From Publishers Weekly
The premise behind this anthology is clever: editor Rodriguez bought a batch of vintage picture postcards, gave them to various cartoonists from varying backgrounds and commissioned 16 short stories inspired by the brief, sometimes cryptic messages written on each card, preceded by reproductions of the cards themselves. The biggest names in the book are Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner, who, true to form, write about the postcard that introduced the two of them; the most engaging piece, though, is Stuart Moore and Michael Gaydos's deadpan but deeply silly tale of traveling tic-tac-toe hustlers. Other highlights include Phillip Hester's elaboration on an Easter card, concerning an unlikely spiritual awakening, and Joshua Hale Fialkov and Micah Farritor's subdued sketch about a pair of Americans in France during the Great Depression. Unfortunately, many stories lapse into sentimentality (like the saccharine contributions by Tom Beland and James W. Powell) or stretch the book's premise awkwardly. One piece somehow twists a whimsical postcard into a brutal horror story; another is an unfunny parody of old superhero comics. And curiously, only a few stories address the images on the cards at all or do much with the peculiar and evocative visual style of those pictures. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Bored on an antiquing jaunt with his girlfriend, editor Rodriguez discovered the joy of old, mailed postcards. Their brief messages and their writers' and recipients' genders conjured ordinary life stories otherwise buried in the past. Sharing his enthusiasm and cards with comics creators, he suggested they elaborate on what they saw in cards that intrigued them. This book contains 16 of their responses, realistic stories that, since the preponderance of their inspirations are dated 190025, unfold with the sad inevitability of literary naturalism, in its heyday during that period. Most tell of broken faith, promises, and friendships; some are their protagonists' decades-later perspectives on the past. Only one, an affectionate masked-crime-fighter parody, is fantastic. Two are set much later and follow, respectively, a soldier shipping out to North Africa in 1942 and the marriage of nonfiction comics standard-bearers Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner. In general, the artists involved prove more impressive than the writers, though Joshua Hale Fialkov and Micah Farritor are twin high achievers in "Homesick," set in Paris in 1930. A good concept well enough executed. Olson, Ray