SPX Pulls: Octopus Pie, Meredith Gran / by Alex Jarvis


A close friend once turned me on to Octopus Pie, and it got my attention right away. It's an ongoing comic with an honest set of characters, one of the foundational webcomics. I consider it part of the Webcomic Canon; It's one of the most solid, continuously updating comics available. I was lucky enough to grab Volume 1, There Are No Stars in Brooklyn, and meet the lovely Meredith Gran, at SPX on Sunday.

Octopus Pie follows Eve Ning and Hanna Thompson in their apartment in Brooklyn. It's a classic "Odd Couple" setup, but up-to-date with a vengence. Sharing a place in Brooklyn, their daily adventures as Gen Y-ers vary from the fantastic to the mundane. Don't mistake mundane with boring, though. Their stories are rich and vibrant, and largely character driven.

That's what I love about Octopus Pie. The characters are at the forefront, and they really shine in each story. You get familiar with Eve, Hanna, their relationships, and their families; Everything is really real and present. Each story feels like a chapter in the lives of friends, nothing feels tacked on or forced. I felt comfortble enough with the cast to disagree with their earnest choices, something I consider a litmus test for character driven work.

The art is cartoony, but consistent. It's a pleasure to read, energetic and charismatic. The emotions are vibrant, the characters expressive. I will say that I am a little confused by the choice to print this volume in a pale green ink, but it's not so distracting as to make you not buy it. Please read it in its entirety, and then give Meredith as much money as you can.

TL;DR: Octopus Pie: There Are No Stars in Brooklyn is a character driven joy, a collection of a fantasitc webcomic. Pick it up.

Read the entirety of Octopus Pie here, and then buy the collections at TopatoCo or Amazon