Zine Review: Drawn By Four

Artzine, Rachel Ang , issue 1, 8–428 Byron St., Footscray 3011, Victoria, Australia, $10

Despite what the title suggests, Drawn By Four is actually the creation of one person, Rachel Ang, who uses drawings and spare text to tell four stories about childhood in this inaugural issue. The first and last stories in this triptych are fairly straightforward tales about a little girl climbing a mountain with her father (“The Mountain”) and a slightly older girl’s experience in her intriguing and somewhat scary house (“The Wasp Nest”). “The Beginning” is a creation myth that would benefit from bigger, clearer illustrations. Many of Ang’s drawings have a lovely dreamlike quality to them. In the linear stories, the small, black and white renderings work well, but the depictions of space (if in fact that’s what they are) aren’t done any justice by the format. Of the four stories, “Craft” is the most surprising and also my favourite. Without text, over six illustrated panels a girl shows how to do a craft, with a wonderfully creepy end result. It would be nice if there was a title on this page though. It took several reads before I realized it wasn’t part of the previous story. At the conclusion of Drawn By Four, I felt a bit like I do when I read Adrian Tomine’s comics — a combination of wistfulness, art envy and frustration caused by wanting to have more of the story revealed. I’m curious about what happens to the girl in these stories. Here’s hoping for more. (Joanne Huffa)

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