zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Monday, August 24, 2009

Davis, Phonzie

via Optical Sloth by admin on 8/16/09



Left Handed Sophie #1

Well that was quite a gap between comics for this man on this website.  It looks like he's kept it up, as the art shows some serious improvement (and it wasn't bad to begin with), it just looks like I missed the stuff in between.  This is the first issue in a series (regular comic book size) dealing with, well, Sophie.  That's the part of the issue that works well, and luckily it's most of the issue.  The trouble is that Phonzie is building a saga, so random characters show up with little to no introduction and just start talking about their issues.  Really, in some cases I got more information out of checking out the cover again to see who some people were than I did from their couple of pages in the comic.  Actually, the cover gives a good chunk of her story away, as under the title it says "the shocking saga of a young albino woman, corrupted by drug trafficking and the occult".  The trouble is that this issue doesn't get into any of that stuff, so I guess now we know exactly where this is headed.  This issue starts off with Sophie (at age 13) getting pushed around at school and standing up for herself.  This goes directly into a scene with Spree (a mystery man from the cover) getting a blowjob, followed by the reverend and his crew, with very little idea of how it all fits into the big picture.  This flows into a black-eyed Sophie getting adopted by a family of white hippies, and things seem to be looking up as she also gets a new sister out of the bargain.  Now we learn more about Pipp, who may or may not be the biological sister of Sophie, as this flows right into Sophie learning more about her new sister.   This goes into a local picnic, and we learn that Sophie's new parents were just looking for someone "ethnic" to adopt and settled for Sophie instead of getting a kid from overseas.   Now it turns out that Pipp is actually a young boy, as he gets chewed out for saying that he only likes white women.  From here we get to meet even more new people, Sophie's new dad starts to introduce her to voodoo and we see why Sophie's biological mom gave her up.  Visually, this comic is striking, as Phonzie uses every bit of the page and has some of the most visually inventive use of word balloons and panel structure (when he uses anything approaching a traditional panel structure) that I've ever seen.  As this is the first issue in a projected saga, I'm guessing that this cast of characters will become a lot clearer as time goes on.  Right now I have very little idea of what's going on outside of Sophie's life, but I'm guessing future issues will have some sort of character synopses to keep all this people in some sort of order.  It's a hefty thing for only $3, and it looks like it's off to a promising (if occasionally baffling) start.


Negative Too

Really, I don't have any Phonzie Davis comics on this website? Amazing. I've been seeing his work for years, but apparently only in anthologies. Anyway, there's a warning right on the front of this one: "This is a Phreak-Hop Anti-Comik!" Meaning, I guess, that I don't have to review it as a regular comic, as it just barely resembles one. It's mostly wordless with two stories that are both visually gorgeous in a messy, frantic sort of way. With no panels and very little structure, it's obvious that Phonzie is trying his own thing here, and kudos to him for it. As for what the stories mean, here's where I get to sound stupid, as I'm still trying to figure that part out. The first story is about the world of rap stars after hours, dealing with the women going in and out of that world, and apparently one of them at least is capable of eating you alive. The second story, um… punt? My guess is that it's about a young man, falsely accused, who's about to get executed and all the various public reactions to that fact. Or I'm totally wrong on both of these stories, but hey, at least I'm trying. Regardless, it's worth a look just to stare at that incredible art and try to figure out what the hell is going on. $2


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