Just Another Name

Posted: Tuesday, September 2, 2003
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Just Another Name Creator(s): Kevin Gleason
Publishers: Crossroads Comics (Self Published)
From: USA
Price: $2.95 (US)

A guy gets up the courage to ask the pretty girl at the bookshop out for lunch. He's shy, she's cautious but over lunch they get to know a little about each other and it looks like they might just meet up again.

Quick warning: if you have a heart of stone and think that valentines day is a load of soppy crap then you would be best to pass on this comic, because Kevin wallows in the depths of sentimental romance. The narrator is a young high school kid working on his first comic, and the girl at the shop catches his eyes. We get to hear from the narrator what sort of effect she (Emma) had on him and hists that this is the beginning of a story that could turn sour. The book is mostly made up of the conversation between Emma and the narrator and Kevin does a nice job of making it work. Sure, some of the material is sappy, but it works as a conversation. Kevin manages to portray those nervous laughs, awkward silences and cow eyed looks that we all somehow get away with when we are in love.

There is an awkward mix in the tone of this comic. The narrators initial chat up lines are hilarious in their charming ineptness Hi. I've been suffering from a bad case of amnesia.... Do I come here often? and Emma's responses are good-natured. Later on in their chat we get some quite serious topics as the Narrator tells Emma stories of dead parents and an Uncle who was a homicide Detective until a violent assault saw him pensioned off. Downer. Somehow we are expected to believe Emma will sit though such a conversation with a complete stranger.

Kevin's illustrations appear to be un-inked pencils. They are quite thin in line and run the risk of appearing washed out. He counteracts this with the use of black rectangles to add weight to the pages and hold the panels together. This he has to do because he spreads the frames out over the page so that there isn’t any consistent page layout. This makes for a visually interesting comic that has a unique look. Imaginative use is made of these devices, along with photographic images.

This is a quite charming story that apart from some out of place content works wonders in drawing the reader into a quiet and romantic moment in a young man's life. Emma looks cute, the narrator looks innocent and the smiles on Emma's face will make your heart flutter and melt even the most cynical persons gruff exterior.

In a Word: Romantic.

If you have a comment or question about Small Press then feel free to contact me