Underground Film Journal

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Urban Hipster #2

By Mike Everleth ⋅ February 14, 2003

Urban Hipster #2

URBAN HIPSTER is an anthology book by two creators, Greg Stump and David Lasky, with two diverse styles. One is dark and realistic, the other sparse and cartoony. However, the book doesn’t label which creator performed which duties on which strip, so I don’t know who’s responsible for what. I suspect each story is a complete collaboration with Stump and Lasky switching off on writing, layout and finished art duties. The only signed story — by Lasky — in the entire book is a half-page strip, “I’ve Been Jobless Since February,” which is drawn in a pseudo-Robert Crumb style.

There are a few filler-type strips, including two “Garfunk” pages about a groovy cat and a one-page “The Kittens” starring a young punk band who are — of course — kittens, but the bulk of the issue is taken up by two long form tales: “Four Twenty-Five” and “Babette’s Feast: A Chloe and Natasha Mystery.” Both of these stories are different riffs on, well, urban hipster types.

“Four Twenty-Five” is a pleasant story about an unemployed slacker’s obsession with his daily games on an Addams Family pinball machine in the Laundromat around the corner, while “Babette’s Feast” revolves around the female thrift store set. To be fair, “Babette’s Feast” isn’t really a mystery even though it’s labeled as such, but Chloe and Natasha are co-workers who despise each other. Chloe is in love with a yuppie lesbian while Natasha denies having a crush on the cute record store guy across the street.

URBAN HIPSTER is a pleasant enough distraction. I grooved its overall laid-back style and “Babette’s Feast” gave me a warm nostalgic feeling for the Beacon’s Closet thrift store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The content of the comic is excellent (although I could probably have done without “Garfunk”).

Yet, the comic has a somewhat “throwaway” feel to it. It’s published in the standard 11 X 7-1/2, 32-page pamphlet style. The book would have benefited from including a few more pages and/or published in a classier format, like the 8-3/4 X 7-1/2 on rough paper format of Dave Cooper’s WEASEL for a quick example. That way I’d feel more like I was buying an object of art rather than just another comic pamphlet. It is kind of a minor nitpicking point I guess, but to me important to help promote great comics to new audiences. Stories that have this much cool talent behind it should have as cool a presentation.