I saw a preview copy of Side B at the EmCity comicon and was totally stoked by the stuff inside, so getting it in the mail today was an extra nice surprise. I wasn’t expecting to see this for awhile. I am always a sucker for anthologies, especially good themed ones. The book starts out with a nice little illustrated intro by fellow Vancouverite, Brandon Graham, that leaves me very concerned in regards towards having him anywhere near my cat. The book features a great selection of folks like Lucy Knisely, Jeffrey Brown, Box Brown, Liz Baillie and much more. Most of them deliver some fond testaments towards the impact that music has had on particular parts in their lives. Box’s story is a nice little piece about how a good Rolling Stones song(you know, from the 60’s) helped connects a family after the passing of a loved one.
Lucy’s story is pretty much a prototypical piece by her. I am a fan of her work, but I am waiting for her to do something that is completely different. But she is still young and miles ahead of most of her peers, so I won’t be too hard. My one real annoyance in the book, would have to be Jim Mahfood’s story. I can’t even read it. its like he has gotten sloppier with time. I am sure it is a fine story, but Mahfood is one of those guys that I just don’t get anymore. He is like a one trick pony. Beyond those, there’s lots of great new work, that I am more than happy to be exposed to. For me, an anthology is only as strong the weakest work and can be the failing point. This collection is a good collection of some great new work and themes can provide a good outlet for folks to think outside of their usual comfortzone. Except in the case of Jim Mahfood, where this is the topic that is kind of expected from him.