Comic Kam: Lesniewski’s 'The Freak' is a gem among the manure

The internet is a strange place, filled with all manner of knowledge, information, degeneracy and reprobates. It has value, like growing vegetable crops in manure, except there’s probably way more manure than you need. And I mean way more than you need. Think of a rubber duck floating in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

That’s what the internet is.

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One of the most difficult parts of dealing with filtering and sorting through the internet is trying to find new things that appeal to you.

The Freak comic

Oh, sure, Amazon and Facebook are constantly trying to tell you what they think you want with their useless privacy-invading algorithms, but that’s nonsense. So you trudge and trudge through the manure and sometimes you get lucky and find something you like on your own.

Carefully navigating through the social minefield that is Twitter, and mind-numbingly scrolling through the mediocrity and vapidity that is Instagram, I managed to find an artist I quite liked.

Although he’s often describe as having a more European style with his extreme amount of fine detail and line work, I find comic creator Matt Lesniewski’s work to resemble more like a stretched out and malformed John Romita Jr., particularly due to both of their heavy use of long hatching lines.

Romita Jr. is best known for his 1990s work on Spider-Man, Punisher, and X-Men, but also as the co-creator of Kick Ass, which then in turn was adapted into a couple of movies.

Lesniewski’s work, so far, has nothing really to do with any of those titles — it’s just strictly a visual style — although he does post some great commission drawings of those kinds of characters on his social media platforms, so I guess there is that connection, as well.

Following Lesniewski’s work online, I recently discovered he was publishing his own graphic novel called The Freak.

Naturally I had to order some copies for our store. Although I was completely unfamiliar with the character, I was willing to give it a chance, because not only do I enjoy his art, I also thought it was important to support a burgeoning independent comic creator that I liked.

Published in black and white, drawn with a ludicrous amount of fine black line detail, The Freak is a bizarre story of a supposedly hideous man who is routinely beaten and pummeled for allegedly being hideous. Consumed by a need for vengeance, the Freak is an outsider who struggles with acceptance and belonging, or giving into violence and remaining an outsider. The Freak is truly a unique character study by a talented artist.

Nick Klie is manager of High Octane Comics. For more, visit 250 Third Ave. or call 250-377-8444.

© Kamloops This Week


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