Webcomic Wednesday: "Andy" by Sophie Franz

Like the subject of last week’s Webcomic Wednesday column, Ben Catmull’s Monster Parade, Sophie Franz’s “Andy” employs the liminal physiology of a whale (or of something whale-ish), alien yet mammalian, as its monster. And like Junji Ito’s Uzumaki, one of the scariest and most influential horror comics of all time, it treats the shape of a spiral, with all its implications of infinitude and obsession, as a source and cause of madness and horror. And like the work of Al Columbia, it employs pipecleaner arms and white gloves of old cartoon characters as a signifier of demented, wholly inappropriate, menacing good cheer. And like Simon Hanselmann’s “Megg’s Depression,” it utilizes the supernatural and the unexplained to visually crowd out the page as a way of expressing the uncontrollable dominance of disordered thoughts. And its rounded-off, buoyant character designs, its lush and luminous hatching, and its incongruous sensuality (the mother’s hair and rear are unnecessarily attractive, and that adolescent boy is leaking fluids everywhere) help combine all those elements into something all its own. It’s boisterous and unnerving work.