No Future #8

Posted: Tuesday, April 18, 2006
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of No Future #8 Creator(s): Luke Krienke, with Robin Fisher writing Worst New Year's Ever
Publishers: Plutonic Press (Self Published)
From: Canada
Price: $4 in Canada & U.S. (ppd)

A collection of there quite different stories unified by the common theme of the ending of things, and how these conclusions can’t be predicted when things begin.

Colonel Cheapskate Joe is a little boy who likes playing soldiers, especially when he gets to be Sargent and boss his little sister, who has be a private, around. Together they wander off from home and have an adventure involving a shower of rain, mud and the local woods. The two children come across as very believable kids; not the one adults usually like to imagine, but the bossy, imaginative, hopeful ones you meet sometimes in real life. Their adventures are humorous, but tinged with the callous indifference and anger of their parents.

Worst New Year's Ever! A very depressing tale regarding a young woman’s first New years away from her parents, and a boyfriend who may or may not visit her on this special evening on his way home from a work do.. then another party• and a few drinks with a female college. The tone here is darker, lightened in parts by amusing narrative techniques involving iconic imagery, such as the character standing on maps etc. Those of you with an irrational aversion to autobiographical material might want to steer clear.

Good Night, Little Flower Princes is the darkest of the tales presented here, as a man sleeping in a bath or coffin is ridiculed by the apparition of an ex-wife. The poor guy is a sap really, and his ex-wife is a nasty piece of work. As for the friend who is now dating the ex-wife, what a loser. She really eviscerates her ex, and when she is finished things get really weird as our hero undergoes a strange, disturbing transformation, which may or may not signify the reality of the situation when have been observing.

Even in this book’s harshest moments there is tenderness to its depiction of the flaws of humanity. Things go wrong and we see the hurt in the faces of the characters. Kids are mean to each other because they don’t know better, parents yell out of frustration with life, partners cheat of each other.

The cover image is a gorgeous piece of work, caught the eye instantly. Luke’s gives his interior artwork a different style for each story. Colonel• is open; the children are cute while the parents remain faceless and all the more distant because of this. Worst New Year's• is very clean and clever, with interesting panel layouts that add another layer to the story being told. Goodnight• is harsh, the location being bare and cold, with a final transformation that is nightmarish.

This collection is quite striking in its range and the creative qualities it contains, making it a book I don’t hesitate in recommending to you all to have a read of. Just make sure you have someone close by who can give you a hug afterwards 'cause you'll need it.

In a Word: Grim.

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