By Theo Ellsworth
Published by Secret Acres, 2008
The remainder of Capacity though--and here's where all that time in the 20-something tea party of whimsy pays off--is the mini-comics themselves. Theo's greatest strengths lays in his cartooning, and when the guy starts drawing these gigantic fantasy structures, these gargantuan Aztec-looking statues covered in slides and highways, it makes for a brilliant experience. It helps that Theo embraces one solid fact throughout, a simple one that would benefit anyone who tries to spend their time creating fantasy architecture: make sure that the fantastic has logic. No matter how easy it would be for Ellsworth to just draw his intricate structures with no rhyme or reason, he takes the time to construct some kind of convoluted--yet wholly accurate--Rube Goldberg structure, often by way of the smooth plastic of the old Mousetrap board game. Sure, these mazes, these slides and pennywhistle compounds that end up looking like some kind of alien oil rig on Jack Kirby's Apokolips--they couldn't ever be "real." But they've got weight to them, and the path the little substitute character takes is one that makes sense. You can trace it with your finger--and if the odd little pieces of text are to be believed, Ellsworth would probably like it much better if you did. On top of that, there's pages of the things, and yet he's smart enough to split them up between his own renditions of the classic indi-comics anthology staples--here's a couple of unfunny gag panels about a He-Man type character named Voltan, here's his rejected anthology submission (an overwrought anti-war poem that's as frankly honest as it is lazily repellent), here's his random take on commercials for fake products--and then it's back to the structures. By the time Theo gets around to telling stories--odd dream riffs about a seven year party that was over in seconds, or an attempt by the heart and brain to meet separately to plan the capture of dreams--the overall weight of the book's honesty becomes apparent. More then just an attempt to capture the mundane fancy of a meal, or a boring relationship, Capacity makes the entirety of its author's mind the focus, and then chooses to tell the story as frankly as possible. While it's a comic that probably won't end up making it to the home of as many readers as it deserves, it's a damn fine one, and it's a testament to good taste that the Secret Acres company is putting this much care into something that too few care about.
-Tucker Stone, 2008
This review was based on a complimentary copy from the publisher.