“There Is Ass Dust All Over Me”

review by BK Munn
Lose #2
by Michael DeForge
Koyama Press
Lose #1 was one of the more enjoyable surprises in Canadian comic publishing last year and this sophomore effort by DeForge doesn’t disappoint. Where #1 introduced us to the wide range of DeForge’s cartooning talents, from absurdist humour to auotbio fantasy to a taste of slithering horror, #2 is all horror, all the time, an unrelenting apocalyptic tale of suburban decay rendered in a disarming cute style that masks a facility to disturb –think the style of Charles Schulz crossed with the microscopic pathology of Charles Burns.
The first story in this anthology-style comic book, “It’s Chip,” tells the tale of a pair of elementary school brothers who make a grisly discovery in the woods near their home. The resultant series of events, involving giant insects, infection, and a disembodied horse head, is the sort of story that gets under your skin.
The back-up piece, another adventure of the fruit-headed Nesbit Lemon character from the first issue, is a hellish parody that touches on Milton, heroic fantasy, and dietary politics. DeForge has a great sense of pacing and the whole issue reveals a developing mastery of cartooning and black and white, wrapped up in a beautifully ugly colour cover. I’d call it a breath of fresh air if it wouldn’t be more fitting to call it a fetid breath of despair from the depths of cartoon hell. Either way, fun stuff!