Spitting Image is an Enticement to Back Kith + Kin
Spitting Image is a black and white comic strip that’s included in the Kith + Kin anthology currently live on Kickstarter. The seven-page comic is written by Brittany Matter and Heather Ayers with art and lettering by Sally Cantirino, and one of ten within the anthology itself. I haven’t read the anthology itself, only this story, but based on the strength of this story I’m willing to give it a look.
There are very few words in the strip, around a dozen depending on what you’re including in the count, but there’s a lot of story here nonetheless. Much like a fine wine or an old cigar*, you need to take your time with this story. Don’t rush through it to get to the words because you’ll miss a lot of the story told through the decor and shadows within the panels; it is these subtle, not quite hidden, details that pull you in to the unnamed protagonist’s world and tells her story as she simply walks through a great old house.
Spitting Image literally shows you the story, but actually tells you nothing. It’s a cool literary device and one that gives a lot of faith and trust in the reader’s ability to pull the details from the story. It makes the comic feel remarkably rewarding. Of course, this wouldn’t work if Sally Cantirino didn’t have the understanding of sequential art that she so clearly does. Her page composition makes use of the limited pages with some truly intriguing panel layouts and sharp contrasts in the black and white artwork. This is one of those stories that needs to be read in as close to the intended form as is possible; flipping the pages of the horizontal review copy was thrilling.
When it comes to enticements for an anthology book, they don’t come much better than this. Matter and Ayers’ ability to craft such a powerful story within such a relatively space leaves me with a lot of hope for what the pair have to offer in the other nine stories in Kith + Kin.
If you’re reading this before the Kickstarter closes, I highly recommend backing the book today.