The Science Fair

    (Antarctic, 2005)
™ and © Antarctic Press

Very little dialog accompanies this very stylized comic book that resembles an old UPA cartoon (Mr. Magoo, Gerald McBoingboing), and particularly “The Telltale Heart.” In the series opener, our hero travels across the land with an arrow in his chest during most of the book. Science Fair was originally a webcomic and this series compiles most of those old stories in paper comic book form. The juxtaposition of hand drawn characters and photographed backgrounds suits the story well.

— Mark Arnold

From the Comics Buyer’s Guide:

A lovelorn cowboy with a soft spot for drink drifts off to dreamland. Suddenly, he envisions his house being firebombed by banditos. So he is forced to pick up the six–shooter that he had buried long ago. To take vengeance on his attackers, he hops on his bicycle in hot pursuit.

But pedaling into the wild, he is shot by an arrow, and that’s when his reality takes a surreal trip down the rabbit hole. Seeing specters and fending off vultures and bats, the cowboy finds himself on the shore of a vast ocean. Will he drown his troubles one way or another?

Succeeding in parleying his Web comic into a print series, Jasen Lex displays an offbeat digital art style, blending photo collage with angular computer illustration. With each one–shot issue, the narrative is driven by psychedelic imagery and sparse dialogue. Creating a post–modern Western that mixes imagery from Clint Eastwood’s High Plains Drifter and Johnny Depp’s cult film Dead Man, this is a relatively mad and intriguing science project compared to the comics norm.

— Oliver Chin

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