Thursday, October 20, 2011

Student Comic Review: Li-Or Zaltzman's Collection of Autobio Comics

Each Wednesday, Eric and Hayley dig into a box of minicomics by SVA students and pull one out to share with the world. If you would like to submit your minis for review, please drop them off in the Reviews box at Cartoon Allies meetings and in the senior studio. This week, we'll be looking at...

Li-Or Zaltzman, Collection of Autobio Comics

Collection of Autobio Comics is a collection of many short comics, mostly following Li-Or's life, both when she was a child and now, and stories she hears from those she knows, such as her grandmother. The first story recalls Li-Or, as a child, injuring herself while sitting Shiva for her grandfather, and further tales also go into her day-to-day dealings with the MTA, her living situation, cold sores, friends, and being multilingual. Also included are sketches of museums, feet, and herself, which give the comic a spontaneous and inviting feel. My favorite comics in the book are one about her grandmother's history, which uses food as a way to show the character's personality, and a sweet, simple one-page tale that shows Li-Or observing a young family in the park.

The drawings in the first comic were a bit crude, but as the comic progresses, the art becomes looser and more expressive. Experimentations with different styles of inking are shown, with nibs, brushes, and inkwash all present. The poses of her characters all feel very natural and lively in their purposefully wonky anatomy, and this warm feel continues into her facial expressions. The bold ink lines work particularly well for how she draws, but when she dabbles in pen, it also fits with her expressive, quirky style.

The design of the comic is also gorgeous, and helps introduce the warm, somewhat dreamy world inside the book. The covers consist of a digitally altered drawing of her and some leaves, with a translucent paper with a pink paisley pattern over it. Using the decorative paper makes the comic stand out, as well as making it more inviting.

Collection of Autobio Comics is a candid, lovely look into a very talented artist's head, full of smart observation and expressive artwork.

You can visit Li-Or's website at and she can be contacted at liorzed (at) gmail (dot) com.

Hayley Weber is a junior cartooning major who hails from the most boring part of New Jersey. To distract herself from this sad fate, she reads and draws girly comic books, watches weird British TV shows, and stalks her favorite bands.

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