Canini, Brian – Glimpses of Life #8

February 22, 2023


Glimpses of Life #8

In this issue, Brian reveals the secret of how he’s been able to stay so productive while working a day job and having two kids (three by the time this issue is done. Spoilers!). I’ve got some bad news for the procrastinators out there who think it simply can’t be done: his secret is to work on comics whenever he can, panel by panel when necessary. So if you were hoping for the one neat trick to make it all simple, my apologies. This is a collection of autobio strips for February 2021, so two years ago as of this writing. Brian and his wife Amy are awaiting the imminent arrival of their third child, so this issue is mostly all about the few complications that came up and the general effect on their lives. Stories specifically deal with Brian driving a practice run to the hospital (to make things less stressful when she’s in labor), trying to have quiet time at home to work on comics, reckoning with the knowledge that the new baby is going to take up most of his free time and trying to plan accordingly, fun with their cat and dog, a few scares with early contractions, having a baby shower basically online because of covid, sending the kids and the pets to their assigned destinations when the moment came (this all seemed spectacularly organized to me, so kudos to them), and drama with his parents not contacting them for months up until just about the single most inconvenient moment. Everything went fine with the baby, so don’t worry about him sneaking a tragedy into this comic. Unrelated, but since his baby was born a few months before I adopted my cat Miles, technically it’s a human name that I stole for use as a cat name. Unintentional, but linear time remains hard to beat. I keep wanting to say “pregnant pause” but it seems so cliche, but screw it: this comic is the pregnant pause in his life while waiting for the inevitable to happen. They’re both a little on edge throughout, for good reason, but it’s a tenser read than I’m used to with his autobio stuff. Still worth a look, obviously, so give it a shot why don’t you? Especially if you have small children or have a kid on the way. Lots of good tips/lived experiences in here for people in that position. $6

Canini, Brian – Glimpses of Life #7

October 12, 2021


Glimpses of Life #7

For anybody who’s brand new to the website (welcome!) and are just wondering if this particular comic is worth reading, yes, it absolutely is, especially if you’re a fan of autobio comics. Brian has been doing this for roughly a couple of decades now, has damn near mastered the areas of the artform he’s working in, and is prolific to a degree that honestly has me wondering if there are secretly two of him out there. But I wanted to get into a general problem with autobio comics, and this one is an excellent opportunity to bring it up. This is a collection of his journal comics from January of 2021, so if you’re reading this in the distant future, let’s just say that things were extremely screwed up in America at the time. This comic mostly covers the attempted coup (and the fallout) in Washington, the impending arrival of Brian’s third child, and the troubles that Brian and his wife (Amy) are having with his parents. It’s this third subject that I want to talk about, because after reading this comic… I have no idea what the problem is with Brian’s parents. Oh, I know that they’re distant to him (after five months they didn’t ask even once how Amy or the baby was doing), I know that the problem seems to stem from his sister moving back to Columbus two years earlier, and that every attempt to mend fences seem to be coming from Brian’s side. But… what happened? Did they split over politics, as is happening to all kinds of families? Did his sister burn down his house? If your response to these questions is “that’s way too personal a thing to be asking,” well, fair enough! One way I never would have asked about this is if it was never in the comic. That’s the thing about autobio comics: you can’t go halfway. Joe Matt back in the day (I’m really dating myself with this one, as he hasn’t made a comic in at least a decade) blew up chunks of his life with his autobio. He put out some brilliant comics for awhile, but you’d have to ask him if it was worth it. Maybe Brian addressed the origins of the problem in a previous comic and I’m either forgetting it or never read it, but a brief synopsis would have done wonders. Maybe his parents have a legitimate grievance? Maybe Brian and his family are really going above and beyond by even trying to mend fences? The point is that in a truly open journal comic, I wouldn’t have to ask the question. I’m just left with the impression that his parents are assholes, which may or may not be fair to anybody involved. Still, all in all there’s a few great strips in here, and the attempts to patch things up are fascinating. I just think there’s a glaring hole that the reader is missing and that it would probably bug more people than just me. $6

Canini, Brian – Glimpes of Life #6

June 8, 2020


Glimpses of Life #6

I’ve been reviewing Brian’s comics since the very early days of this website. 2004ish, maybe sooner (I started in 2001)? Something like that. So I thought I’d check Brian’s website as I was copying the link there and check out the store, see the rough percentage of his books that I’ve reviewed. Keeping in mind that he definitely has older comics that are out of print (doesn’t everybody?), somehow I’ve still only reviewed maybe half of his books. Probably not even that much. Search under his name here if you’re curious how many that equals out to; it’s still a hell of a lot! Anyway, personal digression aside, how’s the comic? I’m always interested in seeing an origin story for a guy I’ve been enjoying for years, and this comic did an excellent job of explaining how Brian got into comics and why he sticks with them now. There’s his genuine appreciation for having a knowledgeable and supportive guy in charge of the local comic shop (The Laughing Ogre; if you’re anywhere near Columbus Ohio it’s worth a trip), how prolific he was even back in the day, how he’d take art supplies everywhere he went in case inspiration struck, how much Jeff Smith has done for the comics scene in Columbus and what he means to Brian, and his own philosophy on what makes a comic and how we still have so much to explore in regards to their potential. He also lists some of his influences, and I have no proof of this but it sure feels like an “oh yeah!” moment in making comics. Meaning that he made a list, got back to work on the comic, remembered several other names and put them into the comic, got back to work on the comics, remembered still MORE names and included them on the back inside cover. I get it! It’s a damned solid list; if you’re just now looking to get into comics you could do a whole lot worse than to just get books from everybody on his lists to start. Another solid issue, give it a look if you’re curious as to how he came to start making comics! $3