A few weeks ago I reviewed Jonathan Baylis’s latest issue of So… Buttons, called So… Horror-ble. I enjoyed the comic a lot, especially the story that presented a real-life horror story about a body found on the beach.
Jonathan was nice enough to send me a copy of the first and second issue of his autobiographical mini-comic, so I thought I’d review them today and tomorrow.
So…Buttons #1 features seven autobiographical stories. They present an interesting portrait of Jonathan’s life and feel at times like sitting at a bar with Jonathan and sharing drinks as he tells stories about his life.
The first story, “So… My Dad Got Drafted?” tells a story about a turning point in Jonathan’s father’s life, in which his dad makes a decision that Baylis would never have expected. Illustrated well by an artist called Mr. Alan, the four-pager is an interesting story but the lettering is a poor choice the detracts from the story.
“So…Racist?” with art by David Beyer Jr., presents an interesting moral and racial dilemma spurred by the cover of a porno video. The photo-derived art is a nice fit for the story, and the story has a pretty cute ending.
“So… the Sun Won’t Come Out Tomorrow” is a full-colored piece illustrated in a nicely vivid style by T.J. Kirsch. I really liked the eye for detail that Kirsch presented in this little anecdote, as the artist uses small touches in his line-work to bring his characters vividly to life.
Kirsch also illustrates two cute pieces about Jonathan and his wife. I especially liked the more animated style art he uses in “So… I’m Dating a Comic”, which gives the story a great comedic edge.
“So… Heaven Smells Like Bacon” is a one-pager illustrated by David Beyer Jr., that reminds me in a good way of the work of Harvey Pekar. It’s a nice strip that Beyer brings to life with good placement of details.
Lastly, “So… Only Nixon Could’ve Gone to China”, also illustrated with a good eye for detail by Beyer, deals with the Jewish college student Baylis’s ambivalent attitude towards his school trip to Germany. I really enjoyed his complex approach to the country and its history, and the way he kind of comes around to peace with history. I especially liked how this story kind of tracks Baylis’s train of thought and plays out in a logical way. It’s the highlight of the issue for me, with a very smart final page.
This is a smart and interesting autobio comic that I thought was really relatable and interesting.
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