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Friday, July 11, 2008

The Li’l Depressed Boy, published by Contemporary Cartoon Militia, 14 pages, $2.00


Oh, to be a sad, sock-headed boy, living a dreary life, loving music, but being loved by no one.

The Li’l Depressed Boy concerns a young man, still mourning over a tragedy in his past, and forlorn over the lack of affection from any women in his life. That’s the subject. The theme, I believe, is something more. Primarily, that a person shouldn’t let themselves get so caught up in the difficulties that they begin to wallow. It would seem that writer/creator S. Steven Struble is trying to remind us that we all have the ability to lead a better life, if we’ll just get up and make one. What else does one take from the lines, “I need to get out––leave. Find a new love, discover a new life, create a new beginning. Instead, I sit - - trapped in a routine of my own making,” except that we decide ourselves how we live? Indeed, the character asserts such truth in the very next lines.

Despite it’s depressed dialogue and somber tone brought about by the use of black ink on blue paper, The Li’l Depressed Boy actually offers a strange kind of hope for those who feel trapped by their routine, albeit through a kind of “I don’t want to turn out like THAT” vibe.

As for the art, no less than six different artists contributed to this 14-page independent, which, unfortunately, makes for a very bumpy ride, visually. Though it’s an interesting contrast in styles, readers are likely to be distracted from the story. I will admit, however, being impressed by the work of Ed Tadum, who offered the most emotive and detailed style of the bunch.

I only wish I knew why the main character looks like an unfinished sock-monkey.

Though steep at two bucks, and not the most fun you’ll have with comics this year, The Li’l Depressed Boy is recommended, especially for fans of indies.

Find it at www.lildepressedboy.com.

Mark Allen