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Stitch #1
By Tommy Kovac
24 pages, black and white
Published by Slave Labor Graphics

Since the success of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Slave Labor Graphics has published several similarly veined books (Lenore, Gloom Cookie). Dark gothic books with a sick twist of humor. I hope that people don't dismiss Stitch under the premise that it's merely more of the same - because it's not.

Stitch is about a little rag doll who wakes up and find himself in a playroom. The only problem is, Stitch is pretty sure that he wasn't always a rag doll. He can't remember his name. And he's pretty sure he recognizes some of the other dolls as being relatives. To make matters worse, he's not the only toy that appears to be sentient, and some are distinctly meaner than others.

As Tommy Kovac's debut book, Stitch shows a lot of promise. Stitch alternates between being cute and creepy - and more importantly, knows exactly which mood to go for at any moment. Kovac's artwork, in addition, manages to straddle that fine line between dear and dark. My only real complaint is that it's a little light on story; we don't learn much about Stitch in this issue (the first of four). And while the "Skelebunnies" 4-page story is hysterically funny, those are four pages that could have been used for the title feature.

Still, I shouldn't complain too much. It's a lot of fun, and I'm quite eager to see where Kovac takes this book. It's more than a good first effort; it's a good book all around.

Review by Greg McElhatton And visit Greg McElhatton's web site: