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June 19, 2010: I've launched a new version of this website as a Wordpress blog. This version won't be updated anymore.
If you don't see the images of a review, it means that I've transferred it to the new site.
   
 
The first collection

Max & Lily


An ongoing, but infrequent, one-page strip.
Two collections have been published and are available on the author's site, 1999-.

Category: humor, lesbian, slice-of-life.

Author(s): Kris Dresen.
Website: http://www.maxandlily.com
The second collection
There's a lot of people in that closet.

It is often said that, in matters of love, opposites attract. Apparently, Kris Dresen thinks that is also true for friendships. Look at Max, always moaning and groaning against everything in general and her girlfriends in particular, and Lily, a joking and slightly camp gay man. One might think these two don't have a lot in common. But they obviously care about each other, and easily forgive each other's shortcomings.

This strip is strongly political, with feminist statements from Max and comments on American politics, Aids and other subjects most people don't want to think about. Kris Dresen manages to "use" her characters without making them look like her mouthpiece, either by having them joke about their righteousness or by making her point in a poetic and non-preaching way.
But most of the stories are concerned with the interaction between the two characters, and Max's apparent misanthropy is often countered by Lily's optimistic humor.

This battle of the half-full/half-empty bottle is well served by the art. Cartoony and very expressive, it reminds me a bit of early Kyle Baker. Backgrounds are also fully realised, especially in the depiction of nature. The balance between white and black is well preserved, which is important in pages which can be wordy.

These two characters are people I'd like to meet. They are full of human warmth and quirky foibles, and could teach a thing or two about mordant wit to so-called professional comedians.
Let's hope that Kris Dresen, despite her busy schedule, will find time to pen more of these delicious slice-of-life strips.

Undies unite.
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