I first became aware of Steven Weissman’s work while at an arts and craft show in downtown LA in 2007, when I bought a small postcard sized print from him. Since then I have followed his blog at http://sweetchubby.blogspot.com He has a unique and fun style to his work. Much of his art looks retro cute, yet he has a (post?) modern edge that creates an interesting dynamic and contrast. Besides just being an artist, Weissman is also an established comic writer/designer/illustrator, and has just released a brand new comic book this month, called “Chocolate Cheeks”. The color pallet is extremely well composed, and the colors seem to pop from the pages. Even the paper is colored to complement the printed work’s color pallet and mood, creating a piece of artwork in the book its self. The color pallet is reason enough to look through this book, but the characters are interesting in themselves.
“Chocolate Cheeks” continues characters developed from previous comics, and contains over 58 pages of fully colored awesome pieces of art/comics; though previous knowledge of these characters is not required before reading this book. Pictured below is the first page, I’m a big fan of the simple yet attractive layout. ‘Sweet Chubby Cheeks’ is the name of the character below, and could possibly be considered the hero of the book. All the characters have fun and pretty ridiculous names.
While I would consider “Chocolate Cheeks” rated “PG”, it’s definitely not for everyone. There is a slight crudeness in some of the humor that may put the most sensitive people off, as there are references to boogers and there is some mild ‘cartoon violence.’ An example would be that one character is named after his booger mustache, fittingly called “Crustache”. The book reminds me a bit of my childhood memories, where one gives nicknames to everyone and everything, and the smallest events become epic journeys. “Chocolate Cheeks” is a fun read, recommended to anyone whom is interested in art prints or comic books. You can check out more of his work at his blog, http://sweetchubby.blogspot.com/ , or at this online store. The first 58 pages are fully colored comics that don’t necessarily have a through story, while the second half of the book is black and white and reads more like a graphic novel; both halves complement each other.
I like what The Onion stated: “Weissman indirectly captures childhood better than most literal representations do.”