images in this review), clear lettering, and characters who act in realistic ways, even if they're quite fanciful. The dialog that Carl has with his friends is the same type of conversations I've had on both sides of the equation. There's nothing artificial about Carl--other than maybe his cone for a head.

Carl Finds Love's first issue is black and white, while the second issue progresses to color. That takes the price up to $3.00, but the production quality and artwork justify taking this out of my usual $2.00 mini-comic safe zone. There's nothing wrong with charging a little more for something that looks good, as long as you don't go crazy.

I had a good time with Lindo's newest project, and definitely recommend it to others. You can find samples of Sara Lindo's illustration at her website, and can buy her comics here. We don't know yet if Carl Finds Love (though the title of the comic makes it seem promising), but I'll be more than happy to keep reading to find out. Fans of relationship comics will, too.

Disclosure: Ms. Lindo was kind enough to send these along to me to review. If you're interested in having me read a work for review, please get in touch!