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Kochalka, James – Conversation #1 (with Jeffrey Brown)


Conversation #1 (with Jeffrey Brown)

This review is going to be a bit of a cop-out, as these sometimes are, but there’s a fairly simple reason for that. People are either going to be interested in seeing James and Jeffrey talk about life, work, art, creating and punching each other or they’re not. I wish they would put this in a format that wasn’t so expensive (and sorry, nice cover or not, $5 to read these two rambling makes little sense to me) but, as I like pretty much everything that both of them have done, it’s not like I was going to pass it up. Did that sentence make any sense? Oh well, let’s move on… I don’t know if these two settled anything, but it is fascinating watching them go over having a job (which Jeffrey does) and not having a job (which James doesn’t), the point of making art, if there is a point at all, and whether or not they should have a gratuitous fight scene. So the bottom line here is the same as the point I made right away. If you like the work that these two do, this is an insight into their minds that you rarely see, or at least you rarely see them playing off each other. If you don’t care about one or both of them, there are many other comics out there you should probably be checking out first. $4.95

Thompson, Craig – Conversation #1 (with James Kochalka)


Conversation #1 (with James Kochalka)

Blech. Sorry, did I give away my reaction too quickly? Let me set the stage for you: this is a comic with James and Craig, both drawing and lettering their own parts, talking about why they make art, the universe, and the necessity of restraining your imagination in art. That all sounds well and good, if full of the possibility of being deadly dull. But it’s not like the point of this book is to see how many things they can get to explode, so that’s OK. My problem with this was all the little cute characters, birds and turtles and whatnot, that they had littered throughout this book, I guess as a way to liven up the conversation. The problem with that, to me, is that they were incredibly annoying all the way through and most anybody who bought this already knew that this was going to be a conversation between these two and they didn’t really need the annoying sidekicks. I like both of these guys quite a bit, and this isn’t a bad concept at all, but they didn’t pull it off very well here. $4.95, it’s on the Top Shelf website if you want to see for yourself.