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  May 18, 2001
SPOTLIGHT: Comics Forum Focusbeat

Somtimes it seems every girl with a ballpoint pen fancies herself a cartoonist. Maybe it's time to step aside, Cathy Guisewite, because a fresh generation of female comics artists might just be splashing down in your Sunday funnies.

Confident brushwork and memorable storylines mark the debut of this anonymous 14-year-old cartoonist, knocked down and raped in a cafeteria bathroom stall. By and large, her material is fresh and thought-provoking. The message is broad, wisely steering clear of more traditional Ziggy platitudes.

Her light, graceful caricature is astonishing. Allowing the narrative to unfold within a sparse, unadorned environment is simply courageous and worthy of The New Yorker. There is a relaxed placement of text. Mistakes, if you can call them that, remain decidedly uncorrected. The overall look and feel manages to echo simply the very best of Pokey the Penguin.

Being young, being deaf, and being a girl. That's three strikes. Any one of those alone is a handicap. But to be dragged into a handicapped stall, and struck three times? Girl, we'll see you in the funny papers!

Sadly, we feel A Victim's Cry For Help has little chance of syndication. The premise might be eerie if only it didn't look so gosh-darned Maakies.

( Posted by Rotten Staff )

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