My friend encouraged me to write about his gift, which would have been awkward if I, say, hated it. Happily that's not the case. However, I have to say I did not love it either. Sorry dude. Do love you though, if it's any consolation. Thank you for the present, not so much for what it is, as for what it means.
But you're not interested in homoerotic excuses right now, you want REASONS. Well, let's kick this old school -- likes then dislikes. First, the surreal touches are great. Second, the idiotic quote competitions are great. Third, do like the way the panels flow. One side, the other. Two shot, pan away. The stories are framed in this stilted, artificial fashion -- constantly distancing the reader from the action. Immersion is not the point. You read a Jason comic like a diagram. It's all about the starkness. The Hemingway connection is important here: stripping stories and characters to bare essentials. Personally not an enormous fan of Hemingway. I forced myself to finish A Farewell To Arms because it was canon, but boy was it a struggle. It's supposedly some test of your humanity whether you break down weeping at the end. I didn't feel a thing. I think you have to know your characters before you can care about them. But anyway, you've got to give Jason his due. The Hemingway-esque tone of his comics is something unique.
On the other side of the balance sheet. Pretty adolescent stuff this, no? Pocket Full Of Rain reminded me of the creative writing coursework I wrote for my GCSE, when I was sixteen. And... what? Killing the monster makes you become a monster? Men are bloodthirsty gorillas and women are angels?
'I think I've figured out the main difference between guys and girls... Girls aren't gross, but guys are... Look at a guy who isn't aware that he's being observed, he'll pick his nose or scratch his ass or something along those lines... but if you look at a girl who also doesn't know she's being observed, she'll just do little poetic things, like cross her legs a certain way, or brush the hair out of her eyes.'
Hmm. That little speech isn't undercut but validated by the reaction it gets. Cannot escape the feeling Jason really believes this.
In the shorts, again, surreal humour great, genre send-ups great, framing great. But again, the starkness cannot engage me on a human level. For me, silence does not equal profundity. And you cannot escape the impression that Jason just doesn't hang out with girls all that much. He's the creepy sixteen-year-old me I'm trying to leave behind. Dude need to get with the programme, ya dig? Oh, here I go again...