Sequential State – the comics criticism archive of Alex Hoffman

Go, See, Buy? – Apartment Number Three

As we wrap up the year, I wanted to plug Sequential State’s Patreon account. Below the cut line is a feature I run on the Patron for $1 patrons called Go, See, Buy?, featuring Apartment Number Three by Pascal Girard. If you want to skip ahead, feel free.

I try not to talk about the nitty gritty of running the site, but with the illustration work that is a core part of Sequential State’s mission, and the zines I publish, Sequential State always runs in the red. I don’t run advertisements or use pay-per-click affiliate programs because one of Sequential State’s core values is to be a completely independent comics criticism hub. This isn’t a business, and the site isn’t designed to be profitable, but Patreon is a helpful source of income that offsets a small part of the cost of running the site.

For anyone who is sponsoring Sequential State or who has sponsored the site in the past – thanks! Your patronage makes it easier to pay for and run the site.

Patrons at every level get access to unique features, and the first level, the $1/month pledge, is a feature called Go, See, Buy – a place for me to talk about what comics I find interesting and/or have recently purchased. This feature runs every week, and it’s a great way to see something different and potentially find some new comics to read.

I wanted to post one of these features to the main site so that you could see what you’d be getting if you were a patron. And I hope, as we close out the year, that if you read reviews, interviews, and commentary on Sequential State regularly, that you would consider donating to the Patreon campaign. Your dollars keep the site moving, and money above and beyond hosting fees goes into paying cartoonists. I think it’s money well spent.

This week’s Go, See, Buy featured comic is Apartment Number Three by  Pascal Girard. This comic is a rarity, because it’s a zine reprint. A farcical romantic comedy, this was originally published by Colosse of Montreal in 2011, and has been out of print for some time.

John Porcellino decided as part of his small but growing publishing venture, to give the zine a reprint this year. I also think there’s something to be said for preservation and pushing forward material from years past. Clearly you can’t call a zine reprint “archival” in the sense of the traditional archival hard covers published by IDW, Fantagraphics, Dark Horse, and the like. But it feels archival in a small way, doesn’t it?

(Image to the right featuring John P’s thumb, because I pulled it straight from his website)

Girard’s fiction/autobio work is squeamish-making, embarrassing stuff, and his line is quite lovely. One of the things I like most about Girard’s recent work is his sketch work. His line feels so alive in these sketches, maybe even more so than his comics work. He also illustrated a book about bears, called Ours? It’s French, coming out in 2018, and lovely stuff. You can see it on his instagram.

One of the constant thrills of finding new work for me is that sense of discovering a rare thing; if a zine had a print run of 100, then only you and 99 other people had that same experience, at least at first. It’s not exclusivity for me as much as how intimate that feels, and how that radiates out into comics as a culture and as an artform.

In some ways, Procellino’s reprint acts specifically against that intimacy, but creates it again by giving new readers access to that old work; perhaps this print run will ripple out just like the first, those ripples of access and engagement becoming a wave of shared human experience.

Anyway, here’s the link:

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