Review: mini kuš! #33 – BFF by Marie Jacotey

Kuš! komiksi sent over a new set of minis in mid-April, and
I’m just now getting around to reading them. I’m running quite a bit behind – I
haven’t even gotten to most of my TCAF haul yet. This latest batch has some
intriguing work, including BFF by
Marie Jacotey. Like all mini kuš, BFF is
a 28 pages and in full color. One of the more grounded kuš minis I’ve read, BFF recounts the relationships of three people,
Amy, Rob, and Stan. Rob and Amy are recently broken up, and by chance, Amy is
now dating Stan, Rob’s best friend; Rob finds out when he visits Stan one early
morning.

Jacotey’s illustrations are colored pencil and graphite,
smudged and smoky, underlying the book’s sexual frankness. Lust is the driving
force behind much of the action of BFF;
Rob, having lost Amy’s affections is constantly thinking of her, and Stan is
constantly trying to undress her. Almost every conversation is oriented around
desire or sexual acts. 

The relationships between each of the three characters change
dramatically over 28 pages and are the source of all of the movement in BFF, although any conflict is reflected
more in Rob’s internal monologue than in physical action. It’s important that most of the book happens in Rob’s head. He’s constantly on the verge of either triumph or existential crisis, and there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of middle ground.

Jacotey focuses on the juxtaposition between the way Rob treats Stan in the  and how he actually feels. By the end of the book, Rob has
done something that would likely be ruinous for his friendship with Stan if
Stan ever found out. And given how close the two seem, Stan finding out is
rather likely. The comic does seem violent, at least in an emotional way. A painting of one man stabbing another in the chest hangs in Rob’s room – it’s a bit on the nose. 

The presentation of all of this is very matter-of-fact. Jacotey
seems to be saying, “Look how fucked up people can be!” presenting the whole of
BFF with a wry smile. With the backstabbing,
lying, callousness, and ruined friendships, BFF
hits that mark well enough.

 ——–

Marie Jacotey mariejacotey is a French artist based in London. In 2014, Jacotey was named one of Bloomberg’s New Contemporaries, with recent exhibitions at the Hannah Barry Gallery, Le Salon de Montrouge, and heike moras.

Kuš! komiksi [tumblr: kushkomikss ]  is a Latvian comics publisher that in addition to its kuš and mini kuš comics has a goal to promote and develop comics culture in Latvia and feature Latvian cartoonists. You can see more of their books and buy a half-year subscription to their titles at their website.

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