Wertz, Julia, editor. I Saw You…: Comics Inspired by Real Life Missed Connections. Three Rivers Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0307408532 192 pp. $
Inspired by “missed connections” ads on Craigslist, this collection of comics is proof that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. A talented bunch of independent artists take verbatim entries and embellish. One or two are autobiographical and focus more on the assignment, rather than inventing a graphical story. In most cases, pictures compliment the stories well; there is a lot of repetition of theme, and some are more clever than others; “Trading Smiles” in which the cartoonist imagines two passers by literally removing the grins from their faces and swapping them, is particularly notable.
Editor Wertz has arranged the vignettes very well, grouping by topic such as “coffeeshop crushes” and “unhappily ever after.” Many drawing styles are represented: soft & rounded, angular, stark black & white, shaded, manga-ish, realistic. Presentation (panels vs. one-page illustration vary the composition.
This adult themed anthology is highly entertaining for “voyeuristic” readers who like glimpses into the real–or imagined–lives of others.