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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Wandering Star - From 1999

Wandering Star - Each about 20 pages and priced at $2.50. Published by Pen & Ink Comics, written and drawn by Terri Wood, available in comic shops and by mail.

It's about relationships. It's about emotions and outer space, intimacy and intergalactic war, inner struggles with questions of morality, responsibility and love. Wandering Star is about women as written and drawn by one of the nicest young women in comics. She must be nice. She publishes photos of her cats and editorials that read like letters to close friends. That's why it's so difficult to criticize.

Admittedly, the plot is above criticism because there isn't one... at least, not by lofty male standards. Casandra, a very young captain of a spaceship, mostly stands around and talks to herself and to anyone who will listen. The dialog is wonderfully feminine even when spoken by men. It's also entertaining, insightful, engrossing and about subjects rare in other titles.

Wandering Star's flat art lacks the illusion of depth created by perspective and foreshortening. It's also distinctive, full of intricate textural detail, subtle facial expressions and body language.

Wandering Star is wonderfully endearing and irritating, full of intensely personal relationships that women treasure and men find unnerving. It's desperately needed in an art form whose creators and readers largely ignore the interests and needs of women.

After all, comics is for mens, baby.

For that, for its strengths and potential, and despite weaknesses, Wandering Star is recommended.

Michael Vance