This is Still America #2

Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2007
By: Steve Saville

Cover of This is Still America #2 Creator(s): George
Publishers: Self Published
From: USA
Price: US$ 2.00.

Fans of Jimmy Corrigan sit up and take note. This second part in what is a tragically sad look at growing up in the middle of a dysfunctional adult world is a tale after the heart of Mr. Ware himself. And like that modern masterpiece this 28 pager is a splendid and rewarding read.

True, you do have to get past a pretty ‘ho hum’ cover and true, you do have to get over the fact that every page is headed up with, “where the fuck is everybody?” [a phrase that also covers the actual cover]. True, you do have to get over an initially confusing plot and true the art work itself takes some time to grow accustomed to. BUT after having persevered all of that the reward is more than worthwhile.

The art work is unique is the way that it uses no shading, no cross hatching and no attempt at creating anything like a 3D effect. It is in fact made up of fairly straightforward thin line outlines. Initially this is a little disconcerting but once you allow the story to take over you are quickly drawn into the tale and the art work then starts to complement the narrative.

Initially the narrative is a little disconcerting as well. Possibly because this is part two of the storyline but I found it unclear who the boy was actually talking to and the family relationship was not immediately clear. The synopsis for part one that precedes the actual comic is a necessary read to help answer some of these questions. I mention all of this because it is important not to get put off because from about page 5 on everything gets clearer.

This is a tale of a boy who goes to live with his dad after his parents have split up. He has anger problems that are not helped by his macho fathers approach to bringing up children.

Like any young teen would the main character seeks escape into the world of computer games, the friendship of his dog and his active imagination.

An encounter with the local bullies however brings the worst out of the dad as he tries to teach his son how to stand up for himself. His cruelty is unnerving but the sensitivity in which the boy’s trauma is handled by George is touching to say the least.

In the end the portrayal of his loneliness and the way he misses his Mum is enough to bring a tear to the eye [honestly]. George has masterfully managed to get emotional without getting sentimental and mushy.

This is a bitter sweet comic of a kid caught in a confusing world that he didn’t create, a world that hurts him but a world that I have no doubt he will survive.

George describes it as a sad- funny tale, I’m sorry I found it to be only sad, endearing yes, touching yes funny no.

In a Word: Moving.

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