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When Matt Fraction’s Sex Criminals debuts next week from Image Comics, some readers will be exposed to Chip Zdarsky for the first time. And I tell you, it’ll be an unforgettable experience.
Zdarsky may be virtually unknown to devotees of mainstream comics, but for the people of Toronto and those in certain corners of the Internet, he’s a bit of a phenomenon. I was introduced to his work around 2003 through a collected edition of his comic strip Prison Funnies, and then through discussions on the Warren Ellis Forum. He was one of the early members of the web collective Act-I-Vate, contributing a short-lived but legendary series called Zdarsky-verse, which included a drug-fueled Pac-Man.
But since that strip, Zdarsky has been primarily working as a newspaper cartoonist and columnist for the Canadian newspaper The National Post. In 2010, Zdarsky ran for mayor of Toronto under his real name of Steve Murray, losing out to the scandal-plagued current mayor Rob Ford but gaining new fans for his satirical turn as a would-be politician.
As a writer/artist, Zdarsky’s work is an unflinchingly funny take on the world around him, sometimes mired in geek culture but also veering toward issues anyone — even your mom (especially your mom) — could be touched by. With the debut of Sex Criminals next week, it’s a coming-out party for Zdarsky and I’m eager to see the results.
Here’s a sample of some of his recent work for The National Post: