Sam Ombiri on Deryl Seitchik’s “Missy No. 1”.
Sam Ombiri here: Missy #1 by Daryl Seitchik has left me floored. There are other comics that may be similarly made, and somewhat similarly successful. However, for me Missy is entirely unique, though it’s uniqueness is somewhat hard for me to articulate. This comic communicated through obscuring information. When the title character Missy either scribbles over words, or misspells something, there’s a lot of truth revealed. I honestly wonder how much it was on Daryl’s mind for this story to be effective as it was. Efforts here don’t appear to be calculated, but suspiciously efficient and mysteriously rough. Calculations in some ways are a form of improvisation.
The story is so well laid out from moment to moment. It progresses with an abundance of specificity, which is surprising for such a small minicomic. Between these specifications there are small moments for me to really feel. The feelings are surprisingly rich, given how there’s not that many pages in this comic (only 12).
The comic feels like watching something with the sound turned all the way down. It’s very muted and very distant, because of how timid Missy is. She is so timid that she remains secretive. Even in her own journal! Despite being presented like the drawings of a child, the drawings don’t resemble drawings a child would make. This is because we’re introduced to the pictures as a representation of what the child is writing. As a result, the drawings feel really humble.
The naiveté of the book isn’t for the sake of spectacle, or to be fashionable, but it’s the most honest thing to do, and it isn’t much more than writing in a diary. This merges us with Missy’s vision; with how she sees things, every anxiety, every worry, every tiny betrayal, we’re immersed as a result.
It seems like for this minicomic, it’s important for it to be physically as small as it is, or rather the way it was printed especially adds to this comic. Since Missy is small, so is the minicomic. The comic being a diary doesn’t define it completely – the book, rather, just weaves in and out of the idea of the book being a diary.
Reading this I could sense that Missy was feeling like the world was about to crash down on her. At the beginning of the story with her parents divorce coming into the picture, it would seem that this was the case. It feels like she’s looking for places to run to, and this journal we’re reading seems to be one of those places. – Sam Ombiri
Check out more issues of Missy by Deryl Seitchik as well as her graphic novel Exits (Koyama Press) HERE.
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Joanie and Jordie – 4-12-2018 – by Caleb Orecchio