Patty Cake



I've praised Patty Cake in past columns as one of the very best comics being done today. Unfortunately, in the chaos of 1997, I fell about a year behind on my comics reading and, saving Patty Cake for a time when I could savor it, managed not to read an issue all last year. I'm an idiot.

The first issue I read was A Patty Cake Christmas (Tapestry, $2.95), which was published in 1996. This 40-page classic -- and it is just that -- starts out with the knowing line, "There are all kinds of stuff kids don't want for Christmas." It goes on to wring laughs and tears from its readers, as it examines the chasm between what kids want and what they get.

Caliber Comics, of which Tapestry was a part, only published three issues of the regular series. Still, those comics are worth seeking out.

"From the Heart" in Patty Cake #2 ($2.95) is both funny and thoughtful, while "In the Swing" is guaranteed to melt your heart. In Patty Cake #3, "Fright Night" is a powerful tale of childhood pain, while "Dutch Treats" and "Field of Daydreams" had me chortling out loud. Excellent issues.

Roberts moved over to Slave Labor Graphics for the Patty Cake Special ($3.95). "Here There Be Monsters," a 40-page tour de force about childhood expectations and disappointments, was a great start to what I hope will be a long and mutually profitable relationship between a talented creator and a classy publisher.

My Roberts marathon concluded with Patty Cake & Friends #1 and #2 (Slave Labor, $2.95 each). We're talking more exceptional stories, as Patty Cake learns (and sometimes fails to learn) important lessons about life, endures childhood catastrophes of one sort or another, and keeps us smiling along the way. I know I keep repeating myself, but "funny and thoughtful" so perfectly sums up what Roberts accomplishes in this comic book that the phrase should probably be stamped on every issue's cover.

Please don't take my word for it. Go out and buy every single Patty Cake comic you can find and read them for yourself. I know you'll love them as much as I do. -- Visit Tony Isabella's web-site!







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