Further Grickle
by Graham Annable
(Alternative Comics, 2003)

Don't expect any sense of linear continuity in this graphic novel. It's difficult to tell if there is any interconnectedness in the stories, because the main character appears to be the same in each story.

The first few entries suggest this is a collection of random independent stories. These tales show the character reliving a particular moment to say the right thing at the right time, break up with his girlfriend and hitch a ride to a party. But then, the same character appears as two children while their uncle tells an odd tale. The inconsistencies in the artwork further suggest no connection, yet particular elements have a recurring presence. None of these tales are particularly interesting; in fact, they make the supposed title character less appealing.

The last two stories, on the other hand, are polar opposites in theme but equally entertaining. One concerns a very funny trip to the doctor, with tons of slapstick. The final story -- a hefty portion of the graphic novel -- is a strong yet heartbreaking tale dealing with commitments and timing.

The story concepts of this graphic novel are hit-and-miss, but the storytelling itself is aptly done. Graham Annable should be commended for conveying so much emotion into stick figures, especially in the final story arc. While Further Grickle is an interesting approach to storytelling with certain pieces that are successful and entertaining, the lack of consistency and connection keeps the whole graphic novel from being successful.

- Rambles
written by C. Nathan Coyle
published 24 July 2004

Buy it from Amazon.com.