Welcome To The Dahl House

Book Reviews | Sep 23rd, 2008

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Author: Ken Dahl
Publisher: Microcosm Publishing
Genre: Mini-Comic
Pages: 122
Retail Price: 0.00
Buy on Amazon.com link

Now THIS is a mini comic. Jesus Christ. Minicomic collections from Microcosm have largely been some seriously angsty, self-absorbed downer stuff, and Ken Dahl is exactly what I needed to reinstate my love for the genre.

Not that Ken Dahl is without deep thoughts, he only expresses them with a little more whimsy and creative juice than your cliched, heavily-inked bleakness. Dahl gets his points across with a light and humorous touch and snappy dialogue that ends up being much more incisive than many of peers.

For instance, a rant against army recruitment is a romp featuring Sarge from Beetle Bailey. A Kafka-like trip through the prison system is done through the eyes of hilariously dry alter ego Gordon Smalls. And my favorite piece, a critique on zining and “the zine scene”, stars a starry-eyed fresh zinester and an Underdog-like character trying to set him straight.

From that latter strip’s jaded Underdog: “The real strength of today’s zine lies in its ability to make its creator seem iconoclastic, rebellious and profound… all without actually saying anything divergent, insightful, unpopular or unique!”

Ken Dahl dodges those pitfalls with a fun sense of irony, an avoidance of narcissistic tendencies, and a style that is both cartoony and cutting.

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