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Fitzpatrick, Neil – Everythingness


Publisher’s website


What if the quest for meaning was itself meaningless? And what if Neil decided to draw the whole thing? Chances are that this isn’t anywhere near what Neil was going for with this comic, but that’s what I’m taking out of it, dammit. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen one of his comics (for you whippersnappers out there, Neil has several issues of his “Neil Jam” series that have been coming out for many years now), and it’s clear that his art has tightened up a bit, and it’s not like it was terrible to begin with. The people characters look more like people, and even the Tots seem somehow streamlined. Which makes no sense, as they look like tiny animated teeth and it’s hard to streamline that design much, but that’s what this old defective brain of mine is telling me. So what’s this comic about? The description on the inside front cover sums it up pretty well: “The totality of existence… and beyond!” You get a sense of where things are headed when Neil steps out from behind the curtain to introduce the book (in comic form, not a written introduction) and gets into a discussion with god about who is more responsible for the comic, Neil or god. It’s pretty much impossible to argue with his conclusion either, so score one for Neil. Other stories include a magical moment between Willis and Ona (see past issues of Neil Jam if you’re having trouble with the character names, which he also kindly lists on the inside back cover), differences of opinion on what constitutes a magic bird or fish, god deciding to share his burden with his creations just for a moment, not being bound by expectations, who might be watching you, and finally a literal search for meaning. And hovering over all of these stories is the constant presence of Neil and god, popping up here and there to keep various characters on their toes. And the eyes. It’s not possible to talk about one of Neil’s comics without referring to those black, soul-stealing eyes of all of the characters. They’re mitigated a bit this time around by the smiles on some of the faces and general upbeat nature of much of the comic, but those eyes can get to you if you’re not careful. I defy anybody to read all of the Neil Jam comics in a row, then go outside and talk to real people. Those eyes will follow you. Um, I got off on a tangent there. I’ve been a fan of Neil’s for many years now and am thrilled to see him getting published, as to me that’s one more small step towards him becoming rich and successful at his comics, which means he’ll devote more time to them, which means those solid black eyes will slowly take over the world. Hey, we all have our own quest for meaning, you know… $5