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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Reader's Diary #1330 - Nicholas Burns (editor): Arctic Comics

There's a lot to be said about packaging. Nicholas Burns' Arctic Comics is, if I'm being completely honest, wildly inconsistent. Some stories are poignant (like "On Waiting," Michael Kusugak's comic illustrated by Susan Thurston Shirley), some are funny (like Burns' own "Film Nord"), and some are both (like "Kiviuq vs Big Bee" by Jose Kusugak and drawn by Germaine Arnaktauyok). But something about the title, the bande desinee size, the cover fonts, and so on makes it feel like a magazine and so the myriad styles of both storytelling and art fit. It's like a sampler of Nunavut comics.

Slightly more problematic, in terms of inconsistency, is the fluctuation in quality. Some of Burns' stories hold their own (such as the aforementioned "Film Nord" with its zany MAD Magazine-looking art and satire), but he's included way too many of his own works here rather than present a balanced product, and comics like "Sheldon the Sled Dog" come across as amateurish in comparison. These are cute and amusing mind you, but the art and storytelling is rougher around the edges and feel a bit self-indulgent to have been included.

Nonetheless, it is a fun ride of a book and I'd love to see subsequent volumes published.

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