A cool indie comics publisher called Conudrum Press has recently moved to near-by Wolfville, Nova Scotia. With our pals, Invisisible Publishing putting out Mike Holmes’s book, Darwyn Cooke and Steven McNiven living here, and all the wicked shit Strange Adventures does, Halifax is becoming the Portland, Oregon of Canada. Now all we need is a weather machine to lengthen our eight week summer.
Conundrum publishes all sorts of cool indie stuff for whiny indie babies like myself. The Hipless Boy, due out super soon, is a gorgeous collection of inter-connected stories about a young man named Sully, who lives in an arty neighbourhood in Montreal. His stories of black outs, art shows, crossing-dressing, and shitting on someone’s doorstep as revenge, are beautifully rendered with clean black and white lines. The book is semi-autobiographical, but the author, also named Sully, doesn’t allow it to become self-indulgent or rambling. It’s more snapshots of moments in the lives of young urban adults—moments that are familiar but still fresh.
The real strength of The Hipless Boy is that Sully can really write. A page of prose opens each chapter, and they really enhance the comic. Unlike that prose issue of Batman that Morrison wrote, I actually read this. Sully has the ability to construct a story that’s serious, but luminous, funny and current, but totally unpretentious.
I’ve already heard Sully compared to Tomine, and Craig Thompson, but I think these comparisons obscure that The Hipless Boy is more on the silly and sexy side of comics. Sully’s comics make you want to burst into the world, and do something crazy, which is a pretty rare feat for indie comics.
But it’s not just in his words—Sully tells a great story with images too. There’s a great text-less story in which Sully chokes on a gobstopper while on a movie date. I’ll leave you a little excerpt.