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Backwards City Review - Spring 2005

  • Issue Number: Volume 1 Number 2
  • Published Date: Spring 2005
There seems to be a resurgence of interest for comics in the literary world from acclaimed McSweeney’s comic issue and Chris Ware’s award winning Jimmy Corrigan to the recent works by Michael Chabon. Backwards City Review adds their voice with five comics here, including a delightful except from Kenneth Koch’s forthcoming book of comics. There is also a beautifully drawn and haunting anti-war comic by Nate Powell (a very underrated comic artist). Backwards City Review in general takes a humorous approach to their magazine (as evidenced by titles such as “Hockey Haiku” and “Constructive Criticism of Bathroom Wall Scribbling”). To be frank, a few such pieces fell flat with me, feeling like humor without enough artistry. That may work for a knock-knock joke, but maybe not a sonnet. However, there were plenty of pieces that used humor in an artistic way, such as “An Antilogy of Anti-logic” by Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton, which alternates one-liners about Popeye and Olive Oyl: “Olive in the Kremlin, Olive in Any Town USA, Olive at a bullfight: Olive / Oyl, the bathing beauty. / Popeye out of D.C., Popeye out of No Man’s Land, Popeye running from a / cow hug.” Of course, not every piece here engages with humor and the magazine has an eclectic mix throughout. At only its second issue, Backwards City Review seems impressively close to a realization of its editors’ vision. Expect more good things to come from this magazine. [www.backwardscity.net] – Lincoln Michel
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Review Posted on August 31, 2005
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