Rubber Necker

 RUBN   (Alternative, 2003)

™ and © Alternative Comics

From the first issue’s opening page, one gets the initial impression that this comic book will be something along the lines of Adrian Tomine’s Optic Nerve: an engrossing study of ordinary but well-defined characters that examines their thoughts and interactions. And, while the issue’s first storyline is in fact a tale not unlike one of Tomine’s and every bit as engrossing, readers might be surprised to see that the rest of the issue, and series, contains an array of eclectic stories so varied that they seem to be excerpts from entirely different comics.

Which they are, to some degree, since some of Bertozzi’s stories are reprinted from hard-to-find sources. But, despite the wildly different styles from tale to tale, rest assured that all were crafted by Bertozzi, and any surprise experienced by readers will be a pleasant one, for there are few creators who can readily lend themselves to so many contrasting ways of bringing their thoughts to the printed page.

While the Tomine-esque “Drop Ceiling” (which is an ongoing feature) leads things off, Bertozzi follows up with a Chris Ware-ish tale of obsession and wish-fulfillment, while the reader could almost swear that Will Eisner himself had drawn one of the second issue’s features. There is virtually nothing that Bertozzi duplicates; everything from the tone to the art to the lettering is a showcase of his diverse talents.

But, while he does a fine job of aping the styles of other creators, his own style remains elusive. Perhaps this is something that will emerge as the series progresses, but, at its current publishing schedule, this emergence could be a long way off.

— Jim Johnson

Jump to issue:
  NotesWriterArtist

#1

  6/1/2002
  $3.50
  $3.00
1 copy available for $2.99
 Nick Bertozzi 

#2

  10/1/2002
  $3.50
  $3.00
1 copy available for $2.99
 Nick Bertozzi 

#3

  6/1/2003
  $3.50
  $14.00
1 copy available for $4.99
 Nick Bertozzi 

#4

  3/1/2004
  $3.50
  $3.50
No copies available
 Nick Bertozzi