Knee Pockets #2

Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2004
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Knee Pockets #2 Creator(s): David Tang
Publishers: Self Published
From: Australia
Price: $10(AU)

David musters a large group of artists to assist with this bumper anthology of short to medium length stories. About half of them are fiction while the other half have an autobiographical bent, focusing on relationships and... relationships.

If the number of people willing to work with him is any indication, David seems to be making an impression on the Australian comics scene. They certainly have a lot of nice things to say about him. The book has a reflective tone, with the majority of stories dealing with wistful, almost melancholic recollections of childhood: kids on camp talking crap, bumping into an ex-girlfriend. There's quite a few awkward moments in the book, especially one that deals with a girl being drugged at a party and taken back to a room. Is the guy going to take advantage of her? Two guys a standing around when one of them farts - how do they react?

With the high level of guest artists you get an excellent sampler of styles. They all take a restrained approach, giving the book a gentle feels. There's some nice use of grey tone all though-out the anthology, though in David's own art he tends to overdo it, so the pages lack contrast. A bit of white space now and then does wonders for the readability.

David's autobiographical material makes for interesting reading, full of unrequited love and observations on the silly ideas that go through your head when you're a kid Why does the moon follow me around? His artwork is care full finished but still has a slightly awkward look to the character constructions. I found this worked to keep the stories honest. The production standards are high and the stories are thoughtful, except for the farty bits.

Fans of autobiographical work will get a lot out of this book, but those of you with an aversion to I loved her but when she left me I realised I didn't really should keep to the fictional half. This issue can only add to David's reputation as a creator to watch.

In a Word: Enfolding.

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