Can you ever force someone to love you? No, but that’s never stopped anyone from trying. This question is handled in a grand gothic manner in “Magpie, Magpie,” a webcomic now available in print, by Matt Huynh.
Matt Huynh provides a good honest expressive line throughout this multi-tiered dreamy tale of love on the run, running towards and away from itself. This is dream logic run amok. It’s wading into a Faulknerian swampland. And it’s fun, of course. It’s best to read through a couple of times and just let yourself get lost in it. A father is frantically running to find and connect with his young daughter while he’s also hashing out his precarious relationship with his girlfriend. Meanwhile, a persistent suitor has his eyes on the same girlfriend. All of this is rendered in a vibrant gestural style evoking the madness at play.
This is the sort of work that I most easily relate to. It’s poetic, experimental, and open-ended. The sense of spontaneity that Huynh achieves with his sumi ink is pretty solid. I think there are some awkward passages and stilted depictions but that’s alright. Overall, Huynh leads the eye to interesting sidesteps and detours. As a webcomic, he adds some fun tweaks: there are scenes that fade in and out and magpies that actually flutter in the wind. It will be interesting to see what Huynh does when he attempts a more substantial larger scale work. That, I don’t doubt, will require tightening up in places. As for this short audacious piece, it hits the mark in pleasing ways.
Be sure to visit Matt Huynh and check out his compelling illustrations and comics right here.