Sensitive Creatures

Mandy Ord. Allen & Unwin, $19.99 (296p) ISBN 978-1-74237-216-7
Australian Ord has been publishing comics in one form or another for nearly 20 years, and has a well-known graphic novel, Rooftops, to her name already. Ord's "one-eyed girl" leads the way in these stories of life, love, and neuroses, most taking place in urban Melbourne. Highly autobiographical work can be inconsistent, and it's particularly true in a collection like this where some stories are obviously stronger than others, but Ord's subject matter sometimes lacks depth and humor. Many of the stories end abruptly, almost feeling like they are missing the "punch line panel" and those that don't aim specifically for humor don't scratch much below the surface. While the characters (and stories) display a refreshing honesty, the actual tales feel shallow and ill-explored. This shallowness is an odd contrast to the so lovingly crafted and graphic visuals. Every panel is painstakingly filled with infinite lines and flawless spot black, but they have a lovely and considered balance, though the style is highly eccentric and exaggerated. It's the visuals that give the stories needed weight. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/05/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
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