Sequential State – the comics criticism archive of Alex Hoffman

, an anthology edited by Mickey Zacchilli

Mickey Z. sent over a copy of DEALING WITH WINTER zine a new anthology from pricetapes edited by
Zacchilli, with contributions by a lot of talented artists. The book is 47
pages, risographed single-tone (mostly burgundy, but also teal and purple) pages
on an off-white paper. The cover is a light blue with teal and purple
risoprint, and a splash of orange paint.  As anthologies go, I think this one fit the
usual mold; there are a lot of good inclusions, some okay work, and some stuff
that really doesn’t cut mustard.

The concept of DEALING
is comics about how people deal with winter, and I liked
all of the variation on the theme. Annie Mok and James Kuo both have nice
little comics where they address the emotional and physical strain of wintertime,
with its cold winds and unforgiving weather.
Lottie Pencheon’s comedy about loving winter because everyone else hates
it was a nice twist on the standard routine, and Zacchilli’s own piece
juxtaposing the cold of winter with the main character’s coldness of heart was
a nice touch.

There’s some filler work in here – some of the entries felt
like stream-of-consciousness pieces, Zacchilli even includes some pages that
are titled “filler page.”  Becca Tobin’s
work, which generally feels divinely inspired, fell a little flat for me, and I
could take or leave Tom Bubul’s busy selection.

My stray thought on DEALING
is how it feels like a self-portrait of Zacchilli, in the
sense that the things that comprise the anthology are also the things that
Zacchilli focuses on in personal work. There’s a strong component of
mark-making and frenetic energy throughout the book. The off-the wall and/or
wry humor in the book also feels a lot like the humor Zacchilli includes in RAV. And I think I like it more for that
reason. The anthology feels directed, maybe not completely successfully, but it
doesn’t feel slap-dash.

has a distinct voice. I think that’s a place where anthologies consistently
fall flat. Zacchilli has curated some good comics and displayed them in a way
that feels recognizable. Certainly not great with a capital G Great, but DEALING WITH WINTER zine feels
purposeful, a self-portrait via collection.

Mickey Zacchilli @spideretc is a cartoonist and illustrator based in Providence, RI. You can get a copy of