J & K, By John Pham, 144 pgs.

Jan 26, 2021

A collection of beautifully weird comic strips about J & K—two young women wandering around town figuring out where their next free meal is going to be. The duo loiters in parks, the mall, the cemetery, and the book store, often running into their emo and tube-faced frenemy, Eggy. In the book, our heroes scheme to steal “taco rolls” from Eggy, climb and fall asleep on giant bookshelves, care for a young toddler spawned from J’s bacne, avoid zombies, befriend mall goths, and make fun of Eggy. Oh, and halfway through the book, J & K become dogs for no reason and remain dogs until the end. There is absolutely no real story but it’s mind-numbing eye candy. It’s painted and printed beautifully. There are fake ’80s-style full-page ads between the chapters worthy of a modern art museum wall. Packaged with the hardcover book are a bunch of little somethings that relate to the content. There’s a poster for the video game Dance Warrior (Eggy’s favorite game), a tiny and very detailed copy of Cool Magazine (J’s childhood favorite), a sticker sheet, and a Dog Park Dogs trading card. But the coolest extra is a 5” vinyl record of the “Calc-band” Gaseous Nebula, which is honestly pretty good.

J & K
is a book to behold. It’s funny, attractive, and kind of tragic. Your brain may melt after reading it, but your eyes will thank you. –Rick V. (Fantagraphics fantagraphics.com)