Lunch Hour Comix
by Robert K. Ullman
(Alternative, 2004)

Lunch Hour Comix is a little book about the small everyday things that happened to the writer as he was getting ready to make a momentous change in his life -- buying a house. Most of the strips don't pertain to the mortgage, of course, and because of its episodic nature, nothing really pulls the reader along except for the reader's interest in finishing it.

It belongs to that journalistic school of art where chronicling small things can be made to matter and to reverberate and resonate -- or not. The diary begins on New Year's Eve and as the illustrator/creator states, it was the beginning of an eventful year and he decided to create a sporadic diary during his lunch hour.

Robert Ullman assures us that all the comic strips were created in one-hour lunch periods. That is a feat, I suppose. His skill is good, but he falters in his subject matter. I like high art, and low art. I like stuff only snobs can understand, and I like stuff anyone can understand. As for personal diaries and comics, I don't mind diaries and I like all kinds of comics and cartooning. But I like creative works that resonate in a great way. Unfortunately, many of the topics Ullman illustrates merited only a shrug.

There are some great moments, of course. For instance, I liked the panels about his getting used to beheadings. That resonated with me. I too have realized that I've gotten used to beheadings. As did the schoolkid's note he picked up on the ground. Yes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. But on the whole, it's a forgettable little book.

by Carole McDonnell
7 October 2006

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