Wonderlost #2 by C.B Cebulski

Wonderlost is basically a mini or the all-too typical "indie", confessional-type comic but with big-budget support. It's published by IMAGE, it's got a cover by Steven McNiven of Marvel Civil War fame (and currently tearing it up on "Old Man Logan"), has a spine, runs you about six bucks, and just generally feels more like a Superhero comic in presentation, even if it's less about smashing a supervillain's face and more about smashing some pussy (or trying really hard to do so). Like most auto-bio minis, nothing's actually at-stake in Wonderlost's eight anecdotes, it just appears to be. But unlike other confessional comics, Wonderlost isn't interested in being self-revealing or emotional, it just delivers funny/fucked-up anecdotes.

The flaws of this auto-bio comic are the same flaws found in critically-acclaimed stuff like Blankets or American Splendor--namely an overall lack of actual insight about one's self and the situations portrayed in the comic--but because Cebulski doesn't provide the illusion or contrive a persona that's anything but beer and fuck crazy, it doesn't come off as pretentious. C.B Cebulski's comics self isn't a sensitive naif or a man-child slowly learning the ways of the world, he's a self-adjusted jerk interested in trying to see a shy girlfriend's blonde pubic hair, or kinda okay with screaming at a girl after she gives him a dick-damaging, toothy blowjob.

Only four of the eight stories deal with sex--the other four are about beer or mushrooms--but the sex stories are the ones that stick in the reader's mind. In part, they're memorable because they're actually honest in an unapologetic R. Crumb style but they also hover around after reading because of problematic art that threatens to derail the comic. Each anecdote has a different artist, but every artist falls-back on portraying the women as having or coming close to having those 90s comics female proportions. In defense of the artists, Cebulski's depicted as square-jawed and muscular in the drawings but still, Wonderlost needs something to counteract the American Pie tone and you don't get it in the art.

Thankfully, the order of the anecdotes spreads-out the sex stories and leaves room for more overtly hilarious or self deprecating stories. A tale of insane binge drinking ends on a somber and sober tone with Cebulski, in his underwear, passed-out on his family's porch, kindly taken care of by his father. A story about taking mushrooms and imagining a parade of dancing gummy dinosaurs is funny enough to forget that it's probably bullshit. But the best story is the one in which a drunk Cebulski, alone in the house while his friends go out for a beer run, gets it in his head that he needs "[his] own pair of Def Leppard jeans" and heads to the garage to put some fashionable holes and shreds in the jeans he's wearing.

Wonderlost will upset and offend readers of most auto-bio comics and that's great because it takes those readers out of their confessional comics comfort zone. But it's also a comic book on IMAGE, containing art that for the most part is in the superhero vein of thin waists and big breasts and that aspect, coupled with the sense that every women is to be conquered, makes it the same escapist bullshit that angry fat comics nerds find in the mainline stuff. Sensitive, liberal arts students scribbling in Moleskines would get a lot out of reading this. MAXIM-reading chubsters that mix it up between games of Hero Clix with intellectualized defenses of men's superiority would be better to read the next great comic from a sensitive, liberal arts type.

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