09 February 2006

Brush and Pen reviewed by The Comics Journal

Review by Austin English.
This comic has characters who are ballpoint pens, characters who are Sharpies and characters who are brushes. Each character is drawn with that particular tool. It's an interesting idea, but a frustrating one. Smith draws pretty well in brush, but not so well in ballpoint pen or Sharpie. The potential for an idea like this one lies in how interesting style contrasts would happen with different mediums, but that doesn't really happen here. You get very nice brush drawings, and really mediocre ballpoint pen drawings that dilute the brushwork.
But there is an artist in Smith. The brush drawings feature interesting expressions and figure movement. I want to see Smith do more comics in brush, and fewer panels where two characters sit stiffly and look at each other blankly with no backgrounds to distract us from the same stiff arrangement, panel after panel. Smith knows how to make an interesting facial composition. The next task is to make an interesting panel composition.
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