The Austin Chronicle Recommends Hot Dog Taste Test

“Hey, Grownups! Graphic Novels! Three new releases from the good folks at Drawn & Quarterly” / The Austin Chronicle / Wayne Alan Brenner / December 6, 2016

Looking for a gift for some comics-loving friend this holiday season, citizen? Or want to get yourself a little something decent in the way of sequential art in a beautifully designed package? Because you deserve it, really, just for having survived almost another whole year on this planet without resorting to homicide or suicide or some other sad 'cide?

Look, we say, no further: It's probably represented, thanks to Canada's comics powerhouse Drawn & Quarterly, in this list that follows.

Hot Dog Taste Test by Lisa Hanawalt

If we insist that cartoonist and journalistic gadabout Lisa Hanawalt is no more perverted than most of us, we’ve also got to admit that we’re all pretty fucking perverted: Perverted in a friendly and sometimes hilarious way, to be sure.

Sadly, most of us don’t have the talent or the skill or the lack of artistic inhibitions to express those perversions and obsessions and flights of fancy in a way that’s appealing to anyone else. But, happily, that same Hanawalt does have the talent and skill, et cetera, and D&Q has seen fit – because they have good taste, because they know it’ll reap profits – to present whatever the irrepressible young artist improves a series of blank pages with.

In Hot Dog Taste Test the drawings and comics and lists are mostly in keeping with a culinary theme, sure to delight any foodie friends of yours, but of course the woman is, in this new collection, all over the map with her celebration of equestrian activities and a wildlife sanctuary – oh, those otters! – and the excesses of Las Vegas and many other things either scatological or sexy. And Hanawalt’s plethora of watercolors are, as ever, a sort of Fauvist explosion of whimsy and cartoon-realist depictions, drenching a reader’s eyes with so much color that the tears of laughter they might end up crying would resemble tiny little rivers of rainbows trickling down their cheeks.

(Tiny little rivers of rainbows trickling down their cheeks: You know Hanawalt would paint that so adorably. With a horse or a bird or maybe some genitalia in the background.)

So, yeah. There might come a time when we’ve gotten tired of looking at life as rendered, in pen and ink and brush and pigment and boldly honest text, by Lisa Hanawalt after it’s been filtered through her dirty dumb eyes. But that time will likely be a decade & a half after worms have devoured our grave-buried flesh – and by then we wouldn’t really care about anything anyway, would we?

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