Patrice Aggs, Sarah McIntyre, Jeremy Day, Cliodhna Lyons, Francesca Cassavetti, Ellen Lindner, Howard John Arey, Emily Ryan Lerner, Maartje Schalkx, Tanya Meditzky, Peter Lally, John Harris Dunning, Richard Cowdry, Mardou.
Editors in Chief: Ellen Lindner and Jeremy Day.
Whores Of Mensa Issue 5 kicks off with a great party piece cover (clicky the images above for bigger versions and click here for a who’s who)
It kicks off with the best thing in the entire issue. “Grace Jones Has Left The Building” by Patrice Aggs, who I’d previously only known as the artist on The Boss in the DFC, does a quite brilliant job of spemding seven magnificent pages in a hairdressers, entrancing the reader by flitting foward and back through the many conversations that go on.
It’s so subtle, yet so clever, maintaining a multiple dialogue comic in this way and Aggs makes it look wonderful and read so effortlessly you may miss just how rare this sort of thing is. Fantastic. If only she did more comics work.
Ellen Lindner‘s “Scaphandre” (it means Diving Suit in French) runs a very close second to Aggs’ though – with beautiful visuals, clean black lines, reminiscent of Vellekoop at times and an intriguing story that I really hope to see her develop in future strips.
The strip tells of the last days in England of a young, female journalist in late 20’s London who’s been offered a post in New York. She’s obviously been before, and says, ever so mysteriously “”I swore I’d never go back” – very mysterious. Goodbyes are said, parties arranged, illicit and unrequited loves hinted at in a very relaxed, low key yet strangely compelling piece.
Elsewhere in Whores Of Mensa there’s solid work from Francesca Cassavetti as we’d all expect by now – this time it’s the pre teen party politics and the uber-cool of a French boy that she draws with her customary relaxed, oh so easy on my eye style. Jeremy Day’s single pager takes us through the world of Larderella with a modern spin on a Cinderella story – Oyster Cards instead of coaches, a a Prince who seems far too interested in trying on Larderella’s shoes and dress to ever get around to anything approaching romance. Cliodhna Lyons, whose work I’ve only just recently seen in her October Anthology and mini comics has a whole 8 pages, and fills them with really pretty and simple lines telling a rather manic tale of party prep.
Emily Ryan Lerner‘s New Years Eve Tale is a fun take on a traditional night out at New Years but well worth a look just for her gorgeously simple art style alone that makes this very grown up party look like a bizarre Topsy and Tim adventure at times – unsettling yet entrancing.
(Emily Ryan Lerner)
New to me; Maartje Schalkx has a strip running across 5 pages concerning the artist finding a lost child and trying to return the little boy to his parents that just blew me away at first with the simplicity of the visual idea – taking cartoon characters across a map.
But although it’s effective, and looks bloody lovely for a few pages, by the ending there’s a wish for a little more, rather than concentrating on the one nice visual idea, I’d have liked a more substantial narrative:
Tanya Meditzky’s “The Party To Change Britain ends the book with visually arresting yet uninspired storytelling that sadly did little for me. As usual, that’s the joy and the despair to be found in anthologies. Overall though Whores Of Mensa is a damn fine anthology, with it’s hits far, far outweighing it’s misses.
Actually, the end of Whores Of Mensa isn’t quite the end – since there’s a special sealed 4 page pamphlet stuck to the inside back cover – “The Sachet Of Salaciousness“. Although anyone expecting something very salacious will be disapointed. But it does hold a very attractive two pager from Whores Of Mensa founder Mardou. Not her best work by any means – and to get a look at how good she can be you should have a look through her website.
There’s a filmic preview tour of the issue right here. And you can buy it at numerous fine comic establishments or right here from The Whores Of Mensa website. It’s well put together and worth the money to be honest just for the Aggs and Lindner strips.