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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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02/25/2004 Archived Entry: "APE 2004 Swag Review: Schadenfreude!"

2004 Alternative Press Expo Swag Review: Schadenfreude!

Review by Ginger Mayerson

"Mad, bad and dangerous to know" is how Lady Caroline Lamb described Lord Byron after their first meeting. You'd think she would have run in the other direction, but no, she did not.

Anyway, this is not about that. This is about Schadenfreude!, a book of stark, but lovely sequential art by Karl Christian about how hard it is to be young and eccentric. Either of those is tough enough in and of itself, both might inspire one to draw stark, but lovely comics about it. I met Karl at APE, he looked young; but seemed to be surviving it.

His comic is called Schadenfreude!, subtitled 13 Hours With Lord Byron. It is in black and white and reminds me a little of woodcuts. The artist gets a lot on each page; the panels are full of detail, but never cluttered or confusing. The narrative unfolds hour by hour of the 13 in the title. And at the end, or near it, I found myself wondering how much of it this was a fantasy or a flashback, due to one panel that had the hero back in his pathetic adolescent bedroom (poor little guy). Lord Byron might want to be back in his bedroom (alone or not) because his evening isn't going so well: Some chick pukes on him, he runs into someone from high school (I know I hate that), and cocaine must have been hard to get that year because everyone is snorting sugar or sugar substitute. Like I said, it's hard to be young, and harder to be young and eccentric. If it's still $3.50, you get a lot of comic for your money. There is also a smaller comic inside called Strum und Drang, an amusing introduction blurb, and a short story with a few panels of illustration at the end. And, you know, a little Schadenfreude never hurt anyone.
Schadenfreude! Please contact the artist through his LiveJournal to order.

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