Mome

    (Fantagraphics, 2005)
™ and © 2005 Fantagraphics Books, Inc.

Fantagraphics’ Summer of 2005 anthology is healthy mix of autobiographical and philosophical short comics by some of the most prominent names in “alternative” comics, by which we mean those stories to which much of humanity would respond, so it’s a varied collection. The slice of life tales don’t break type by straying from the neurotic wanderings of dissatisfied nerds and hipsters, but since that’s probably what you’re buying the book to read, be satisfied that they’re all top-notch, particularly Gabrielle Bell’s resonant “I Feel Nothing,” and the meticulously clean art of Paul Hornschemeier, who’s still spearing the reader on the blade of human loneliness. (We twist in grateful pain, Mr. Hornschemeier. )

Bell also provides the cover, a single panel cropped to attain a singular gravity, a real testament to the immediate emotional availability of her simple linework. Andrice Arp’s “The Jewels of the Sea” tells a classic Japanese folk tale in a fun and friendly way that demands future additions. The developing Sophie Crumb, gives us three very different quick tales. Then there’s Anders Nilsen’s “The Beast,” a visually intriguing monologue by a faceless—you know what? Just go ahead and buy it, it’s chock full of laughter and tears, and Jeffrey Brown. You like Jeffrey Brown, right, kids? Yeah, ya do.

— Brendan McGinley

From the Comics Buyer’s Guide:

Fantagraphics would very much like its new comics anthology to be an upscale collision between the underground Zap and a literary journal like McSweeney’s. Like Zap, it features the same artists every volume, and, as with McSweeney’s, Fantagraphics is hoping Mome will become a brand name for the new bookstore crowd looking for unconventional comics. Unfortunately, while the production values are first-rate, the contents are mostly lacking in both energy and authority.

While there are several experiments in subject matter and medium, most of the pieces here are indifferent variations on the self-indulgent theme of “look at me.” Reading both “Life with Mr. Dangerous” (our protagonist struggles to have a feeling, and it’s only part one!) and the black-and-white “Dance with The Ventures” (someone with too much time on his hands goes through somebody’s garbage) is like being stuck in an unventilated closet with not particularly nice strangers.

The highlights are definitely the contributions by Sophie Crumb, the best of them being “Tanya,” an assured piece of comics biography on a genuinely interesting subject.

— S.A. Bennett
Jump to issue:
  NotesWriterArtist
#1
July, 2005
Cover Price: $14.95
2 copies available from $14.50
Gabrielle Bell, Kurt Wolfgang, Martin Cendreda, Jeffrey Brown, Paul Hornschemeier, Gary Groth, Anders Nilsen, Sophie Crumb, David Heatley, Andrice ArpGabrielle Bell, Kurt Wolfgang, Martin Cendreda, Jeffrey Brown, Paul Hornschemeier, Gary Groth, Anders Nilsen, Sophie Crumb, David Heatley, Andrice Arp
#2
September, 2005
Cover Price: $14.95
1 copy available for $13.50
Jonathan Bennett, Tim Hensley, Kurt Wolfgang, Martin Cendreda, Anders Nilsen, Sophie Crumb, Paul Hornschemeier, Gabrielle Bell, David Heatley, John Pham, Jeffrey Brown, Andrice Arp, Gary GrothJonathan Bennett, Tim Hensley, Kurt Wolfgang, Martin Cendreda, Anders Nilsen, Sophie Crumb, Paul Hornschemeier, Gabrielle Bell, David Heatley, John Pham, Jeffrey Brown, Andrice Arp
#4
June, 2006
Cover Price: $14.95
1 copy available for $13.50
David Heatley, Anders Nilsen, R. Kukuo Johnson, Sophie Crumb, John Pham, Martin Cendreda, Paul Hornschemeier, Gary Groth, Jonathan Bennett, Gabrielle Bell, Jeffrey Brown, David B.David Heatley, Anders Nilsen, R. Kukuo Johnson, Sophie Crumb, John Pham, Martin Cendreda, Paul Hornschemeier, Gary Groth, Jonathan Bennett, Gabrielle Bell, Jeffrey Brown, David B.
#5
September, 2006
Cover Price: $14.95
1 copy available for $13.50
Andrice Arp, Tim Hensley, Martin Cendreda, Zak Sally, Anders Nilsen, Sophie Crumb, Jeffrey Brown, Paul Hornschemeier, Gary Groth, Gabrielle Bell, Robert Goodin, Kurt WolfgangAndrice Arp, Tim Hensley, Martin Cendreda, Zak Sally, Anders Nilsen, Sophie Crumb, Jeffrey Brown, Paul Hornschemeier, Gary Groth, Gabrielle Bell, Robert Goodin, Kurt Wolfgang
#6
November, 2006
Cover Price: $14.95
1 copy available for $13.50
Sammy Harkham, R. Kukuo Johnson, Tim Hensley, Martin Cendreda, Anders Nilsen, David Heatley, Emile Bravo, Jeffrey Brown, Paul Hornschemeier, Gary Groth, Sophie Crumb, Lewis Trondheim, Jonathan Bennett, Gabrielle Bell, Kurt WolfgangSammy Harkham, R. Kukuo Johnson, Tim Hensley, Martin Cendreda, Anders Nilsen, David Heatley, Emile Bravo, Jeffrey Brown, Paul Hornschemeier, Gary Groth, Sophie Crumb, Lewis Trondheim, Jonathan Bennett, Gabrielle Bell, Kurt Wolfgang
#7
March, 2006
Cover Price: $14.95
1 copy available for $13.50
Eleanor Davis, David Heatley, Paul Hornschemeier, Gabrielle Bell, Sophie Crumb, Kurt Wolfgang, Lewis Trondheim, Andrice Arp, Anders Nilsen, Gary Groth, Al Columbia, Tom KaczynskiEleanor Davis, David Heatley, Paul Hornschemeier, Gabrielle Bell, Sophie Crumb, Kurt Wolfgang, Lewis Trondheim, Andrice Arp, Anders Nilsen, Gary Groth, Al Columbia, Tom Kaczynski
#8
June, 2007
Cover Price: $14.95
1 copy available for $13.50
Ray Fenwick, Eleanor Davis, Sophie Crumb, Tom Kaczynski, Emile Bravo, Al Columbia, Jonathan Bennett, Joe Kimball, Lewis Trondheim, Gary Groth, Paul HornschemeierRay Fenwick, Eleanor Davis, Sophie Crumb, Tom Kaczynski, Emile Bravo, Al Columbia, Jonathan Bennett, Joe Kimball, Lewis Trondheim, Gary Groth, Paul Hornschemeier
#9
October, 2007
Cover Price: $14.95
1 copy available for $13.50
Ray Fenwick, Eleanor Davis, Sophie Crumb, Tom Kaczynski, Emile Bravo, Al Columbia, Jonathan Bennett, Joe Kimball, Lewis Trondheim, Gary Groth, Paul Hornschemeier, Jim WoodringRay Fenwick, Eleanor Davis, Sophie Crumb, Tom Kaczynski, Emile Bravo, Al Columbia, Jonathan Bennett, Joe Kimball, Lewis Trondheim, Gary Groth, Paul Hornschemeier