Dirtbags, Mallchicks and Motorbikes
by Dave Kiersh
self published, 137 pp.
Rating: Not Rated
Dirtbags, Mallchicks and Motorbikes from David Kiersh is a Xeric award winning collection of five short stories focusing on teenage angst as filtered through a fondness for the After School Specials of yesteryear.
This book is a bit hard to pin down. It is at times touching, hilarious and even eye rollingly cheesy. This is mostly due to the fact that it feels like a bit of a love song to simpler days of After School Specials about teens finding themselves, learning an important life lesson or some such. It’s not quite as clean cut as it sounds, there’s an undertone of naughtiness in many of the stories, ranging from a pervy store manager to one guy’s constant ogling of any woman that crosses his path, but the stories unravel in a similar manner with each story ending with an important lesson being learned. It’s not without it’s charm as some of the situations and the lengths the teens go to to get out of them can be wonderfully silly at times.
Kiersh’s artwork is a bit hard to pin down. There’s something incredibly familiar about it but damned if I can point my finger on what. It’s a bit simple and everything in it feels a bit anachronistic, including fashion, dialogue, vehicle designs. He does do a great job at conveying characters through body language and visual depictions as well, a leering and drooling lecherous store manager, a bubbly drunk girl at a party, a angry father’s face visibly contorting with rage and more.
It’s an odd and unique read and certainly not the kind of thing I ever expected to show up at Emanga, but then again they’re surprising me a lot lately with some choices they’ve made. That said I’m glad it was added as it’s certainly a charming book that I probably would never have read otherwise.