Zine Review: Fully Loaded Trap

ZINES_Fully Loaded TrapFully Loaded Trap
Comic, Jeff Mitchell, 14 pgs, illoguerillo.com, jeff@illoguerillo.com

Composed primarily of single page, 4-panel comics, Fully Loaded Trap demonstrates Jeff Mitchell’s distinctive, consistent style, with a few curveballs thrown in to prove versatility. He draws like a guy with professional aspirations. His gag-oriented comics feature recurring characters (including himself, apparently) with rounded heads and torsos, shaded at times with grey or green tones. Other pieces have more angular, menacing characters. Mitchell has range, but his illustration chops outpace his jokes. Boobs, farts and cat puke are among the punchlines delivered. Fair enough, but I groaned more than I grinned. There’s one standout, though: “Providence Beyond the Unknown” is a two-page psychedelic sci-fi strip that is the centerpiece of the collection, and it’s on another level. With the writing credited to The Schomberg Fair, Mitchell is the illustrator of this brisk but enthralling tale of the spiritual awakening of the moon-dwelling Riffulites. Mitchell’s detail is intricate with a pop of blue shading. He does panel transitions like a pro, making a lot of conceptual action flow in page space that ought to be restrictive for the depth of this story, but isn’t because it’s executed so well. It’s a much headier, more intriguing piece than anything else in the zine. If “Providence” is indicative of Mitchell’s potential when teaming up with other writers, then it’s something I’d love to see more of. His solo one-pagers that make up the bulk of this zine confirm his illustrative skill, but he shines most here when telling someone else’s story. (Joshua Barton)

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