Spina, Sam – Spinadoodles: The Third Year



Spinadoodles: The Third Year

Oh hi diary comics! As always, if you have some kind of personal vendetta against diary comics you should probably get a better class of enemy, but you also already know that this collection isn’t for you. But I loved this pile of strips, and you’re bound to too if you like Sam’s other work or just think it’s worth your while to laugh a few dozen times (at least) while reading comics. One thing I should get out of the way early on: Sam mentions in one of his strips that he got a bad review from The Comics Journal (and I naturally can’t find it now, which should tell you again how hefty this collection is) where they call it repetitive and something else that I didn’t agree with. I don’t understand how that’s a legitimate line of complaint, as ALL diary strips are repetitive. It’s not like any of the cartoonists doing these are documenting their time in chemo after getting cancer. These are mostly guys or ladies (actually mostly guys from what I’ve seen, but I’d be happy to be proven wrong) in their 20’s or early 30’s, usually not satisfied with their job and/or their place in life, and that situation can get either better or worse as the year goes along. There’s bound to be some repetition in that. At least Sam takes a few strips in this one to openly question the motivation for what he’s doing and if he can get anything out of it. He stopped doing the diary strip after this one, and there’s a thorough explanation as to why that happened in the end. Anyway, how about the actual strips? Right away I love the fact that he puts tiny strips about the life of a fly on the inside flaps of this book. Hey, why waste empty space? Subjects in these strips include hanging out with friends, puking and/or trying not to puke, adventures with his cat, conversations with his girlfriend, going out to see shows, getting to meet his comics hero (James Kochalka), chatting with Siri, feeling morally guilty about playing a certain video game, not having time to finish Skyrim, and the big old cliffhanger at the end. Oh, they’re about significantly more things than that, as there are 365ish strips in here, but why would you want me to describe them all to you? Sam has a knack of being effortlessly funny, and that kind of thing really shines through on a daily basis like this. Sure, there are strips where he’s obviously a bit rushed (and he often comments on that fact), and a few that feel phoned in, but who cares? A good 4/5 of this is thoroughly entertaining, and I’m probably being conservative with that number. Check out his website and read a few for yourselves if you don’t believe me, and it also looks like he’s drifting back into the daily diary territory again, or at least drawing them a few times a week. $7


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