Unique. This is a word I use infrequently. There’s a shopping chain here called “Unique”. Ironic, in that all the clothes-wear they have is pretty much the same. And if everyone shopped here, there’d be nothing unique about it. Which begs the age-old question: What the fuck? Anyway, today’s comic is truly unique. Not “unique like all the others” unique, but really it’s in a class of its own.
Serious Emotional Disturbances (SED) caught my attention immediately. I was hooked. It began back in February ’08, and follows the semi-autobiographical chronicle of 9 Bridges. That’s the artist’s name. A story about nine actual bridges would be pretty flimsy at best… Sure you could bring in bits about iron girders and concrete, or wood, even, if you’re into that sort of thing, you sick bastard. This comic is probably best compared to a saucy young nun/stripper that seduces obese rappers just for kicks. And by that I mean it’s so surreal, dark, hilariously bizarre and cleverly vulgar, it doesn’t fail to satisfy your comic-buds. For a primarily storyline based comic, it’s hardly a one-trick pony. Dotted with rants and other one-off escapades involving people in the author’s life, such as The Colorist, a mysterious paper-bag-masked individual, about who very little is known. Other characters include 9’s sister (who is sort-of invisible) and Chuckles, 9’s first friend in the town of Bumfuck (Seriously, read it for that alone). There are more, but character assassinations are costly. First I have to draw the assassin, then somehow get him into someone else’s comic without being caught. It’s tricky like that.
Style-wise, I have to say I’ve never seen anything like it; which is probably why I find it so compelling. I’ll always stress that a story-based comic must (MUST!) have good artwork to back it up, or the reader will pretty quickly lose interest. That’s a fact, mon ami. But SED does not disappoint. The style is individual from the start, quite detailed but still retains a simplistic, almost stick-figure-like innocence infused with what I can only describe as a face-painting style reminiscent of Native American tribes. Or maybe it just helps to tell the characters apart. What am I? An anthropologist?! Nay, I am not, and I shall do no such anthropologising. Even if you don’t find the content much to your taste, the artwork alone deserves very much merit. You have to see to believe. Recently, it seems to be finding a comfortable artistic niche and has never looked so good.
A summary you say? Alright fine. SED is surreal, unreal and at times, too real. Yes. Updates M/W/F (that’s Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays for those of you who don’t acronym like I acronym). Go see it with your eyes.