Saturday, May 14, 2005

Krachmacher - This One You Can Judge By The Cover

Take a look at the cover of Krachmacher #1, by Jim Campbell (today's You Decide).

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That's a weeeeird cover, eh?

But you know what, Krachmacher is a weird book, so it works.

Krachmacher #1 is an anthology of stories by Campbell.

The first one continues right from the cover (the cover is essentially the first page of the story), and it depicts a college girl and her three guy friends as well as another college girl who is too incredibly perfect.

Marianne (the protagonist) cannot seem to do anything right, while Elke (the other girl) seems to do EVERYthing right.

Campbell, especially with his art, captures the nervous energy of someone who is invited along with a group of people but is never absolutely sure they WANT her along.

After all, if she thinks she pales to Elke, what do OTHERS think?

Why do they want to hang out with her? She's not funny, she's not interesting, she's not beautiful...why do they want to hang out with her?

All of that gangly goodness is achieved to perfection with Campbell's art (heck, just look at that cover! Look at the guarded way she bites into her sandwich....what great stuff).

In addition, when Marianne gets nervous, she tells stories...stories that sound absolutely way too bizarre to be true (including being forced by her parents to scrounge up her own dinner as child by whatever is around their boat), but Campbell makes a point not to tell us that they are NOT true. It is almost like Marianne CHOOSES to tell these outlandish stories because she thinks they ALREADY think she is a freak, so she hopes to at least give them a good reason to think she is one!

However, by the end of the issue, as the group all find themselves trapped at a beach, we learn that there IS something out there...and maybe Marianne's stories are NOT that unbelievable.

Definitely makes you interested in the next issue.

The second story is a goofy story about an old man fighting against a robot trying to take over the world.

The final story is a creepily funny story about a dude who wears a wolf hat and hangs out with a piece of meat that "talks" to him.

Think about the Son of Sam as a comedic character (sans killing, of far).

Some trippy stories here, but also entertianing ones. Well worth a purchase, I think.


Blogger Eliot Johnson said...

Yeah...I really enjoyed this book. Good Review.

5/15/2005 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger chasdom said...

Not sure about this one yet, I'll have to see what #2 is about. I was getting a bit bored and frustrated until things started getting really weird at the end.

Part of my frustration, though, was not realizing the main character was female until about halfway through. Thus, I missed the Marianne/Elke unspoken rivalry and was quite confused what was going on.

5/16/2005 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Yeah, I will cop to not being positive about her gender either until a few pages in...hehe.

I don't know if I can knock Campbell for that, though, as one of the things I dig about artists such as Byrne is that they understand that all females do not look like, well, Elke.

5/16/2005 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger chasdom said...

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was the artist's intent for Marianne to look boyish, and he captured the character well with the visual. But I think it was a mistake not to clue the reader in earlier. A simple dialogue cue would have made a big difference.

5/16/2005 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...


5/16/2005 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

I loved the hell out of this book.

5/16/2005 10:31:00 PM  
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