“Two Stories,” Two Ways Of Looking At The World

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

It’s always a pleasure to read something new (or, in this case, new-ish) from Paradise Systems, R. Orion Martin’s small-press imprint self-tasked with exposing the rest of the world to the joys and idiosyncrasies of contemporary Chinese “alternative” cartooning, and one of the more fascinating things they’re doing is trying to re-introduce to the cultural landscape the lianhuanhua, a once-popular publication format that presents short, “punchy,” one-panel-per-page stories in a pocket-sized package. We looked at one of these — Woshibai’s Migraine — a few months back, and now we turn our collective attention to Gantea’s Two Stories, a comic that, full disclosure, I was initially inclined to dismiss as being too self-consciously “cute” for its own good.

Here’s the thing, though — I get shit wrong. A lot. Just ask my wife. And this unassuming little booklet continues a string of very strong comics bearing this…

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