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Neal, Andrew – The Divorce Party

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The Divorce Party

Boy howdy, Andrew has been building up to this one for awhile now, and it looks like he nailed it. Backstory for anybody who is just hearing about Andrew and his comics now… yeah, not possible, sorry. The very short version is that he started off with a series called Meeting Comics, which was basically him drawing funny strips during his boring work meetings and generally mocking office culture, and although this one is technically “Meeting Comics #29,” there are no meetings and no offices. If there’s a series that has evolved this much over a couple of dozen issues (and spinoffs), I can’t think of it offhand. He also put together a zine that’s literally called “Previously in Meeting Comics” and I hope he has lots of copies of those for conventions. But hey, it does mean that you could buy that along with this (he’s even doing a bundle sale of the two) and be basically caught up. Hey, what about this specific comic? It helpfully starts off with a very brief synopsis of how all of the characters got to this point, along with little faces to help you keep track of them, and follows THAT with another page of various ancillary characters. Did I find myself flipping back to these pages a few times, even though I’ve read every issue? Reader, you’d better believe it. The concept of this one is simple, despite how complicated the sequence of events was to get them here: Kevin and Ellie are divorcing, as are Thomas and Tina. The complications are mostly due to the fact that they’re divorcing because Ellie and Tina are now seeing each other. Kevin and Thomas have both moved on, with some lingering bad feelings, but everybody wanted to put a final stamp on the whole thing in a fun, festive way. So we see everybody (and I do mean everybody) get together, have all kinds of people interacting who rarely if ever have before, and unexpectedly have another long term relationship take a big step forward. It’s a joyous book, with just straight up dancing going on at times, and if I ever get divorced (after the first step of getting married, I suppose) I hope it’s as wonderful as this seems. This also seems a bit like clearing the decks for future stories, and as always I’m fascinated to see what he comes up with next. So yeah, long time readers, check it out! New folks, take advantage of that synopsis zine too, you’ll need it! $8 (or $10 for the combo)