In this post-2020 era time can sometimes take on a deceptive quality. That seems to be very much the case sometimes when I check on our coverage of some of our favourite micropresses only to discover that an unjustifiably long period of time has passed since our last coverage of their work. Lawrence Lindell and Breena Nuñez’s micropress Laneha House has been such a breath of fresh air since its foundation a few short years back, giving us comics with a DIY culture vibe that feel all the more authentic, genuine and connective for their raw honesty. So it’s pleasing to be able to give them a new year spotlight after far too long a gap.
In Laneha House #6 Lindell starts with an autobio tale of his mental health struggles while attempting to break into animation in the early 2010s (below). It’s a story of constant disappointments and knockbacks over a period of many months as internships come and go, and opportunities are lost. Throughout Lindell’s self-doubt becomes a constant presence, depicted in text as invasive thoughts that swarm around his head. It all builds up to a frenzy of swirling colour that embodies his ever growing internal consternation; an excellent and engrossing use of the form to take us into the fragile state of his thinking at the time.
Self-doubt is narrative throughline in Nuñez’s ‘I’m So Tired’ which encapsulates that pandemic years weariness familiar to many, alongside social commentary on indifference to the Black Lives Matter protests from privileged quarters, and the need for self-care in these exhausting times. Nuñez speaks with a candour and a self-deprecating tone that makes this story all the more affecting for that train-of-thought presentation and willingness to share their internal monologue without even a hint of the performative or the constructed. There’s a similar uncompromising veracity to Nuñez’s ‘When Did You Know You Were Afro-Latine’ which takes one isolated childhood moment and reminds us that the seemingly smallest moments can be replete with important truths.
Rounding out the issue is ‘What About this Panel’, a moment of meta sweetness that reminds us that Lindell and Nuñez’s skills as storytellers extend in many directions. Every issue of the signature Laneha Press anthology is a perfect entry point into what the duo are trying to do with their publishing philosophy. At just $2.00 for a near 40-page digital copy this is an incredible bargain as well.
Lawrence Lindell and Breena Nuñez (W/A) • Laneha House, $2.00 digital/$5.00 print
Review by Andy Oliver