Johnny Bullet
Al Burian's Things are Meaning Less
By Leroy Douresseaux

February 3, 2007 - 21:27

Microcosm Publishing
Writer(s): Al Burian
Penciller(s): Al Burian
Cover Artist(s): Al Burian
ISBN: 0-9726967-3-3



Things are Meaning Less is a collection of autobiographical mini-comics self-published in the mid to late 1990's by zine publisher ( Burn Collector) and musician, Al Burian.  Burian's comic strips and writings will no doubt earn comparisons to Jeffrey Brown's stunning autobiographical comix, but Burian's work is as idiosyncratic as Brown's.  Burian may also occupy a distant branch on the R. Crumb family tree.

The work in Things are Meaning Less is a combination of essays, ruminations, autobiographical comix, and introspection, with something of a travelogue included.  In comics, as well as words and pictures, Burian relates growing up in Portland, moving to Providence, and then guides the reader on a walking tour of spots in his hometown of Chapel Hill, North Carolina that Burian considers noteworthy.

Oddly, the best part of the book is an essay on "talking about the weather."  It's the kind of writing that encapsulates Burian's ability to find meaning and noteworthiness in the mundane and ordinary.  As a storyteller, Burian makes the trivial engaging.  It must be really cool just to sit with this guy and listen to him talk.

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