Tales of Modern Tragedy

Laura Kenins is a letterpress printer from Halifax and from what it looks like, takes snapshots of her summers in comics, that includes hot record store employees, bad Hole albums (“they totally sold out”) and late night coffee shop rants. So what’s new? The second zine in this latest collection, called “Dark Skies,” is a short fiction based on the Medicine Hat murders of the Richardson family in April 2006, who were killed by their 12-year-old daughter and 23year-old Jeremy Steinke. But instead of viewing the stories through the headlines, which we all have done, it’s a crudely drawn comic envisioned from the inside: who’s who in the social circles, the bar talk, teenage sex and the chaotic, patrolled message boards. It is almost sympathetic to the murderers–as if they were an indie Bonnie and Clyde, or Natural Born Killers– as the actual murder rampage is skirted over, or gently touched upon in passing, which mirrors how the duo must have pushed it out of their minds in order to do it. As a young girl in fishnets lays on her bed on page 21, she thinks to herself, “It will all be fine, soon.” (Nadja Sayej)

Comic zine, Laura Kenins, issue 6, $3, www.narwhalfactory.com

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