Archive for category Reviews
Lucy the Octopus: Better in Small Doses
That right there is a damned clever title, and it must have flummoxed at least one reviewer. This is a collection of his weekly webcomic, which is based on Lucy the Octopus from his Tempo Lush set of ten tiny comics, which you maybe own if you’re awesome. Anyway, Lucy is a teenage girl octopus who is ridiculously unpopular with everybody around her. This collection of 40 strips shows her trying to exist (not really even fit in, as she seems to have already given up on that concept), bonding with her new poisonous pet, trying to stay friends with the new kid who doesn’t yet know how uncool Lucy is, taking beauty advice from her sister (who tells her friends that she isn’t even related to Lucy), and becoming a science experiment from her brother. These stories can get a little grim at times, but Richy manages to keep a light tone through most of them. And the coloring is gorgeous, so even though he mentions that it would be easier to go black and white with the strips I’m really hoping he doesn’t do it. This seems to be an all-ages strip, although I think kids in their early teens would probably get the most out of it. Come to think of it, all-ages is kind of a stupid qualifier, as I’m pretty sure that reading this to a baby would have no effect. I’m wandering a bit, but this is very much worth a look. He also sent along the next issue, so I’ll have more to say about this after I read it. You know, for a complete picture and all that. Or you could just go to his website and see his newer stuff for yourself, it’s a free country. Well, this one is. I don’t know where you are…
Brain Food #18
The NSA is coming for you! There, that should get me on any government watch lists that I’ve managed to avoid up until this point. Unless you think the threat/intrusion from the NSA has been ridiculously overblown, which would probably mean that you don’t follow the news too closely, but hey, willful ignorance is your right as an American. I’m veering towards preaching already, which is just how I get on those rare occasions when a comic deals with current events. Anyway! This is the story of a creepy clown (is there any other kind?) that comes to a cheap hotel to stay for a local clown convention. This clown balks at giving his address out to the hotel after they inform him that they only ask for that information in case the police call to ask who is staying at that hotel. The clown wisely points out that he already gave up his name, phone number and credit card number to get into the hotel, so he’s not going to give them his address too. Things escalate from there, as the NSA is called in to check on this disruptive citizen, a protest group is called in to take the side of the clown (although there seemed to be a crossed wire about the sexuality of the clown somewhere along the line), and various branches of the government fight with each other to get credit for this arrest. I loved the bit where the protest group posted a picture of the clown being arrested to Facebook, and the clown is rightly annoyed that his picture is now on Facebook without his consent. His comment that being on Facebook is the same as just giving your information right to the government is dead on, which is one of many reasons why I have a dusty, unused Facebook page, but that fight has already been lost, culturally speaking. Anyway, lots of interesting tidbits about intrusive government overreach, along with probably a few exaggerations on his part, but he’s nice enough to list a bunch of links on the back of the comic so you can check all this for yourself. Worth checking out, unless your preferred reaction to news of the NSA is to stick your fingers in your ears and chant “la la la la” until it’s over. $1
You know, I’ve had my problems with poems in comics in the past, because I have a cold heartless core that doesn’t appreciate lyricism. Or maybe it’s more to do with the quality of the poetry involved. Who knows? All I can say for sure is that Brian has found a way around that: make the poem about a giant monster on a rampage through a city. This is a very short mini with that very simple story, and the poem is from the perspective of the monster. The poem itself isn’t the greatest thing in the world, but it’s not terrible either, and while you’re reading it you get to see this giant beast destroy a town and fight an army. So really, it’s your call as to whether or not that would be of interest to you. Hate poetry but love mayhem? Then you have a real decision on your hands here. $1
An Afternoon in Ueno
It’s hard for a story to get much more charming than this. It starts off simply enough, with a young boy eating a meal with his family and his father pestering him about various duties that the boy should have performed. All of these questions are answered in the affirmative, but the boy tries telling his father that he has a stomach ache to avoid getting out of band practice. The father doesn’t even dignify this with a response, and he drops his child off at band practice. Once the kid gets inside, however, he learns that band practice is actually next week, and his family is not answering the phone at his house, leaving the boy with an afternoon to kill. He starts off looking a little concerned about this eventuality, but soon realizes what this means for his afternoon and is overjoyed. I’m in danger of telling the whole story again, so I’ll just leave the description there, but again, this whole thing is damned near too charming for words. Graeme has already shown an uncanny knack for the quiet moments with his last book, but this one just cements that reputation in my mind. This isn’t a silent comic, but large chunks of it go without words, as they’re simply not necessary at times. Picking out my favorite moment would be difficult. The hat store? The birds? The jam session on the street? I’ll just go with “all of it” and leave it at that. Check this out, everybody. You won’t be disappointed. But hurry, will you? This only has a print run of 200, and this is one of those cases where I don’t think number will end up being high enough.
You know how sometimes a silent comic ends up, um (how do I put this politely), not making a lot of sense? I’m usually not clear in those situations whether I’m too dense to follow the story or if the author just wasn’t clear in what they were trying to convey. In this case I’m pretty sure that the reader isn’t given enough information to begin with. This comic isn’t entirely silent, so it gets a little clearer in the second and third stories (out of three). But that first story… woo boy. I should point out that this book is stunning visually, with plenty of genuinely weird and alien imagery. Anyway, the first story is entitled “Cosmic Pilgrimage.” The Wuzzgutt is that creature on the cover, just so you’re clear. I have very little idea of what happens in this story. Wuzzgutt meets a baby bird creature, who spews out some noise of some kind towards Wuzzgutt? Or maybe he/it is directing this noise towards the bird? Then Wuzzgutt sees a vision of a naked lady with a bird mask of some kind (and hey, if you’re just looking for boobs in your comic, this one has plenty of them), then Wuzzgutt either is transported to or sees a female singer (fully clothed this time), then it’s back to pure madness, and Wuzzgutt finally ends up seeing a female (?) Wuzzgutt near another lady. Or a Wuzzgutt statue? I feel confident in about 25% of that summary. The second story starts off fairly incomprehensively too, but once the talking starts we learn that some lady wants the Wuzzgutt captured, and the Wuzzgutt starts a ritual of some kind. Finally the third story deals with the ritual and the guy who tries to capture it, along with any ancillary damage that this guy does in the capture attempt. Maybe future issues would help this make some sense, but it sure feels like this is meant to tell the whole story, and if that’s the case the story it tells is a bit of a mess. I really like his art, and he sent along another comic so I’ll see how that one goes, but as a story I have to say that this made very little sense to me. $4
Ah, good old 24 hour comic failures. Which is an odd way to refer to a comic that ended up being a pretty great story, but hey, it wasn’t completed in 24 hours. I do sometimes wonder what the honest number of comics actually produced in 24 hours would be, as it seems like damned near everybody can’t resist the urge to at least go back and “touch up” the book a little. But I’m wandering all over the place here instead of talking about this comic. The story is about as simple as possible, which is something of a requirement for 24 hour books: a night bartending at an open bar. Our hero doesn’t get to say a whole lot for large chunks of the comic, as he’s mostly there to listen to other people tell their stories and observe some of their behaviors, but at least he gets something in the end. Anyway, stories in here include a smarty pants and the lady he’s with (briefly, as she seems to be the drunken life of the party) talking about religion, another guy telling the bartender all of his theories about that ladies after she wanders off, an absolute weirdo with a cell phone fixation, a union organizer and a lady on the prowl. The union organizer has one of the oddest noses I’ve seen in comics, as the profile for it sometimes comes right up over his skull, but this has absolutely no bearing on the story and probably isn’t worth mentioning. But I did it anyway, and you can’t stop me! Overall this is a solid comic, and it’s always a win for 24 hour comics when they get me wondering what the creator is capable of when they’re not operating under time constraints (not that he technically was, as he finished this in about six months, but that was the original idea behind the story). Luckily Trevor sent along a few other books, so I’ll have the answer to that mystery in a week or so when I review another one of his books. And so will you!
Jason Part 2
Hey, I did some good in this world! Well, that’s assuming a lot, but I complained plenty about the spelling in the first part of this “Jason” story, and it was all almost completely fixed in this one. Coincidence? Yeah, probably, but I’ll still take it. I mentioned in that first review that I didn’t have a single problem with the story, and that remains the case here. If you missed it, this is the story of Jason from the Friday the 13th movies, going about his days as an employee of a group that lets these killers have casual conversations with each other and provides them with state-of-the-art weaponry. This time around we get to see Jason trying to learn the basics of how to care for his new dog, trying to figure out why he wants to be a mentor to a kid (an actual mentor, but to somebody who will have full knowledge of what Jason does), the guy from the “Scream” movies talking shit to Freddy Krueger and challenging him to a kill-off, and a product demonstration of the various killing tools that Jason has available to him. It’s still chock full of funny bits, and once again you can just barely know about these characters and still get a lot out of it. Granted, it helps if you have some familiarity with them, but it’s still a thoroughly engaging story either way. And isn’t that always a sign that the creator has done their job? Yes! That’s the answer I was going for.
I don’t think Katherine has a single wasted panel here, and she has an uncanny knack for capturing a mood or moment in one quick image. Oh, and you should probably read the preview for this series, even though I don’t see it listed at her website, and what the hell is that about… eh, maybe it’s already at her Tumblr page, and technically it’s not required reading. Still, it really helps set up this world. This is the story of John Heartfield (born Helmut Herzfeld). During WWI he told his commanding officer that he was mentally ill and spent the next few weeks in a mental institution. As this was from 1915, the conditions were grim, to put it mildly. This issue starts off with a few brief images of the asylum before John’s relief. The looks on his face as he tries to say goodbye to a few of his friends (who are mostly too far gone to notice him), his halting, terrified manner of speaking, the way he flinches when a guard suddenly reaches out and straightens his hat, every one of those images tells volumes about the conditions he’s been enduring. From there he takes a slow walk back to where he’d been staying and is immediately confronted by the very nice wife of a guy who seems to be a bit of an asshole. She wants to feed him, her husband has nothing but contempt for John (who has a bit of a stutter), and John retreats up into his room. From there we see him slowly pick up the pieces of his old life and decide what he wants to keep. There’s not much dialogue here, but there’s no need for it, as the look on John’s face as he takes down the German flag says it all. Katherine has the confidence of somebody who has been doing this for years, and it’s well-deserved, as she gets damned near everything right. The only place where I could have used a bit of an explanation was an early scene where a guard drops off what appears to be a dead cat in John’s cell before taking him away, but it’s possible that was something from the preview that I’m just not remembering now. Either way this is pretty much flawless, and if your biggest complaint about a comic is that you’d rather not wait another year for the next issue, then you really don’t have a legitimate complaint at all. $5
Be warned: this is pretty much a book review. What the hell is a book review doing on a comics review website? Well, this does come from Top Shelf Comix, and Shannon Wheeler does have some damned funny single panel comics mixed in with the writing. But mostly I’m just doing this to try and push this just a little bit further into the popular consciousness. Not that I have any grand illusions on my influence, but some people read this website, and those that do should read this book. All of them? Yep. Or to put it another way: how many of you have read the Bible, front to back, like it was an actual book? I’ve done it and it’s awful. Not much of a narrative thread, lots of stretches where nothing happens, repetitive passages, hilariously dated misogyny and homophobia, and parts of it are downright insane. Oh, and it’ll also take you months to get through it. But you kind of have to have a working knowledge of it, as the world is still full of nutbags who believe that the entirety of this book is literally true. Which is also a good indicator of a charlatan, as certain parts of it contradict other parts of it, making it impossible that it could all be literally true, but I’m getting off track (which will be a serious danger as I go on, so be warned). What Mark wanted to do with this book (as he mentions in the epilogue) is to boil the various books of the Bible down into understandable and damned funny bits, and he does that beautifully. That title is perfect (and he’s right, there isn’t a better one line summary of the Bible out there), the little red flap that’s included as a bookmark put a smile on my face, and the silver trim along the edges of the pages really makes this book look like a Bible from a distance. So your next question is probably whether or not this book will offend you if you are a believer and/or a regular church-goer (believe me, all kinds of people go to church out of simple inertia or out of a desire not to offend the rest of their family). As someone who is neither of those things (but was both many years ago), I’d have to say that this isn’t terribly offensive. Irreverent, sure, but the Bible is screaming out for that treatment, as so much of it is so very ridiculous. And really, I’d have to say that Mark went easy on it at times. No mention of the pricing scale the Bible used to make sure you were getting a fair price for selling your daughter into slavery (yes, that is really in the Bible, and it’s really something that the Confederates used as an argument for slavery back in Civil War times), no real mention of the many times that one book would contradict another one, including how many discrepancies were in the four books that told the story of the life of Jesus. But right from the start (“God created the human race to be his pets. As a first-time pet owner, God wisely chose to start small, creating just two people: Adam and Eve.”), you get a sense of the tone of this book, so if that’s too much for you, feel free to bail. I’ll think you’re being a baby, but chances are pretty good that we’re never going to have a conversation about this book, so don’t worry about it. From there you might expect this book to get bogged down in the same repetition that the Bible does, but that’s not a problem. Mark’s idea to treat the various letters from prophets as memos to the flocks was inspired, and Shannon never failed to add a comic here and there that summed up Mark’s summary perfectly. There are a few too many typos for my taste in the early going (I’m snobby about such things, so once it gets to half a dozen I get cranky), but they clear up about halfway through. This book is invaluable and I expect to read it at least a few more times in my lifetime, and to loan it out to a few people who could use the knowledge. Unless you’re an impartial biblical scholar, this also includes you. $20
Lackluster World #7
Wow. Decent tv shows that have crapped out in their finales in recent years, take note: this is how you wrap up a series. This is yet another case where I’m a bit flummoxed on how much I should give away in a review. Everybody reading this is all caught up in this series, right? If not you might be better off waiting for the collected version, and there damned well better be a collected edition coming, so maybe go ahead and give up on this review and wait patiently by your computers for word that it’s coming soon. For the rest of us, Eric has done an excellent job of summing up past issues here, so even if you’re a little hazy you’ll be caught up to date pretty quickly. At the end of the last issue Kelvin confronted Fahrenheit, and it was looking like things were coming to an ugly end. This issue starts off with a fight… well, I’m not sure if that’s even the right word, as it was a pretty one-sided affair, and probably not from the one side that you may have thought going into this. Sides were chosen, with some interesting results all around, and everybody got the chance to think back and reflect on their actions. No sudden “fade to black” here after the battle, is what I’m trying to say. Everything is wrapped up as neatly as was humanly possible, but nothing comes easy in this world, and everything that does happen is completely earned. See what I mean about being intentionally vague? This review is a little late to the game, as this series wrapped up (judging from the inside front cover) about two years ago. Still, even if there is no collected edition coming (having some internet problems so I can’t check on that for sure right now), you could do a lot worse than to just buy all the issues and enjoy. Unless you’re one of those cranky religious types, that is. There’s plenty here for you to be offended by if that’s the case, you delicate flower you. $6
Wow, is this ever going to terrorize some teenage boys. This starts off as a fairly straightforward story about a high school boy and his crush on a girl at school who he hasn’t had the courage to ask out. He also has a platonic (and odd) female friend, so the pieces were all there for them to eventually fall in love when he realized that the other girl wasn’t right for him. However! Dale (the boy) used a sock to clean up after himself after, um, thinking about his crush for awhile. This crusty sock ended up in the washer, a freak lightning strike hit their house, and somehow the sock gained sentience. Hey, it could happen! And now you see what I mean about this terrorizing teenage boys, because if they ever get the idea that they can’t even masturbate safely, I shudder to think of how quickly this country would be destroyed. Anyway, people seem to take Sockford surprisingly in stride, and this issue is all about him learning all that he can about the world. My only complaint is that his interactions with Dale felt a little thin, as I think having a suddenly sentient sock growing up in his room would have changed him a bit more than it did, and it certainly would have brought the two of them closer than it seemed to. Still, this is a solidly entertaining comic, with a nice little cliffhanger that raises the stakes on the next issue. Check it out, then think back in horror to all of the lives of the young potential Sockford’s that have been snuffed out over the years by the lack of electrical storms at the right moments. $7
Cat-Stronauts in Space!
There are times when you really can judge a book by its cover, or at least you can judge whether or not that book would be for you. What’s your general opinion on cats? Unless you’re a monster your options are “mildly adorable” or “completely, utterly adorable.” If that’s the case, what’s not to love about the idea of sending cats into space? Oh, you’re still curious about a plot? OK. The most important satellite ever needs repairs, and the cat-stronauts are the only creatures capable of doing it. That first page alone is a thing of beauty, as you have one cat mixing chemicals of some kind, another cat reading a book, another one pawing a star chart, and a final cat doing sit-ups, and all of this after a panel of scientist cats going about their day. From there it almost becomes a standard space adventure story for a bit (if you replaced the cats with actual astronauts in your head), with some funny bits thrown in, until the actual repairs come into play. Would you be amazed if I told you that a giant ball of yarn is involved? This comic is as cute as it can be, and I can’t think of a good reason why you wouldn’t want to experience it for yourself. If you insist on my throwing something negative in here I’ll add that I don’t see how this concept could go on for very long, but who cares? You already got a great comic out of it, and it’s not like I’ve always been right in thinking that a concept that looks a little thin couldn’t sustain a solid series. Check it out! Unless you’re a dog person, you weirdo… $4
That may have been the best adventure graphic novel I’ve read all year. Hell, that may be the best adventure comic I’ve read in many years, and I’m not putting “ever” there purely to avoid hyperbole. It’s yet another case where I mostly don’t want to talk about it at all and instead just want to implore everybody to read it, but I’ll try to thread that needle of making you want to read it without telling you too much. Things start off simply enough, with the lead character (with the nickname of “Heck”) coming back to his hometown for the funeral of his father. Heck was a football star in high school, so pretty much his entire surviving graduating class is there, and we learn quickly that Heck never wanted to be like his father. We also learn that his dad has a “creepy” old house up on a hill, and it’s up to Heck to go through it to see what should be salvaged. The former water boy from his high school team, Elliot, sneaks into the house to help Heck out and, after explaining how lousy his life is at the moment, Heck allows Elliot to help him. While going through the place they find a gate to hell, and that’s when things get weird. Oh, and this is the first chapter in the book out of 17. In the next chapter we have moved forward five years and Heck has a business set up in his father’s old house where he finds out buried secrets of lost loved ones. Amy, Heck’s old high school crush, hires Heck after her husband is killed suddenly in a car wreck. Heck tells her that he finds this buried information by literally talking to the deceased loved ones, and he does that by finding them in hell. And if it’s all the same to you I’ll stop the descriptions there, as watching this fantastic story unfold was a genuine joy and I don’t want to deprive you of even a little bit more of it. Yes, that mummy on the cover is explained, and explained beautifully. The rings of hell are similar to the rings in Dante’s Inferno (it’s been too long since I’ve read it to say if they’re the exact same rings), and Heck’s interactions with the various guardians are among the many highlights of the book. This touches on having meaning in life, the reasons why we do things, friendship, punishment and love. I almost gave away something right there but hah! You’re not going to trip me up that easily. I was expecting some version of a big dumb adventure story from that cover, and I could not have been more wrong. There’s not a dumb thing about this. This was apparently released online as an adventure serial, so maybe you’re one of the lucky people who already read this, but even if you did, this version is gorgeous. Buy it and enjoy, and know that if I did any kind of “best of” yearly list (I don’t, mostly due to faulty memory and a general annoyance at the subjectivity of such things), this would be right at the top of it. $20
Nazis! You can never go wrong if you start off with Nazis as your bad guys. OK, they’re never technically called Nazis, but the main character’s story of a harrowing escape from a prison with some guards that sound suspiciously German combined with the fact that he’s an elderly dude only leads to one conclusion. But I’m getting ahead of myself! The title itself is almost unreadable, but it’s printed on the inside front cover, so don’t fret. Things start off in an obvious Wal-Mart substitute store, which again leads me to point out that the chances of Wal-mart ever finding out about them getting mocked in a mini comic is pretty slim, so maybe artists shouldn’t worry about using the actual name (but what do I know, maybe they have that many lawyers with that much free time. They certainly have the money for it). Anyway, Baldemar (our hero) and two kids take a break out back, where the smoking of tobacco and pot (although not by our hero) occur. Baldemar says it’s because he doesn’t want to become more paranoid, which leads the kids to ask why he’s so paranoid without it, which leads to Baldemar telling a story about his youth. His mother took him around the countryside, trying to keep them safe from the patrols, until eventually their luck ran out and they were captured. Obviously he got away or he wouldn’t have a job as a greeter 60 odd years later, but there were some loose ends from his adventure that never did get tied up, and it’s looking like at least one of those loose ends may be coming back to bite him. That’s right, this is a “#1″ that seems to have a clear vision of the second issue, which is always nice to see. Rusty’s art has never looked better, and this story has all kinds of potential. Their method of disabling the guards was genuinely original, even though it’s easy to assume that every variation of the “escape from Nazi guards” thing has already been played out. Check it out, because it’s going to be annoying as hell if nobody reads this and Rusty doesn’t bother to finish the story. $4
As a general rule, when a graphic novel has glowing quotes from Jeff Smith and Neil Gaiman on the back, chances are that I’m going to love it. If that’s true for you, save yourself some time and just go out and by this book, because it’s delightful. Things start off with a horrific monster attack, as a large green beast terrorizes a town and chases some citizens into a cellar. They wait it out, the smoke clears… and the people cheer for the excellent job that the monster has done in terrorizing them. They admire the quality of the destruction, sell souvenirs, and generally bask in the attack that they just went through. Meanwhile, in another town, the people there are dejected because it’s been well over a year since they’ve had a monster attack (from Rayburn, the town monster), and even then it wasn’t a particularly good attack. They hatch a plan to have the resident scientist “fix” the monster, but the local newspaper boy smuggles himself along, and together they all set out to seek advice from another monster in how to get back to properly terrifying people. What Rayburn doesn’t realize is that leaving a town without a monster is something that the worst monster of them all will sense, and that monster (called The Murk) doesn’t mess around. He doesn’t just terrorize a town, he tears it down and eats the citizens. The rest of the graphic novel is a race against time and some big monstery battles. This is one of those rarest of graphic novels: an all-ages story that’s just as much fun for the adults as it is for the kids. I laughed out loud more than a few times, and having it set in 1867 brings up a simpler time when there actually were towns that were organized and had town pride, even if the pride was about the quality of the monster attacks. This is fantastic book that should be read by all humans with a sense of wonder and/or humor. If you’re looking for grim and gritty, you have plenty of other options, but this book is a delight through and through. $20
Politics of a Twig
No insects were harmed in the course of this comic. Are there insect rights groups? It wouldn’t surprise me, but if there are, even they won’t be offended by this story. This one starts off with a bug trying to kick some leaves off of his branch by using his super powers. How does this bug have super powers? They were given to him by a preying mantis, as bugs taste better when they’re drunk with power. Other bugs stop by to attempt to reason with the bug that’s mad with power, interesting conversations are had by all, then this tiny comic ends. Maybe my saying that no insects were harmed is a bit of a spoiler. Well, harm is certainly implied, so you have that to look forward to. It’s a funny little story, and it makes me wonder why there aren’t more stories about insects out there, as most of them have to be easier to draw than humans. That comment right there probably explains why I write about comics instead of making them. Anyway, this is tiny, so I’m guessing a buck or two will get you a copy.
Magic Forest #1
Ansis mentions on the inside front cover that this may be considered Zombre #2.5, but I refuse to go along with that. No Zombre in the comic, no Zombre in the title! I am cruel but fair. Anyway, don’t be too alarmed about Zombre, as #3 is almost done, and this is a little something to get us through until that comes out. This one has three stories, all dealing with something fantastical. Up first is a story about a park ranger who meets a singing mermaid. He tells her the rules about public nudity in the park, then they exchange names, which is when it gets weird. The second story deals with a forest gnome (or some other sort of woodland creature) who goes out hunting to prove his worth and ends up in an unfortunate encounter with a bear. Finally there’s the last surviving elf telling the story of the final battle with the spider army to the guardian of the forest. Of course there’s more to it than that, but I’m not going to ruin it for you. And then there’s that back cover that you’re just going to have to see for yourself, as there’s no way I’m going to try to describe it. It’s a damned funny comic, and you should be reading it. Simple enough, right?
What an absolutely charming comic, and that’s not something I say about comics often. The title really nails the theme, as these are all silent three panel strips. I was a little nervous at first that it would get repetitive, as one early strip is called “Clouds” and it features clouds slowly rolling across the sky, then another early strip is called “Sunset” and it shows a sunset in three panels. You can see why I was getting a little worried, but it turns out that I was way off, and Graeme takes this simple concept to some genuinely innovative places. This will be difficult to talk about without ruining its quiet charm, but a few strips really stand out. There’s “Government,” which shows three different types of politicians (indicated by the colors of the flag they carry) and three consistently angry crowds (indicated by the fact that they always use flags of different colors than the speaker). “Kiss” is just cute as hell and I’m not even going to get into why. “Shy” is beautiful and perfectly done. And there’s lots more, but again, me describing all of these simple strips would ruin the fun of YOU discovering them. Graeme is also nice enough to include a blank page with three panels on it so you can get into the spirit of the comic and make your own strip. Which, honestly, you probably will be by the time you finish reading this. I went from being mildly entertained to hoping that it would go on forever pretty quickly, and I can’t imagine a better endorsement for a comic than that. Not sure about the price, but the guy does live in Japan so it’ll most likely be a few bucks more than most comics. Why don’t you get in touch with the man and find out?
Hey look, a few questions were answered this time around! And lots more were asked, and even more questions were left to be answered in later issues. Of course, none of this makes any sense if you haven’t read earlier issues of this series, but that’s on you. Things start off with a brief musical interlude, sheet music and all, showing the trajectory of a bullet as it enters that truck with all the bullet holes from the last issue. As I can’t read music I’m very curious to hear what it sounds like, but I’ll have to check that later. From there we get the birds chatting with the giant robot as the robot tries to explain why he knows about the truck without having what they would think of as a memory of it. He had me convinced, but one of the birds freaks out right away, thinking that the robot is looking to kill them. Which, hey, not the craziest idea in the world, as they still have very little idea of what went on and what role the robot played in it. The other bird (the one on the cover) decides to stick it out, and the rest of the issue is spent introducing the robot to the concept of night, exploring a bag found at the scene, and going off following after what’s in the bag. I loved the playback of the events coming purely from the robot’s perspective, and Jason did a fantastic job of showing how genuinely odd that perspective would be. Things are looking to get interesting in the next issue too, if the road sign is any indication (and no, I’m not going to spoil what it says). This has been interesting as hell so far, and has the makings of being a great series, so check it out why don’t you? $5
The Steaming Pool
Have you ever read any Edward Gorey books? No? OK, feel shame for a moment, then go read a few of his books to become a more complete human. For the rest of us, this comic is Pam’s tribute to Gorey, and it’s a beauty. It’s also damned near impossible to review without giving the whole thing away, so it’s a good thing I’m not paid by the word. Or at all, really. Hey, I’ve been doing this for free for 12 years! So hey, this comic. The page I sampled should tell you all you need to know about this style, but this thing is ridiculously perfect as a tribute. The dialogue, the fur coat, the one piece old-timey bathing suit, everything was as it should be. Send her a buck to check it out, then slip it into one of your Gorey books. I’m curious to see how much it confuses the next person to read that book, or if they think it might just be an add-on from Gorey himself. $1