[an error occurred while processing this directive] Celebrating Five Years of Pushing Comix Forward [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive] Mome Vol. 3: Winter 2006
By Martin Cendreda, David B., Gabrielle Bell, Kurt Wolfgang, Jeffrey Brown, et al Edited by Eric Reynolds and Gary Groth
Published by Fantagraphics Books; $14.95 USD

Despite being the first volume in the series to not feature perennial ADD fave Paul Hornschemeier, the Winter 2006 edition stands out to me as probably the strongest volume yet in what was already a very good anthology series.

David B.'s contribution is a lengthy parable about religious fervor, kind of a Louis Riel about naked Christians instead of Canadian radicals. While B.'s autobiographical material to date has been powerful and effective, it's refreshing here to see him exercise slightly different muscles, to wildly different effect. Jeffrey Brown's anthology contributions aren't usually as strong as his standalone graphic novels, but here he describes the landmines along the way to possibly selling one of his books to be produced as an independent film. Despite the success of Ghost World and American Splendor, Brown's blunt description of the irksome hoops he had to jump through (ultimately for nothing) once again prove that artists should beware empty promises.

Kurt Wolfgang's Peter Bagge-inspired style is growing on me, in large part because of its more naturalistic depiction of relationships and day-to-day aggravations. He's also the subject of a good interview conducted by co-editor Gary Groth.

Other really strong contributions this time out include offerings from Gabrielle Bell (a somewhat metatextual exercise that is a delight to experience), Part Three of David Heatley's bizarre and beautiful "Overpeck," and multiple strips featuring Martin Cendreda's Matthew and Buster. Cendreda seems to have absorbed equal influences from Dan Clowes and Harvey Comics, and I could lose myself in his gorgeous, full-colour strips all day long.

It's been a great year for artcomix so far, from outstanding single issues like Ganges #1, Schizo #4, Acme Novelty Library #16 and The Science Fair #4 to graphic novels like The Fate of the Artist and The Ticking, both facing imminent release (and both works of wonder and delight). But the future health of comics is often best predicted by the state of its anthologies, and the Winter, 2006 volume of Mome uses great stories right now to indicate great things in the months and years ahead from some of the brightest minds working in the medium. Grade: 4.5/5

-- Alan David Doane

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Alan David Doane
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