A couple of contrasting reviews to Malinky Robot, at least with the storytelling. Over at CBR’s Pipeline, Augie De Blieck appreciated the art (“I could stare at it all day. The inks, the colors, the panel compositions, the cityscapes, the facial expressions, the meticulous backgrounds… Beautiful stuff. Everything is well designed, pieces that belong to a whole but look unique and interesting on their own…..There’s an atmosphere to this book that is hard to capture in many other comics.”), but categorizes it as an “Art Driven” Comic, meaning one where the story is perfunctory, or in his words, “forgettable and occasionally nonsensical”.
Over at the Westword Blog, Thorin Klosowski also likes the art (“…some of the best you’ll ever see”), but thinks that the stories “are so filled with nuance and subtlety, you’ll need to read them a few times before it all really sets in.”
And a while back Brian Cronin at Comics Should Be Good (also from CBR) thought it was a “powerful work and well worth you picking up”, with”Karakuri” described as an “extremely well-crafted tale”
So: differing reactions, and that divide is a question I’ve mulled over for the longest time, ever since The Comics Journal ran a review on “Stinky Fish Blues” way back when, lumping that story together with Farel Dalrymple‘s Pop Gun War as “shallow” ones that ” create…barriers between the reader and the beautiful drawings” .
There was a discussion on a blog post a few years back, over the nature of good storytelling:
No real conclusion then, not sure what the conclusion would be now.
What makes a good story? The kind Pixar movies tend to tell? What about your art house stuff, someone like, say, Tsai Ming Liang or Hou Hsiao Hsien?
Those who do end up reading the new Malinky Robot collection, do let me know your thoughts, good or bad 🙂