Lost Kisses: DVD/xeroxed mini-comics

I try to avoid reading the promo sheets before I review something. So I was pretty intrigued to watch this. Animated zine-like stories? Sure, why not? But, as it turns out, this DVD is just still images of the original mini-comics, with this annoying overly dramatic/semi-experimental music played in the background. And so, I went to the promo sheet for answers. It turns out that this was originally put together for “television development, but things fell through and video rights were tied up for the next few years.” The DVD also came with a bunch of mini-comics (the size of a matchbox), so I thought I’d review them all at once. There’s really no nice way to say this. The main character is pretty annoying. And I think that might be the point, but it’s kind of hard to want to watch slow moving panels of stick people (literally) where the main character can’t even seem to get out of his own head, even when his childhood best friend dies or when he may have inadvertently helped a random person kill his ex-girlfriend (at which point, the stick figure in question decides that his ex-girlfriend was so evil and her death sort of evens things out, in some bizarre way). Maybe this guy is just really, really depressed. That would explain the level of self-absorption here. Maybe this guy is a fictional character, which would be my hope. But either way, I couldn’t get into this. I can’t imagine anyone I know getting into this. Harsh? I guess, but that’s how I feel. On a strangely positive note, the story of him/the main character accidentally helping someone kill his ex-girlfriend was at least interesting, plot-wise. (It involved a bizarre series of circumstances, including the following: a grocery store discount card, several thousand dollars, and his decision to leave her house key in her front door). But on a negative, unrelated note, why would you want to take something as perfect as a xeroxed mini-comic and make it into a DVD? No animation, just the scanned images. I tried turning off the annoying background music and instead playing Belle & Sebastian, then Jay Reatard, then the Mountain Goats, and then, for no apparent reason, the Magic Kids 7”. It didn’t help. On a technical note, the layout is confusing. The panels are broken into two parts, and you’re supposed to read the bottom panel first, or so I imagine, but your brain (or at least my brain) automatically reads the top panel first. It ended up being pretty distracting. I still can’t help hoping that zinesters succeed with what they’re trying to do, but I have to draw the line somewhere. –Maddy Tight Pants (Silber Media, PO Box 18062, Raleigh, NC27619