Friday, July 27, 2007
Mini-Comic Review: The Experiment
by Nick Maandag
review by BK Munn
Nick Maandag is a Toronto cartoonist who has produced some interesting work over the last couple of years. His latest is an oversized photocopied mini --almost magazine size-- that contains a complete story told mostly using a 4 x 3 panel grid. The Experiment is a humourously Kafka-esque tale about a hapless homeowner named Sammy whose house is gradually invaded by a horde of identical mad scientists (they all resemble Dr. Bunsen Honeydew from the old Muppet Show, if that character had a nose like a Proboscis monkey) in the name of a vaguely-defined scientific experiment that seems solely designed to drive Sammy crazy and destroy his family. Maandag's story is quite funny and the narrative mixes just enough creepiness with mystery to keep it interesting. The drawings, while slightly clunky, are also funny: the characters, especially Sammy, who looks like a cross between Gumby and one of those Sea Monkeys from the old comic book ads, are very expressive, and Maandag uses lots of hatching and stippling to give his black-and-white pages some texture and volume. I quite enjoyed The Experiment and look forward to Maandag's next project.
(I found my copy for sale at Pages bookstore, but I'm sure you can get one direct from the creator: 626 Manning Ave, Toronto, ON, M6G 2V9. email: nickmaandag at hotmail. Maandag will be appearing at next month's Toronto Comic Arts Festival)