by Jay A. Hacker III
(Fool's Child, 2004)

Headstatic is an art gallery of wildly diverse styles and subjects heavily influenced by "fine" art, comic books and strips, popular culture and advertising.

No presentation on these paper walls is less than one or greater than 20 pages in length. Many of these vignettes were probably assignments in college meant to force students to try new styles. Jay A. Hacker III must have embraced each assignment (if, indeed, there were any) with enthusiasm and an inherent and impressive talent.

This guy is good. Hacker is also a courageous artist. He is so because his "fine" art pals will likely ignore this collection because of its comics influences, and his comic-book buddies will turn up their spandex-clad noses because it is tainted by "fine" art.

(Careful readers will notice that the use of quotation marks around the word "fine" indicate the philosophy of this reviewer: there is no fine art; all art is of equal value.)

Among the cartoonish exploits of "X-Wina" and the realistic anatomy studies of girls that Hacker probably dated or wanted to date, you'll also discover genre flashes of horror and science fiction and adventure.

What you won't find are well fleshed-out characters or plots. There simply isn't room for either in these brief paper dramas. You won't find enough dialogue to guess whether Hacker is a master of that technical point in the fine, oops, art of creating comic books and strips either.

Nor will you care. Why?

This Hacker guy is really good. The only real criticism is that he needs to lose the III hung on the end of his name. It dredges up visions of Thurston Howell III and the good ship Minnow.

Gilligan is bad. But Hacker is goooooooood.

by Michael Vance
2 December 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.