Mini-Comic Review: Coffee and Beer Money

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As I mentioned in a previous review, one of the great things about this gig is that I get exposed to material I would not necessarily pick up on my own.  Sometimes I am greatly surprised and I kick myself for my lack of an adventurous nature.  Other times I sit and scratch my head and wish I was ten to fifteen years younger because sometimes I think I don’t get it.

beer moneyWhen I was asked to review this mini-comic, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into.  I am use to reviewing things I am interested in and or familiar with.  One of the most difficult things to do (for me at least) is to pick up something you’ve never read or know nothing about and then give it a good honest review.  I have to say that I am enjoying it though, because it makes me broaden my mind and opinions and actually think about what I am trying to get across to the readers.

So when I was asked to review Coffee and Beer Money, I was expecting something completely different from what I got.  I skimmed through it once quickly to see how it flowed and to my surprise, it wasn’t a typical comic book that I am use to reading.  This mini-comic is a collection of little short stories and reminds me more of reading a collection of newspaper comic strips like the old Peanuts books I read as a kid.

The stories are funny and quirky.  The main character, whom I can only assume is based on the writer and artist Becky Hawkins is easy to relate to and even start to like.  With all due respect to Becky, I find this a mix of Cathy and Ziggy, with a little bit of Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy for a twist.  These are apparently little situations she’s lived through in her life and although they may not all be her experiences she did a great job at making them identifiable to me.

Her artwork is clumsy in some areas, but shows promise.  I am not an art critic, nor could I do any better myself.  The book as a whole seems more like a collection of doodles she’s put together, rather than a well thought out book with a central theme.  This should in no way diminish or trivialize her effort or work.  I love her style of writing and her humor quite a bit.  I would be interested in seeing any of her future work and would definitely recommend her as a budding talent.  She obviously writes from her heart as if she has something meaningful to say and in the state of the world today, that is extremely refreshing to me.

“I play Spider Solitaire, that is what I do.  Night after night.  It’s the only thing that keeps the demons at bay, gives you an illusion of control, y’know?  …of accomplishment… organization… but I’m slipping.  After months without a day job, Becky overdoes “write what you know”.”

Check out more of Becky Hawkins’ work at French Toast Comix and at her online gallery.

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