Roopert by August Lipp. $10. Published by Revival House. Color cover, two color interior. 56 pages. Magazine size.
Whoa nellie! When I first heard about plans for this comic almost a year prior to its publication, I was very excited. A full length August Lipp comic was something to look forward to indeed. Not only does the reality of this book does not disappoint, it confounds, expands and twists your expectations into a hulking work of art. Lipp is beyond ambitious here...a giant of a comic (56 pages!), Roopert explodes with ideas in every panel---as concepts, characters and feelings cross pollinate & build into a frenzy, a lesser artist would crumble underneath the detail and scale of what's at stake here. And even if they DID crumble, the book would be a singular achievement. Lipp makes it all gel together into something genuinely unique. The story concerns anthropomorphic school children and their teachers, alerting us to Lipp's nod to comic strip history (the size and length of the book feels very 'Dell comics are good comics'). But this is not pastiche, or tribute. Like any true student of comics history, Lipp manages to make this book an ACTUAL funny animal comic with it's modernist concerns congealing within the pages rather then coming off as grafted on. There is (literal) toilet humor next to formalist play (the detail of the way the book is drawn develops starkly as the book goes on). At the books end, you've been pulled through rocky terrain and you come to a inevitable conclusion: this is a book in touch with the present and future of what comics can be, but who cares about all that? It's the fun/sad/all-over-gestalt feeling the book gives you that matters. Grab this comic!