This is a song with the same four chords
I use most of the time
When I’ve got something on my mind
And I don’t want to squander the moment
Trying to come up with a better way
To say what I want to say
Max Dlabick (pronounced duh-lay-bick as his website helpfully points out! )is the self described “queer, trans” artists behind the frenetic slice of life web comic loonacy that is Andre and Karl. Centred around the eponymous pair, a musician and artist respectively along with their friends including budding actress and Andre’s partner Kim, musician Jack and the unemployed fancy rat Clinton among others,Following their day today exploits in life, work, love and the pairs constantly un-named and re-named band.
Max’s creation is a webcomic that has a rough and ready, DIY zine aesthetic that perfectly compliments it’s subject matter,giving more a strong sense of capturing a time and place,more concerned with locking a sense of place, person or feeling onto the pager rather than technical accuracy, which his gorgeous illustration work is the lush polar opposite of! Immediacy is key here and they have a fevered, frantic “this literally just happened!” feel to them that gives them a sense of urgency.
Early strips are super sketchy and a little more in your face and snarky, but quite early in it feels like Max discovered a strong and confident voice with the later strips gradually starting to show off the introspection and self questioning lives of the characters that has become the strongest part of a comic with queer identity baked right into it’s core. As they grown and develop the comic hits it’s stride with Max seemingly more comfortable talking about the subjects he want’s to address or explore, such sexuality or gender identity. The latter shown through our lead feline Andre finding it difficult to understand himself often with the exasperated sigh of “gender stuff”.
These strips are self deprecating funny and unafraid to poke some light mocking in the direction of his characters and just how complicated it can be not just navigating the world today, but yourself. Raw, rough and very funny Karl and Andre is a perfect snapshot of a group of friends each trying to find themselves, and connecting with those around them.
Max’s artwork lives over at his personal art site while Andre and Karl can be read here and supported over at Patreon.