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tokyodemons:

sequentialstate:

Review: Dinner Ditz by Alexis Cooke

It isn’t often that two of my comics interest seem so perfectly aligned in one project. My interest in manga is what drove me to comics in general, and my experiences at conventions have pushed me towards smaller works and small press. So when a mini from Chromatic Press comes out that has art reminiscent of Natsume Ono, you can bet that you have my interest.

Dinner Ditz is 60 pages black and white comics that takes a lot of its cues from shojo and lighter yaoi manga. Peregrine, who has recently come out and gotten a divorce, wants to connect with his daughter Lottie through cooking, but he’s awful in the kitchen. He enlists the aid of a cooking coach Otho to help him learn to cook better and be less nervous in the kitchen.

Cooke has a good eye for character design. Her male leads are the pensive type with hawkish features and strong jawlines, a similarity to the work of Natsume Ono (the nervous, hawkish guy is the bread and butter of her storytelling). Throughout the mini, the character interactions of Dinner Ditz are the reason it works. The tropes, like the nervous divorcee, are familiar, but the focus is on how two men spend time together, and how a father loves his daughter. Dinner Ditz is at its best when Lottie and Peregrine are on the same page together – there’s a true chemistry in the illustration, and the writing is at its most sincere.

Still, the mini is not without problems. Cooke has a tendency to overuse sound-effect words that explain a face or an action when the meaning could be easily interpreted from her illustration alone. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the words “love nudge” used as a sound effect before. Cooke also over-relies on the profile shot, which makes the comic feel stiff in places. Using a larger variety of character placements, camera angles, and shots would likely improve the flow of the comic and keep the reader’s eye. There were also a few places where the writing felt a bit stilted, especially the opening and closing text.

I think Dinner Ditz is a great start. Cooke’s style is bright and expressive, and Dinner Ditz seems like the beginnings of what will likely be a strong professional career in comics. It’s certainly a cute story. And as Cooke continues to grow as a cartoonist, I’ll be interested to see if she brings us back to the world of Peregrine and Ortho.

——

Dinner Ditz is written and illustrated by Alexis Cooke (tumblr: anxiousa), and was published by chromaticpress in their sparklermonthly magazine. Sparkler is in the middle of a subscription drive - $5/month gives you access to a lot of comics, prose, and audio material.

A review copy was provided by the publisher for this review.

Cooke’s style is bright and expressive, and Dinner Ditz seems like the beginnings of what will likely be a strong professional career in comics. 

Totally agree. <3 We love Alexis.

Download the complete Dinner Ditz: ebook | print version (zine for TCAF)

Read online (Chap 1 free, Chap 2 for Sparkler members )

sparklermonthly
sparklermonthly:

sotwnisey:

The incredible anxiousa was in town yesterday, so I drew her some Dinner Ditz gift art!
It was awesome getting to hang out with you again! &lt;3

*screech* Our lovey artists making art for each other!! (Denise’s "Before You Go" is currently behind our pay-wall, but you can read the first chapter of Alexis’s "Dinner Ditz" for free! ;-) ) 

SREAMz OF JOY!!! &lt;3 &lt;3 &lt;3

sparklermonthly:

sotwnisey:

The incredible anxiousa was in town yesterday, so I drew her some Dinner Ditz gift art!

It was awesome getting to hang out with you again! <3

*screech* Our lovey artists making art for each other!! (Denise’s "Before You Go" is currently behind our pay-wall, but you can read the first chapter of Alexis’s "Dinner Ditz" for free! ;-) ) 

SREAMz OF JOY!!! <3 <3 <3

sparklermonthly

sparklermonthly:

yourunderwaterskies:

tokyodemons:

caffeinated-cake:

Reasons to subscribe to Sparkler Monthly:

  • It’s cheap as fuck
  • $5 a month cheap
  • That’s less than 3 cans of NOS at retail price.
  • NOS lasts an hour or two.
  • $5 sub lasts 30 DAYS
  • There’s a ton of cool shit behind the paywall.
  • The more $5 there are the more cool shit there is
  • The more cool shit there is the more likely it is to get FREE cool shit (they can’t keep it all behind the paywall, can they?? I hope not!)
  • $5 a month
  • Also Tokyo Demons A WEEK EARLIER THAN THE FREE READERS
  • $5 a month

    

Aw, Pachi! <3

As mentioned in Sparkler Podcast #2 and on Twitter (here, here, and here), we have a big Year 2 planned, and we want to hire even more of the great creators who pitch to us, but we don’t have the subscriber base to support it yet. We’re putting a freeze on a lot of things until we sell more subscriptions, which are the main way we raise the operating costs of our magazine and the advances we pay our creators. 

The magazine is going “truly monthly” in August (all chapters are released on the same day) to simplify our website and downloads, we’re releasing a special issue for newbies, and we’re going to introduce new incentives during our August Membership Drive. But all existing members will be grandfathered in, so you don’t have to wait - if you want to support us, we’d be over the moon if you did it today!

In fact, starting in August, our 1-month subscription is going up to $6 (all monthly subscriptions are staying at $5/month, to reward those who sign up to be regulars), so if you want to buy the 1-month subscription just to try everything out with no commitment for $5, now’s the time! We think you’ll be more than pleased with the delights behind our paywall.

Thanks, guys! This is a tough industry, but we can make it together. <3

Sparkler’s staff are some of the kindest, most helpful people, and their magazine is phenomenal. We’ve come so close to losing Crossed-Genres, another diversity related magazine, and in this economy, a lot of publishers are feeling the heat, especially the indie ones. Tumblr has kept so many diversity-related projects alive, and even made them flourish. And reading and freelancing with them, I can honestly say that Sparkler is wonderful, utterly dedicated, and probably the best 5$ you will spend.

*blushing* I got a great editorial compliment today when someone told me that an art note I made helped them untangle a problem they’ve been struggling with for a while … We really try, guys, and it’s so great to hear that we’re appreciated! ^_^

I only hope we can keep getting the support we need to do even more! 

Sparkler is truly doing wonderful work! I love the energy they are putting in to the world and am so excited to see what year two has in store.  Go support this great group of lovely people! <3