Ouija Interview No. 1-4 (Short Pants Press)

ouijaheaderSarah Becan records real Ouija board conversations in this series of charming mini-comics.

 

 

22-48 pgs. B&W; $4.00 ea.

(W / A: Sarah Becan)

 

Witchboard was a cheesy horror movie that came out in 1986. It featured foxy Tawny Kitaen before her pill-popping days, and a plot that Christian alarmists could get behind: a Ouija board serves as a gateway permitting evil spirits to possess innocent teens.

Cool! Possess away, spirit dudes! And get naked, foxy ladies of the ‘80s.

So anyway, (cough, cough) we’ve all used Ouija boards and wondered what’s pulling the planchette around the board. Is it the spirits? The boogeyman? The scientifically defensible "ideomotor effect"?

Whether it’s natural or supernatural, it is super-fucked-up. And, it turns out, kinda charming in a plaintive, pathetic way, in the hands of prolific mini-comics creator Sarah Becan. She transcribed and illustrated a group of actual Ouija-board conversations for her Ouija Interview comics, released by Short Pants Press in limited runs of 250 signed and numbered copies with a hand-serigraphed cover.

She draws the chatty spirits as cute, huge-eyed, floating ghosts. They’re the sort of precious fluff that could be sold as T-shirts, stickers, and patches at Hot Topic in a heartbeat.

Some of the ghosties have funny things to say, too. One recalls a fondness for his wife. "She had big knockers," he explains. Another, when asked what he’s doing, replies "being dead."

The occasional comment resonates beyond the junior-sized pages, though. When one spirit is asked where she is, she says "heaven." Those at the séance ask her how she knows for sure and she says, "I must be." It’s a keenly felt moment that cuts to the heart of our religious fears.

Most of the tales end with the standard "Good Bye" message from the Ouija board. Anyone who’s played with one knows that’s a deceptively simple farewell. After one communes with the spirits, "Good Bye" feels like a faraway voice dying away. The ghost recedes into the mists for evermore, and yet the mini-comic lingers on. | Byron Kerman

Click the thumbnails below for a 6-page preview of the Ouija Interview series. For ordering info and more preview art, be sure to visit ShortPantsPress.com or Sarah Becan’s own site at Jakze.com!

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