Compulsive Comics

Compulsive Comics by Eric Haven - Daniel Clowes is deadEric Haven’s anthology of short comics is crammed with wit, weirdness, and a ballsy attitude to the medium and its recurrent themes. He sets out his stall early with a story called I Killed Dan Clowes, which sees him accidentally slaughtering both Clowes (the graphic novelist behind the wonderful Patience) and Adrian Tomine (who wrote and illustrated Killing and Dying). Unexpected consequences follow as Haven’s bizarre imagination take hold.

The rest of the book is a similarly bizarre deep dive into Haven’s surreal mind. Whether working with a single page story or a longer piece (though the longest here is still only a few pages), Haven creates mini-masterpieces of pace and timing, whittling his story down to its essential essence and delivering punchlines with aplomb. Compulsive Comics by Eric HavenHaven tells stories about all sorts of things, from the man who thinks he can get away with murder as long as he’s wearing a tie, to superheroes who save people only to find the victims sniggering about their ridiculous name or costume.

The illustration can sometimes look a bit wonky, but his drawing style gives the stories a certain home-brew feel, fitting for something that feels like it’s born from an enthusiasm for comics.
Like Dash Shaw or Adrian Tomine’s own work, this book feels like the launchpad to something even more exciting, and we’ve got high hopes for Haven’s future.

Story: 5 Art: 3 Overall: 4

Written by: Eric Haven
Art by: Eric Haven
Publisher: Alternative Comics
First published: 2016

Andy Shaw

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