| Chicago Reader

The Holy Consumption 

The Holy Consumption, a local collective of four cartoonists, has formally embraced the attention-garnering strategy stumbled upon by the Hernandez brothers (Love and Rockets): do your own strips but market them together; get your names remembered as a bloc and your audience will gradually expand. Jeffrey Brown, John Hankiewicz, Paul Hornschemeier, and Anders Nilsen are great friends who share ideas as well as a Web site where they offer fancy, limited-edition volumes of their work that they can't sell in stores; they admonished me not to single out any member of the gang for attention. Too bad! Hornschemeier's talky, polished work (Forlorn Funnies, Sequential) speaks loudest to me. Though his lines are cartoonish, his colors are wistful--a delightful combination--and his stories, populated by robots, obsessives, and depressed fish, are always fresh. Brown's messy, squiggly style is charming, but he leans heavily on the plot cliches of perzines and superhero comics. As for Nilsen and Hankiewicz: if you're the type who understands movies where nobody ever says anything and you have to follow the story via all those goddamn jump cuts, then you might get their moody work. Me, I barely grasp what's going on, but the pictures are lovely. All four have recently published new work, but this show and signing isn't a reading. Instead, attendees will be encouraged to team up with Holy Consumption members for a game of "Win, Lose, or Draw." Fri 12/17, 8 PM, Quimby's, 1854 W. North, 773-342-0910.

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