Steven Rowe

Name:
Location: South Carolina

Thursday, January 12, 2006

AMERICAN ELF; A REVIEW

AMERICAN ELF (2004) Top Shelf James Kochalka

In 1998, James Kochalka decided to draw a small 4 panel cartoon strip everyday. And with but a few "oops, I forgot', he's done that ... This book includes 5 years worth 1998-2003. (and you can view the current one at www.americanelf.com ) Now lots of folks draw a daily comic strip, but this is different, this is mainly autobiographical material. He draws about his life, his wife, his rock band, his -- uh, urinary habits, his sex life, his squabbles, his hissyfits, his cat. Should we care about his life? I'm not sure, despite the size of this book - and it's huge; we don't get to know him that well -- but it doesn't matter. Despite (or maybe even because) of his occasional off the wall or possibly offensive to those with squeamish sensibilities material, this book allows us more insight into the mind of others. Some is done with apparent planning, but most feels free and improvisional. It' a good life. This material is ( and would he consider this good or bad?) Life Affirming.

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