July 22, 2013


Pipeline Lizards #1
(Alexander Enlund)
4/5 stars
So there are these four lizards, right, named Dohdo, Laxton, Sulky and Flags, and they find this strange pipeline running through the land of the lizards. Nobody knows where it came from or what is inside, so these four lizards decide to follow the pipe to see where it goes. This is the premise of Swedish writer/artist Alexander Enlund's Pipeline Lizards, what may be my new favorite digital comic.

I found this book on Comixology Submit, but it turns out it's a web comic too, and thank goodness for that, because when Pipeline Lizards #1 ended, I needed more!  Pipeline Lizards is goofy and surreal, as well as full of interesting characters and a thick sense that there is some larger idea at work here. Enlund has found the perfect container for the story he wants to tell, and, as these lizards go through the stages of their journey, he gets to unpack more and more of what he wants to tell you.
As I read more small-press and web comics, I keep coming across more and more singular takes on the monomyth. There's something exciting about seeing enormously creative people working within the context of the familiar and making it a forum for their unique vision. Enlund does a great job of this with his story.

It's a pretty weird story, too. When I wasn't chuckling at the humor or marveling at Enlund's art, I found myself thinking "What the fuck" as much as "Do go on." Nothing happens as you would expect it to in this series, which is half the fun of reading it, as well as what, for me, kept me wanting more and more and more. Each new character and situation Enlund introduces adds to his opportunities to get weird and tell his story. Even throwaway moments have purpose and intent. Enlund's pacing is spot on, his art works perfectly in tandem with the story he is telling, and his coloring is digitally delicious.
So get on board this journey. I suggest you start with Pipeline Lizards #1 on Comixology (as it is no longer available on Enlund's web site), and then follow the lizards on their quest on Tumblr

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