Caleb Orecchio here with some thoughts on Michael DeForge’s upcoming new book, Brat.
Michael DeForge is a marathon runner of a cartoonist literally and figuratively. He has kept a steady pace for years and shows no signs of stopping to take a breather or sprinting into a burst of desperate speed. From the outside he seems to have simply found a comfortable stride while maintaining a focused mindset that allows for consistently great work.
From the outside, the burden of promise that was laid upon our hero’s back in the late aughts and early teens seems to not be a burden at all. Or is he already miles ahead of the burden? Or behind it? I don’t think it matters because DeForge only seems interested in keeping his own pace of comic-making.
I am always pleased to open up a DeForge book because you never know what you are going to get, and you are never disappointed. The work is always funny, weird, witty, clever, enjoyable to look at, etc. His new book Brat from Koyama Press is, as they say, no exception.
Brat is laid out in a wonderful six-panel grid which is the simplest of the comic book metronomes and creates a nice, spacious rhythm. DeForge is in no hurry to come to a climax or to cram the pages with detail. The reader follows the story from one panel to the other without breaking a sweat which is immensely enjoyable.
I will elaborate on this rhythm and other aspects of this work next time.