Zine Review: Unproductive #1

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 4.34.37 PMUnproductive #1
Comic, Robbie Robert (artist), 28 pgs, unproductive.storenvy.com, $3

If you like your humour darker than your coffee, then Robbie Robert’s Unproductive comic series might be right up your manic-depressive alley. Vignettes about powdered meat, brain tumors, and disfiguration are played out using egg-and-stick characters who float up and down the page in an alienating abyss of black and white. Although lacking a central narrative, this self-described “death illustrated issue,” which came out last April, actually broods over a life of desolation, where our characters masturbate to Internet porn, hang themselves, and literally rot from loneliness. In one particularly memorable moment, an egg surgically snaps his teeth apart with toe-clippers in order to appease a critic. What makes this all funny, I suppose, is the absurdity of how we might respond to those critics, experts, or marketers who otherwise try to convince us that this hurt is somehow our fault. In this way, while Unproductive #1 is sad, it’s also wonderfully cathartic. (Jason Luther)

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