Review: Black Lines: Yetis Out

Review by David Ferguson

Created by Olly Cunningham

You know I find it is hard to juggle something in my brain. You see I have met Olly Cunningham a few times and he is a really nice guy. Then I read his work. How does a guy like that come up with such messed up stuff? (I want to use a more adult phrase there but I try not to swear on here). If I wanted to narrow his work down to simple Hollywood style analogies, I’d say it was Roddy Doyle meets Irvine Welsh. Roddy Doyle for his use of realistic Dubliners and Irvine Welsh for the tone. Actually, I think it is even more messed up than Welsh’s stuff. With “Yetis Out”, he’s looking at a more modern Dublin than Doyle which has been changed by the arrival of people from around the world who are coming to Dublin to make a home for themselves. Naturally, this is a change for Irish people and, because they are the worst kind of people, Olly’s characters see this in the most negative way possible. As with the previous volume (which you can read here), the story deals with drugs and this is where Olly’s art really plays to the story. Olly can draw some really weird stuff and he writes to his own strengths. He could do a straight grim and gritty grounded stuff but he throws in some psychedelic stuff that reminds me of movies like Naked Lunch. The story is out there but it is balanced by the fact that you have met some of these people. You may wish you hadn’t but you have. This book is challenging to me. I’m not sure what I think of it. I appreciate it on a number of levels. The art works for the story. The characters come across as a bit off the wall but realistic. I just find myself a little disturbed after reading it. Not for the easily offended.