I have followed Liz Climo and her comics on Facebook, and picked up her coffee-table book on sale. Her illustrations and accompanying jokes – which rarely go beyond three panels – are simple, yet somehow the interactions of her cute animal characters reflect the everyday experiences of many. As she wrote in the introduction to “The Little World of Liz Climo”:
“As I drew more comics, the characters’ personalities began to mirror those in my daily life. The dinosaurs became my friends when they play with their children. The mother sloth and koala became my own mother, the way she would speak to me when I was a little girl. The clumsy bear became me, the sarcastic rabbit became my husband, and bullied characters represented my memories of being teased in high school.”
The book – divided into four chapters covering “Love and Friendship”, “Holidays and Celebrations”, “Family”, and “Daily Life” – is not too different from her online offerings, which is both a positive and a negative. Positive because the humour remains consistent, and I especially enjoyed the strips which poked fun at odd characteristics of animals, and the metaphorical references to human activities or festivals. Yet Climo’s work does become a little stale, since the characters and their relationships are not always strung together cohesively, beyond the broad themes for each chapter.
Given the richness of the content she can now work with, perhaps a next step would be to craft a simple story with a cast of main characters, paving the way for future stories and the expansion of this entertaining, little world.