I Saw You...
Julia Wertz
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Buy *I Saw You...: Comics Inspired by Real-Life Missed Connections* by Julia Wertz online

I Saw You...: Comics Inspired by Real-Life Missed Connections
Julia Wertz
Three Rivers Press
192 pages
February 2009
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Have you ever felt like you shared a moment with a stranger but never stuck around long enough to get that person’s name and number? Well, there’s a page for moment’s like that. It’s Craigslist “Missed Connections,” much like what you would find in the newspapers. Julia Wertz decided that those missed connections needed to be filled in, hence I Saw You...: Comics Inspired by Real-Life Missed Connections.

The premise is much like xxx’s Postcards and can be just as whimsical and amusing. By contrast, these tend to be much shorter - one to three pages mostly - meaning this collection has dozens of entries. What’s powerful or even overwhelming about this collection is the range. Some pieces are amusing, others are sad; some are downright romantic while others are a bit erotic or even border on pornographic.

It appears a great number of the ads were taken from Craigslist, but others were taken from daily newspapers and the like. It’s impressive to see that Three Rivers Press went forward with publishing this despite the recent national story about the “Craigslist Killer.” They made the right decision; many of these stories show that despite the occasional bad apple, others find great reward through the site or just the idea of reaching out into the virtual world.

It appears that the same people who found the ads were the ones who did the art for them and submitted them to Wertz. So, while all the art is black and white or grayscale, there is a great variety of talent, form, and presentation. Some artists exhibit very simple and singular drawings while others are elaborate with charcoal or even computer-generated images. This mixture of style and display gives the book its true power. The ads get repetitive, but the artistic approach keeps them fresh and interesting, leaving readers wondering, “How will this artist approach the subject?”

For the most part, this anthology is geared toward the Internet generation, where quick hook-ups are emails or IMs away. There are many romantic pieces here, but those with certain moral groundings are more likely to be off put by the looser morals displayed herein (unprotected sex, sexually transmitted infections, and adultery) or by the range of sexual identities represented. Be that as it may, the collection is entirely engaging and enjoyable for those who can look past such things and see what Wertz and others are aspiring to do.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Lance Eaton, 2009

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