The important narrative going on in Lost Kisses is not necessarily relegated to the pages of this mini comic. Rather, it exists in the ongoing story of writer / artist Brian John Mitchell’s life and the tragedy of his existence (though he does attempt to tell readers that his tragic portrayal is unintentional).
I’m not saying Mitchell’s life is ACTUALLY tragic. It’s just that the storytelling structure and tone used in Lost Kisses #5 drips with melancholy.
I know that sounds confusing. But read more than one issue of Lost Kisses and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Mitchell’s self-deprecating form of communication is more than just “Dear Diary” sequential storytelling – it’s his trademark, his brand.
The persuasive power of this mini comic is not spent trying to convince readers to suspend disbelief or partake in a drama of fantasy. Instead Mitchell expends all his energy trying to sell himself as a hapless loser. That’s the real narrative we partake in by becoming absorbed in this issue’s story – we become an observer of Mitchell’s personal struggles.
If I have any critique of his work, it’s that he is occasionally redundant. The beauty of comics is that the combination of words and pictures tell the story together. Sometimes Mitchell obstructs this beauty by having his images, word balloons, and typed text all say the same thing on the same page.
With that said, this issue is all-around better than Lost Kisses #4. While this installment begins on shaky ground, it eventually finds its footing. The words and pictures slowly achieve a confluence of meaning. By the end of Lost Kisses #5, the visuals and text tell the story by working together instead of repeating each other.
I’m left with only one question: is the tragedy of the author’s life in this story fact or fiction? Either way, I applaud Brian John Mitchell’s efforts to tell his story through this confessional mini comic. If he’s fishing for fans by using the pretense of his “life story,” then I’ve been caught hook, line, and sinker.
7 / 10