By Dustin Cabeal
This is a weird book for me to review. I feel like I should like it more. It’s strange in and of itself which I usually like, and it’s created and published in my home state of Colorado. Looking back, I didn’t realize it would take me ten years to regret leaving, but that is not something you need to know for this review. The comic is semi-autobiographical. I feel like a question mark could be added at the end of that. Not all of the stories follow the creator/main character of Lonnie, but most of them do. Each page is a comic. It begins and ends there. Sometimes there’s one to three panels, but consistently there’s two. To put it another way, most of the comics have a set up and punchline.
The stories never connect. I can think of only one that acted as a callback to another comic, but the rest standalone. There’s some sex. There’s the impression of a lot of loneliness at times. There’s a pretty great comic about Supergirl. There’s a lot of randomness, though, and not all of it felt rewarding to read it, but then at the very same time… I was glad I did. I’m glad that weird stuff like this exists. I don’t always need a narrative as long as it’s interesting and hold my attention. Some of the gags made me actually laugh, and others felt like a very personal conversation that I had no business reading.
The art is mostly consistent. You can really see a lot of growth towards the end. The art also experiments a lot with the coloring and presentation. It’s hard to find two pages colored the same. I definitely favored the art more at the end as it felt like Allen had found his artistic voice. Halfway through it was clear that he had found his written voice, but that too continued to improve as the book carried on.
I would likely read more from Allen. I wasn’t head over heels in love with Delineate, but I enjoyed it enough that I would thumb through it again and or check future volumes. I’m curious to see where he goes as a creator so if anything I’m grateful to have read this to discover Allen’s work.
Creator: Lonnie MF Allen
Publisher: Tinto Press