I discovered HAPPY TOWN at my first SPX convention in 2005, and just recently picked up more from Justin at this year's SPX. Better and better is how I see this strip and Justin's work. My only wish (and it's a selfish one at that) is that Jaosn could do all his work in color, because he is one smart dude when applying the tones, making really good use of subtle, restrained palettes. His dialogue is great, and the stylistic eveness of his characters and scenery are well done and well thought out. Juggling abstracted character forms is always a challenge, especially when attempting to run them through the gamut of emotions and actions. Justin's characters and backgrounds always blend well, never looking pasted in or out of place, which speaks volumes of his ability to render everything with equal skill and finesse. Too often abstracted characters are the sign of an artist not having a handle on drawing in the first place; not the case here, as Justin shows his skills by running his characters through many situations and making them all read well.
HAPPY TOWN deserves all the accolades due it, and I'm excited to see Justin branching out with new projects and directions. I predict it will keep getting, well, better and better.
PAUL SIZER: artist, writer; LITTLE WHITE MOUSE, MOPED ARMY and the upcoming B.P.M. graphic novel.
... read it now!