Tuesday , August 14 2018
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Dork #10

The covers of Evan Dorkin’s Dork #10 (Slave Labor Graphics) pretty much encapsulate this pitch dark humor comic: the front shows an isolated comic book shop in flames and attacked by a mob; the back has a childishly rendered cartoon cat, brandishing a knife and telling us, “We all die alone.” Not the book to buy if you really wanna lift your spirits. . .
The new ish is a typical grab bag: crowd-pleasing Eltingville strip, some short gags plus a neat collegiate goof-off entitled “Mighty Carl Jung,” an autobiographical reminiscence and an extended Life Is Shit strip of sardonic vignettes from the “Invisible College of Secret Knowledge.” I’m none too enthused with that last – an idea that Dorkin played out at least one book ago – but the rest of the title is plenty sharp. For me, the centerpiece strip is “How to Get Your Ass Kicked,” wherein the cartoonist diligently dissects moments from his own childhood, showing how his verbal impulsivity regularly led to getting his butt whupped. (Unfortunately, I can relate.) Dorkin is especially good at catching male dick waving gone awry – particularly funny when you consider how pathetic the guys waving their weewees usually are.
Which brings us to Eltingville, of course. Dorkin’s crew of comic book geeks is justly famed for the way that cartoonist so cuttingly renders fan-boy obsessiveness and testerone-fueled aggression. This latest outing shows our heroes in atypical victorious mode, taking on an unctuous HSN type hawking ersatz comics collectibles and driving him into an on-air nervous breakdown. (The fact that the items Scott is hawking are bogus is largely irrelevant to the two comic book clubbers – what matters to them is the fact that he’s mispronouncing names on the air.) A fun strip which once again has me wishing that The Cartoon Network was willing to spring for an ongoing Welcome to Eltingville series.

Dorkin and collaborator Sarah Dyer did get a pilot on the air (it’s worth tracking down). But as the cartoonist himself notes on the inside cover, chances for a longterm series are unfortunately bleak. Consolation prize: a full Eltingville book is reportedly in the works. I know I’ll be buying two copies. (Gotta have one to bag in mint condition, right?) And for now, we’ve got Dork #10 – teed-off cartooning at its finest.

About Bill Sherman

Bill Sherman is a Books editor for Blogcritics. With his lovely wife Rebecca Fox, he has co-authored a light-hearted fat acceptance romance entitled Measure By Measure.

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