FRENCH TOAST COMIX #6: COFFEE AND BEER MONEY
Written and Drawn by Becky Hawkins
Published by Fremch Toast Comix
Reviewed by Marc Mason
Anyone who has read my reviews over the years knows I’m a sucker for a good minicomic. Often they represent comics in their purest form- artists and writers getting down and dirty with their work, busting their asses to make a print run, spending the night stapling them together before a convention… you can see and feel the effort in minis in ways you can’t from some superhero comic from one of the Big Two. I was introduced the work of folks like Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman, and Paul Horn via their minicomics, and I’m happy to report that after reading COFFEE AND BEER MONEY I’ll be keeping an eye out for Becky Hawkins at cons and picking up any new work she has to offer.
BEER MONEY contains a number of autobiographical short stories ranging from amusing to downright ludicrous. In one story we follow Hawkins on a cruise vacation, in another we see her head out for live band karaoke, and in the best of the set, we find out what happens when one of her exes calls in an attempt to get her involved in a multi-level marketing scheme. In each of them, Hawkins does a deft job of not only telling us the story, but also telling the reader about who she is. There’s a nice balance in the storytelling approach that shows what a confident cartoonist she is, and it makes you want to continue reading her stuff.
Hawkins also shows solid skill at shifting her artistic style. For one single-page gag she does her impression of Frank Miller, and she pulls it off pretty well. Her lines are clean and simple, and she doesn’t skimp on the backgrounds and details where they’re necessary to carry the story. With material this good, I hope Hawkins is thinking about collecting her work in trade paperback sometime soon- the time feels right.