Sunday, June 23, 2013

Puts a Smile on Your Face--Lisa Hanawalt's "My Dirty, Dumb Eyes"

Funny and Well-Illustrated
"My Dirty, Dumb Eyes" is a collection of various works by Lisa Hanawalt that have appeared in comics, magazines, the internet, and so forth. Her style of illustrating can vary from quite cartoonish to borderline hyper-realistic, but throughout all of her works there is a constant theme of absurdity that keeps things really fun. Whether having anthropomorphic animals describe their hobby of making clay fingers, telling us about the time she went to a toy convention, or doing illustrated reviews of movies, Hanawalt consistently keeps things really light-hearted, and often very funny.
Hanawalt imagines if Ryan Gosling's character in "Drive" were  a chimp.
A big selling point is Hanawalt's excellent art. Through her drawing she imparts a humorous view on life that carries a delightful optimism. Whether describing surreal sex-fantasies inspired by movies, or portraying the insane driving of a cat-creature, the pencil-work and coloring create a thing of sheer beauty.

If I were to have complaints, it would be that some of the pieces in the book are less interesting or funny than others. The strip, "Therapy" with Deer Dog and Pancakey goes absolutely nowhere and "Extra Egg Room" seems to have an idea of a story before just kind of ending. Still, most of the various segments are consistently entertaining so a "miss" is more a rare occurrence than common one.

Overall, "My Dirty, Dumb Eyes" is a read I would highly recommend to anyone with a good sense of humor, fans of alternative comics, or connoisseurs of great art. Hanawalt's skill at illustration compliments her rambunctious jokes perfectly and folk owe it to themselves to check this book and her other works out.
4.5 out of 5 stars. 

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