Comic Review: Memoirs of a Very Stable Genius (Image)

Shannon Wheeler, creator of Too Much Coffeeman, has a new release with Image: Memoirs of a Very Stable Genius. Let’s pore inside, shall we? Wheeler, and perhaps Editor Laura Tavishati […]

Shannon Wheeler, creator of Too Much Coffeeman, has a new release with Image: Memoirs of a Very Stable Genius. Let’s pore inside, shall we?

Wheeler, and perhaps Editor Laura Tavishati have assembled an interesting collection of stories and cartoons in this volume. The range of material is quite wide; there are stories about Shannon’s early day camp days, fascinating accounts of his meetings with celebrities, and his experiences at various comic conventions, for example.

As with all good writers, it’s never clear whether their autobiographical stories are actually true, completely fabricated, or somewhere in the middle. And it doesn’t really matter. Certainly, it doesn’t matter here, either; Wheeler’s storytelling is entertaining. His timing is good, his presentation is personable. He knows what makes a good story.

Visually, the story styles are similar to that of Robert Crumb. Small panels with figures in medium shot or closeup. Expressions. Lots of shading and crosshatching, all done in pen and ink. Then coloured, which is sometimes unnecessary, I suppose.

Interspersed among the stories are hundreds of single panel cartoons. Some are simple playful sketches that explore some fun ideas. Others are political in nature or have to do with human relationships. There are a few real gems in the pile, and those are especially poignant or ‘genius’ as the title suggests.

Good reading, and a nice collection of Shannon Wheeler’s restless but stable thoughts.

Image, Memoirs of a Very Stable Genius, $19.99 for 148 pages, Mature

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!