Review: Peejoe #1-2

Artist(s): Jessie Johnson.

Jessie Johnson’s Peejoe comics collect his (mostly) autobiographical strips, where his life and his partner’s are shown in a down-to-earth way, by way of factual vignettes which have the appeal of simple, everyday life.

In the first collection, a 20-page mini-comic published in October 2009, Johnson talks about his visits to podiatrists because of a painful toe, about a massage he took after seeing an ad or about a trip to Portland with his partner. The shorter strips, from three panels to a a page, also show a sense of humor that borders on the absurd. His style also varies, from a few lines thrown on the page to an almost realistic line.

The second collection, a full-sized, 24-page comic, gives us more of the same, under a very funny cover on locker panic, but with a twist. I particularly liked “Thanksgiving in Anachronia”, about a visit with his mother, told in a clever, touching manner. There’s also the very cute “The Pledge”, where a weirdly romantic Johnson takes a vow in front of his partner Justin. I won’t tell you what it is, but it’s not something you’ll see in any mainstream fiction, that’s for sure.

Most of Jessie Johnson’s strips are not about his being gay, but his love life is integrated in an obvious way one would not even notice were Johnson straight. It’s not questioned or analyzed, it simply is. And that’s still offensive to a lot of people, unfortunately.

Johnson publishes new strips every week on his website, where you can buy his comics.

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