With most stories clocking in at just 3 pages long, there's a focus on narrative brevity or creating isolated moments hanging freely from implied or mysterious contexts. Overflowing with well-told stories that utilise the super-short format rather than simply submit to it, Supertalk paces back and forth between ultra-tight, perfectly-formed vignettes and unfathomable visual non-sequiturs. Mindless action, bizarre horror, childhood wonder and intimate social interaction battle for your attention, creating the core rhythm (deafening, in this case) that’s essential to any good anthology.
Appropriately for the magazine-sized format, there are a few works that evoke the classic humour of MAD or Cracked (although, as Daniel Clowes rightly reminds us, “No one was ever a fan of Cracked”). Paul Hoppe’s “Reverse Ventriloquist” and Adam Kidder’s “Fundar the Barbarian” play out like loving homages to classic American yuck-yuck magazines, pulling cultural objects or activities inside out, exposing their inherent senselessness and hidden, innate funniness. Supertalk actually has something more in common with these publications too, in the sheer variety and sheer diversity of material represented.
J.T. Yost's earnest, low-key storytelling offers a contrast to Josh Burggraf's more esoteric Newave-esque dysmorphic cartooning. Issue 1 cover artist (as shown at the top of this article) Jeremy Polvony's immense part graffiti/ part Fleisher/ part anime-superhero meltdown splash page acts as counterbalance to Victor Kerlow's untidy but wholly organic stylistic bent. I could pretty much repeat these comparisons with every contributor in the comics; it's just that well put-together. Like string-theory, it's impossible to understand exactly why this madness works together, but it all merges together into one phenomenal, working mess in the end.
Although it's lamentably banded about for everything from faux-organic Pepsi to Nicole Scherzinger’s bedroom manner, the adjective that comes most to mind with Supertalk is 'raw'. Supertalk is that good kind of unstable. It's the loose cannon of the anthology world, only you don't so much worry about when it will go off, rather if it will stop firing at all. Although sometimes the dialogue might be un-proofed or the illustration might be a little rough, that’s all part of the frenetic adventure. It’s a delightful barrage, and one that pays very little regard for the delicate optic nerves connecting readers’ eyeballs and brains – in a good way. You defiantly won't regret discovering it. I certainly don't. Thanks, J.T.!