Rat

Comic, Chelsea Bell­rose, 20 pgs., chelseabell­rose.com

Broken Pencil - - Zine Reviews -

We don’t of­ten con­sider the mor­tal­ity we share with our rat neigh­bors and co-habi­tants. I sus­pect they don’t think of it much ei­ther. We’re both so busy. Jobs to do, buses to catch, nests to build, pizza to drag through the sub­way sta­tion. And yet from dust we both came and to dust we shall both re­turn. Chelsea Bell­rose in­dulges thoughts like these in the word­less comic Rat.

The comic is black and white. The cover is in colour, with the em­phatic ti­tle Rat em­bla­zoned in black and green across a soiled pa­per plate, which fig­ures in to the story’s end­ing: a poor rat’s im­pro­vised cof­fin. Chelsea’s pan­els are laid out in land­scape and ir­reg­u­larly for­mat­ted across half­size pages. The black and white il­lus­tra­tions of this city rat story are densely inked and lushly shaded, with an over­cast vibe that fits the downer mood. The images move the story — a star­tling side­walk en­counter be­tween a hu­man and a live rat by night, who is a dead rat by

morn­ing. Thought­ful and art­fully com­posed, this comic is for any­one with a heart for grimy ro­dents whose days are num­bered, just like ours. (Joshua Bar­ton)

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