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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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06/06/2006 Archived Entry: "Graphic anthology: MOME, Vol. 3"

MOME Vol. 3 (Winter 2006)
Fantagraphics Books

Review by Tom Good

This volume of the MOME comics anthology contains one outstanding piece: The Armed Garden by David B. The story begins in 1415, based on the historical events of the Hussite Wars in Bohemia. Rebelling against the Catholic church, the followers of Jan Hus first fight against the armies of the Pope, then after splitting into rival Taborite and Adamite sects they find themselves in conflict with each other. But though it begins as if it intends to present a history lesson, the story quickly evolves into a work of magical realism, full of supernatural beings, talking animals, and dreamlike visuals. When the Adamite leader Rohan engages the Taborite preachers in theological debate, the drawing shows the letters of their words floating over their heads, clutching swords and other weapons, as if the words are having a literal battle. The art has an intense, calligraphic style that makes this a haunting work of dark fantasy.

The Armed Garden is a tough act to follow, and the rest of the stories in this book suffer from the inevitable comparison with it. The cute but far-from-innocent animals in Martin Cendreda's Matthew and Buster are amusing enough, and Jeffrey Brown delivers his trademark autobiographical angst in two short stories. The rest of the entries just seem like typical indie comics -- not bad, but not very exciting after The Armed Garden. But David B.'s story puts this book solidly on the recommended list.


See also: MOME Vol. 2 review by Leigh Anne Wilson

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