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Martin, Jason – Driftwood City



Driftwood City

I’d like to start this off by praising Jason for getting one little thing right that lots of people seem to forget: he puts the dates for all of his strips on their last page. As this is a collection of his favorite strips from his run on Laterborn (with a few more included from anthologies and five new strips if you’re one of the people who already has all of the original issues of that fine series), it provides some helpful context. He even gave brief synopses of where he was at in his life with each strip, so there’s plenty of new material right there for fans of the series. One question right off the bat: was Laterborn #2 so bad? I think that’s the only one that isn’t represented here, but I don’t have that issue so it’s a mystery to me. Anyway, subjects in here include Jason as a hamburger, the “peace on earth” sign that went up after 9/11 and what happened to it when we went to one of our stupid wars, a perfect moment of the Humpty Hump, his story of a teacher that actually inspired him to action in high school (it’s his favorite piece and probably mine too), his first real crush in 8th grade and his theory for why it fell apart, a Friday night in college, his method for letting people know that he was available in his dorm room, how an old teacher dealt with the grief of the death of his daughter, an awkward plea for a girlfriend from the lead singer of a band he was watching, how Dr. Mario brought his friends together, aquarium soaps, a Taco Bell on the beach, the awkward closing of a local book store, the allure of the Golden Gate Bridge, and a few more strips that I’ll leave as a total surprise, as it still makes no sense for me to ruin such things. Jason has a real knack for finding the meaning in moments, and he’s not at all shy about detailing some of the shitty things he did back in the day, as his thoughtless gay slurs from being a kid would prove. You’re bound to find at least one high school/college tale here you can relate to, and it’s more likely that you’ll find several. Give this a shot and, as I’ve been trying to make absolutely clear, it’s still very much worth it if you’re already caught up on Laterborn. $12