So... Buttons #4: So… Jonathan Knows Nine Talented Artists / by Spandexless


by George O'Connor

In this issue of So... Buttons, writer Jonathan Baylis gives us 11 short, autobiographical stories, wrapped around how movies have influenced his life and experiences. And he’s brought along a stable of different artists to give each story a unique look.

Right up front, Jonathan tells us this book is an experiment of mixing comics with his love of cinema. He gives us childhood memories, strange personal quirks and the occasional celebrity interaction, but only a few stand out as something you’ll remember or think about later. For Marvel fans of a certain age, "So… Mighty" has a nerd-cool moment and "So… Folded" has a very sweet arc. But the majority of the stories end up becoming delivery vehicles for the art.

The artists do a nice job of marrying style with the theme of their story. Going back to "So… Mighty", artist Fred Hembeck and colorist Adam Walmsley do a fun homage of the classic Marvel Age style. Other standouts include: Tim E. Ogline’s work in "So… Big Red One", "So… It’s for the Birds" illustrated by David Beyer, Jr., and Eric Kim’s work on "So… Folded".

The sticking point after reading the 11 stories is that there’s nothing for the reader to take away or emotionally attach to. The closest we get is "So… Mighty" and "So… Folded" with the rest falling into the categories: “Things I like” and “Things that happened to me.” On the plus side, Jonathan knows a bunch of talented artists and was able to gather them all in one place.

TL;DR: So... Buttons #4 is an experiment in storytelling that is high on style but lacking in emotional substance.

So... Buttons #4 is actually the fifth So... book written by Jonathan Baylis, partnering with artists. He self-publishes his books and you can find them for sale on his website along with a list of LCSs that sell his titles. He also attends conventions with his work, but Beth can attest that he is rarely at his booth.

A review PDF of So... Buttons #4 was graciously provided to Spandexless by the author. All artwork in this review was pulled from the review copy and is copyright the creator.

George likes to write. A lot. He’s currently writing the ongoing comic series, Healed, for Homeless Comics and has contributed stories to several anthologies published by Elevator Pitch Press. He was also the creator behind the webseries 664-The Neighbor of the Beast. And somehow he also juggles playing guitar in his metal and punk rock bands. By day, George is a mild-mannered copywriter in the advertising world. He once put a truck on the moon.