Geoff Vasile’s The Geoff Vasile Show! is a 25 page minicomic between A5 and A6 in size; it features the four panel comics posted on his Tumblr between July 23, 2012 and January 29, 2013. The book’s cover is very charming: it confidently exhibits Vasile’s clean line style while also giving off a hint of self-deprecation in a humorous way. It expresses that the book is worth picking up, even if for a few moments.
It’s a diary comic with dated entries; the first few pages are labeled within days of each other and the pace drops off, leading to entries spaced a month or more apart. A close reading of the comic with attention paid to dates and the events reflected under them could probably yield some interesting interpretations of the author and his life—but the comic carries itself more as something to be enjoyed immediately, and in discrete intervals.
The comic is drawn and drafted in a utilitarian way, conveying itself in an efficient and digestible manner and not requiring the reader to dwell on a page for particularly long. The “stop-and-go” nature of the comic, with stories that start and finish on a single page, makes it something that is better read a few pages at a time—else, the reader risks becoming fatigued.
Frustration seems to be the foundation of the book’s early pages, though the tone begins to vary a bit more as days pass in the latter half. Vasile’s experience is one shared by many twenty and thirty-somethings: he’s a very talented person who is a bit constrained by the world he occupies, but still making the best of it. Frustration would be a prominent fixture in such a life, and certainly an impetus to draw, to vent. The abundance of pages based in this emotion is forgivable, then.
It’s not as though they’re a chore to read, anyhow. Vasile ensures a breezy reading experience, and these “frustrating” pages almost always induce a smile or laugh.
There are a few pages that reach towards something more. That they don’t is not the result of the author’s failings, but the careful restraint he exercises—the work is polished enough that the reader will not assume the former. On Vasile’s Tumblr, he writes: “This blog is where I post things I wouldn't charge people money for.” It’s a line that influences the reader to regard the Tumblr as a service to readers provided by Vasile, as a place featuring comics not worthy to be sold by Vasile’s standards, or—the likeliest case—as a place to indirectly promote Vasile’s priced work.
The Geoff Vasile Show! achieves that end well. Upon finishing it, the reader will surely feel compelled to check out Vasile’s other work—
—and, of course, pleased with what they have just read.
TL;DR: Geoff Vasile’s The Geoff Vasile Show! is a charming comic that will feel very “real” to certain readers.
The Geoff Vasile Show! is written and illustrated by Geoff Vasile. The author’s Tumblr features original art and the entirety of the book reviewed; this article’s banner image is modified from the illustration in this post. His comics can be bought from his store. If you have an indie-friendly shop and would like to see Mr. Vasile’s work there, let them know!
A review copy of The Geoff Vasile Show! was graciously provided to Spandexless by the creator at MoCCA 2013.