Category Archives: Reviews

Reviews

Gunn, Nicole & Fikaris, MP – Instruction Manual for Lonely Mountains

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Website for MP

Instruction Manual for Lonely Mountains

Oh, of course this was an adaptation for a theater show! Sorry, but I just saw the back of this book, and now it all makes sense. Not that it didn’t make sense before, it’s just that I can definitely see this as a play. Oh hi everybody, this may look like random thoughts popping through my head that made it onto the computer, but it’s really a review! Tricky, I know. This one starts off with a man walking into a group with the title of “Focus Group for the Protest Against the Extinction of the Human Race.” Three other people are present at this meeting, each of them trying to get to casually know the other members of the group at first. The difficulties start at an innocuous moment, when everybody tries to agree on what basic drinks and snacks should be included with each meeting. This moves into a demonstration on how repetition is more effective than violence, then a discussion of how we could be the first generation of humans that could theoretically live forever, provided certain technological advancements come through and are available to everyone. People discuss how they’re likely to be remembered, and a man starts telling the story of how he broke up with his girlfriend over the phone because he had fallen in love while staying in Paris in the springtime. The fractures from this story are substantial, but I’ve said enough about their conversation by now. MP also includes several striking visual images, vibrant splashes of color on an otherwise black and white story, sometimes accentuating the story, often completely separate. This books will provoke plenty of thoughts and feelings, with no easy answers but some obvious conclusions. To me, anyway. I can’t predict your conclusions for you, which is why you should read this for yourself. $20

Hewitt, Joseph – Alien Lives

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Alien Lives

So here’s an intriguing concept for a comic: half of these stories are in Korean with English translations at the bottom of the page, and the other half are English with Korean translations at the bottom of the page. Guaranteed to intrigue/alienate everyone! Kidding, of course. You can even learn a little bit of (written) Korean this way if you want. Just take some of the shorter pieces of dialogue so that you’re sure which words conform to which symbols, and voila! You now know what a few Korean symbols mean! The stories are all over the place, and I mean that in the best possible sense. Stories include a queen who sends a bird to get the heart of a prince (and a bird who takes that request a little too literally), robot hijinx while dealing with pigtatoes, a fishing trip with a bear and a puppet that goes horribly wrong when they manage to catch a wishing fish (and the only story that confused me when I was trying to line up the translations to the panels, and ironically it was a wordless bit that threw me), dating in the future while somehow also being dating in the past, and a brief stop for a joke about the real needs of finding a habitable planet. There were also a few strips that were parodies of those snack cakes ads from comics in the 80’s, which may or may not make sense to the youth of today, but I got a kick out of them. It’s a nice mix of stories and, like I said, a chance to learn at least a tiny bit of Korean. $2

Picard, Coco – The Chronicles of Fortune

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The Chronicles of Fortune

Sometimes picking the sample image is the trickiest part of writing a review, especially in a book like this where everything unfolds at a deliberate pace and no single image can really capture its essence. Not that that’s usually an option, but it’s hopeless with this book. Unless you believe that this book is about a woman and her talking mountain, and hey, maybe it is about that! It’s also about so much more, as it’s the rarest of fictional treats: I was reluctant to leave this strange, haunting, depressing, enlivening, fantastical world. This book is a collection of moments in the life of Edith May, who is also a superhero who has the power to fix everything that is wrong with the world, but she suffers from a crippling case of ennui so she never quite gets around to saving the world. She splits from herself to become this hero after her mother dies, leaving a lingering sense of loss throughout the story. From there we learn about her quiet apartment and life, how she opens her home up to neighborhood weirdos, her getting a fish that was supposed to sing to her, her old fashioned stove and the one day when she forgot to light it right away, an impromptu trip to Alcatraz and her running into a ghost, the sentient mountain that just wanted to be a good roommate, what was causing the leaking from the ceiling and how that led to another roommate/sidekick, trying to fit in with people while attending a bachelorette party, doing the same thing while attending an office Christmas party, her job as somebody who listened to people complain about their Christmas lights, and her final struggle against Death. Sort of. Oh, and how could I forget the moths? The moths were crucial to everything else. I could talk about this book for hours, but my instinct is to (digitally) hold it up in front of me, say “take some time to read this amazing book,” and leave it at that. For what it’s worth, I’ve read a lot of comics by a lot of different people about a lot of different subjects over the 20+ years I’ve been enjoying the small press comics world, and I’ve never read anything quite like this. If I was rich I’d offer a money back guarantee, but I’m not, so… take a chance on this book. You won’t be disappointed. $20

Perez, Marcos – A Carl Short: So Long My Sole Soul So Long

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Website (if the other one doesn’t work)

A Carl Short: So Long My Sole Soul So Long

Boy howdy, have I ever reviewed a lot of Marcos’s comics. Go ahead, click on his tag, you’ll see. 6 issues of Tear Stained Makeup (still available in my store if you can get it to work!), several variations of Carl is the Awesome stories, a few other mini comics… it’s safe to say that I’m a fan. I missed him at CXC this year (2017), because of course I did, but I did meet Neil Brideau, who was nice enough to give me the free mini Marcos was giving away at the convention. If you’re not familiar with the lore of Carl, I’m not sure if I could do it justice here. Maybe check out the sample images and come back to this. The short version is that Carl IS the awesome, in just about every way. He’s also some kind of a dinosaur, but that’s irrelevant. In this story Carl decides that he wants to become the president of New Jersey, and he has no interest in facts like “there’s no such thing as the president of New Jersey” getting in his way. He manages to detach his soul by flailing his arms about wildly, which makes him the perfect politician. The rest of the comic involves Carl’s friends trying to find a way to restore his soul while this thoughtless version of Carl wreaks havoc everywhere he goes. The solution to the problem is just so perfectly Carl that I’m a little in awe of it, but I’ll leave that mystery for you. Carl stories are always welcome around here, and this one is no exception. Check in with Marcos, maybe he’ll have a few of these left over after the various conventions are done. And if you don’t have the other Carl stories, you’re not living your best life, so fix that problem ASAP…

Davis, Eleanor – You & A Bike & A Road

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You & A Bike & A Road

One of the true joys of this “job” is that I get to watch amazingly talented artists as they develop; search for her name or click on her tag if you don’t believe me. I got a few minis from here in Athens, Georgia in early 2005, got a few more in 2007 and then kind of lost track of her. Which happens way too often and is entirely my fault. Anyway! Since I can’t afford to buy all of the comics in the world, much as I would like to, I’ve been using the local library system a lot lately (if you live near Columbus, Ohio, go nuts with it, you can read damned near anything), which finally brings me to talking about this graphic novel. The idea behind it was simple enough: Eleanor got a new bike from her parents in Tucson, Arizona. She was dreading figuring out some way to get it back to her home in Athens, Georgia, and riding her bike gave her a kind of peace that she couldn’t get anywhere else, so she got the idea to just ride her bike all the way from Tucson to Athens. If you’re curious, that’s right around 1800 miles. This book is the story of that journey, how she handled the mental and physical wear and tear, and some of the people and things she met along the way. There’s also the constant question of whether or not she’s going to make it, as her knees started giving her trouble relatively early in the journey. There’s a lot to love about this book, and it often reminded me of Jeff Zenick (sadly, that’s probably not a familiar name to most of you) and the stories he would tell about his travels. For what it’s worth, that’s as high of a recommendation as I can give for an autobiographical comic. I knew the border patrol was active anywhere near the border, but she saw helicopters and vehicles of their pretty much constantly, along with one particularly memorable episode involving an immigrant (?) who was trying to get away from them and the tactics (lies) they used to bring him down. Despite the seemingly simple premise, there’s a lot going on in this story, from the reactions of all the people she met along the way to everything she learned and experienced to her pushing the boundaries of her own physical limits. At the end of the day it’s just a great story, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this inspired more than a few people to try something like this for themselves. $12

Bishop, Eli – Busybody

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Busybody

One of the things I really love about this “job” is when I get a new comic from somebody that I haven’t heard from in years. With Eli, I think it had been a decade since I saw his last comic, or at least close to it. The physical size of this one laughs in the face of the name “mini comic,” but nobody ever came up with a better name for these things that I know of, so a mini comic it must be. Eli has a few stories in this one, with a few very short bits coming from his older minis. The bulk of this is new, so don’t worry about that. Things start off with a double story; one story continuing along the top of the page and one along the bottom. The top portion (“Discovery”) deals with that feeling you get when you meet somebody, chat with them for a long time and leave the conversation realizing that you’ve forgotten their name. When you see them again you might have a brief window to ask for their name, but really you shouldn’t do even that, so you’re already stuck. Eli takes that concept to a delightfully extreme conclusion here. The story along the bottom of the page is a silent piece about a therapist and his strategy for bringing couples closer together. This concept is also taken to an extreme, with some terrifying consequences for some of the participants. Next is a story called “The Refresher,” told from a first person perspective with the reader slowly discovering what’s really going on, which doesn’t leave me much to tell you, as why should I ruin the surprise? Finally there’s the first part of “Shift Report” (meaning he’s still working on comics, which is good news), and this one does some genuinely innovative things in splitting up the characters and the story. We see the perspective of various nurses and patients as they go about their routine, sometimes with them bumping into each other, sometimes doing their own thing. And all the while there’s one section of the page that’s in a fog, which is difficult to realize until you start to see vague images in that fog, and once again I shouldn’t say anything else about it. It’s good to see Eli back and making comics, give it a look! $10

Brideau, Neil – Ronq & Sceban & Shaus in Trouble! A Plot Story

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Ronq & Sceban & Shaus In Trouble! – A Plot Story

So I sometimes have terrible memory. Bear with me, I’m going somewhere with this. Having terrible memory isn’t always at a problem, but at a comics convention, when I’m meeting people I see once every few years at best, talking about comics that I reviewed as far back as 2001, trying to place the name to the right comic, let alone what I might have said about that comic… it can get problematic. I knew when I met Neil at Cartoon Comics Crossroads this year (2017, future readers, assuming there is a future) that I knew his name, that I had liked his comic, but the old memory crapped out on me, giving me unconnected images but no title. But I checked when I got home, and Neil is the guy who did Sock Monster, and the collection for that strip had what is still one my favorite titles of all time: In Anticipation of Hugs! It’s still out there to buy, if you’re curious (and assuming my online store is still running when you read this, I’m even selling copies). Anyway, this particular comic is about characters of a longer series of Neil’s called The Plot, and I don’t know a thing about that. He seemed great, his comics that I’ve read are great, so I’m guessing it’s great too, but the only story I’ve read with those characters is this book. It’s apparently a prequel to the series, which helps, and Neil says in his intro that he did this comic “to get to know the three sisters in this story a little better.” As such, it’s mostly these three sisters chatting, causing some trouble, and doing one terrible thing with an urn. No, I am not going to tell you what that one thing is. It’s a funny book, and I went from having serious trouble telling the sisters apart at the start of the book to seeing all their distinct character traits when I was done. Well, I’m sure it’s not all of their traits, but you get what I mean. It’s worth a look, and based on this I’m guessing the whole series is worth a look. No price is listed, but I’m sure Neil will be happy to help you figure that out if you ask him…

 

Mastantuono, Jon – The Guest House

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The Guest House

Hey, it looks like Jon has started using his real name on his comics (he went by Jon Drawdoer before, or maybe he still does sometimes?). I’d know that for sure if I met him at Cartoon Crossroads Columbus this year, but I’m pretty sure I missed a whole room of artists, and it’s certainly not like I’ve been stewing in a quiet rage about that ever since, heavens no! But as Jon makes clear at the start of this comic, it’s best to let everything in, to sit with the good things and the bad, to let them affect you and change you. So I can’t change missing out on him this year, but next year I can keep a better mental guest list in my head and realize BEFORE I leave the building and the con is over that I missed several people that I wanted to see. And hey look, now we’re finally talking about the comic mostly! Jon starts things off by talking about his personal philosophy, how it has gotten him through some tough times, and even if he didn’t come out of those times as exactly the same person as he was before, he could see the value of the changes and make peace with the losses. I’ve talked about this before in my reviews of his other comics, but this is an excellent way to live, and what I try (although not always successfully) to do myself. Even Jon can’t do it all himself, as he goes to a gay support group to help get himself through some issues. It’s there that he hears the story of Trent, a man who fashioned an entire identity for himself and stuck with it far longer than he ever thought he could. Jon also tells his own story at therapy (about being the third in a married couple for three years, how it ended and what he regrets), with all of this eventually leading to Jon asking Trent out. I’m making this sound like a linear, straight ahead story with some messages, but it’s so much more than that. There’s so much more insight on these pages than I know how to convey in a review, nor do I think it’s really my place to do so. Anybody who has doubts about themselves and how they handle the world could do a whole lot worse than to read one of Jon’s comics on the subject. I’m not going to say that Jon has figured everything out, but he’s a lot closer to doing so than most, and I’ve gotten something meaningful out of each of his comics that I’ve read so far. $8

Cass, Caitlin – The Once Great Auk

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The Once Great Auk

Want to get depressed about humanity? One easy way to do it is to learn in detail about how an animal was hunted completely to extinction. Granted, these days there are some basic protections and people actively fighting back against that sort of thing from happening, but back in the 1800’s, boy howdy were people stupid about it. The Great Auk would have been fiercely protected today too, that much is obvious. It’s goofy, harmless and adorable, which would get the letter writing/political campaigns really going. They were roughly three feet tall, couldn’t fly and could barely walk (Caitlin doesn’t state this explicitly but I got the impression that it was named for the noise it made as it was stumbling around). These Auks didn’t have any defenses against humanity and never really had a chance against them. I won’t ruin the depressing tale of how the last few Great Auks in the world died, but I will marvel once again that humanity has managed to survive this long, seemingly in spite of our best efforts. This is a grim story, but hey, where else are you going to be able to see Great Auks doing their thing? And who knows, maybe if enough people read stories like this we really will collectively learn from our mistakes and stop doing stupid shit all the time. A guy can dream… $3

Nall, Alex – Let Some Word That Is Heard Be Yours

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Let Some Word That Is Heard Be Yours

Do kids still know about Mr. Rogers? I don’t think that was addressed in Alex’s latest installment of “Teaching Comics,” but I’m curious. He passed away in 2003, and the final episode was in 2001. Meaning that people who are turning 18, unless reruns are still airing somewhere, might have no clue who this guy was. I’m going to assume that somebody somewhere is still showing reruns, mostly because I don’t like to think of a world with no connection to Mr. Rogers and his neighborhood. Anyway, isn’t there a comic here that I should be talking about? This starts off with a new school year and Alex being increasingly beaten down by his students and his job. We also see the perspective of his partner Keri, and to a lesser extent a teacher friend in Italy. Keri is having an even rougher time with students and seems to be constantly on the verge of giving up entirely. Both of them have nightmares about class, and the only place that Alex gets refuge when he can’t sleep is by watching old episodes of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. If it is completely unfamiliar to you, there really was nothing else like it: his kindness and decency shone through, and it seems universally agreed upon even today when people tell their stories of working with him. I didn’t know most of his history so it was fascinating to watch it unfold here, from his earliest days trying to get a show together to stories from other people who worked for him. He wasn’t perfect, at least not in modern terms; he had a cast member who came out to him as gay in the 70’s and Mr. Rogers asked him to keep it to himself, as he didn’t think audiences were ready for such a thing yet. That sounds bad today, and it’s possible that if he had taken a step to support it back then that things could have turned out differently. It’s easy to say that in 2017! A far more likely possibility is that he would have gotten banned from television. Nobody knows for sure, and nobody ever will. This book is worth checking out for the history lesson alone, but wait, there’s more! Alex getting through to the kids in his class is a constant struggle, and it’s frankly baffling and impressive to me that he has the strength to keep trying. It’s not all losses, as things end on a pretty great note (finally getting through to a pretty big troublemaker), but I can see why he takes refuge in the calming glow of Mr. Rogers. I’m thoroughly enjoying this series and hope that Alex has the strength to continue for years to come. That being said, if the final volume of this series is titled “That’s All I Can Stand And I Can’t Stand No More!”, I’ll completely understand. No price listed yet, but contact Alex through his website, he’ll be able to get you a copy…

Collins, Stephen – The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil

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The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil

If there is any justice left in the world (and that’s debatable, based on recent historical events (it’s 2017 right now, future readers)), The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil will still be read and remembered decades from now as one of the best children’s books of all time. It’s also not necessarily for children, or at least it’s certainly not exclusively for children. It’s been ages since a book charmed me this completely, and I say that as somebody who has read some damned good graphic novels recently. But every part of this, from Stephen’s innovative use of panels and dialogue, to his willingness to let giant inky blackness speak for itself, to the reactions of civilians as things spiral out of control, is just about perfect. This is the story of a man who is in Here. This book also has a fantastic map: there’s Here, The Sea, The Edge of the Sea, and There. Our hero lives in Here, and it’s the only place he’s ever known. Everything is ordered, everything is neat, and everybody knows exactly what’s expected of them. Oh, and everybody is terrified of There. Our hero is hairless except for his eyebrows and one stray hair on his face that can’t be shaved down or plucked without immediately growing back. He works, along with lots of other people in Here, at a giant corporation, doing something with charts that he’s not completely sure means anything at all. But he likes his life, his time spent sketching people while listening to one Bangles song over and over again. Until one day, the charts at his job all look different, and he’s forced to give a presentation on why that’s the case. On that day, something snaps in our hero, and his beard starts to grow. Quickly, violently, and completely out of control. I want to leave as much as possible of what’s left for the reader to discover, because this was a joy throughout, but the cascading effects on the rest of the citizens of Here was expertly done. Buy this book, share it with friends, have them do the same. This deserves to be seen as widely as possible. $20

Gauld, Tom – Goliath

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Goliath

Goliath! That’s bound to conjure a mental image in your mind, probably complete with the idea of him being a raving, unstoppable beast. I mean, you don’t have to be religious at all to know the story of Goliath and how David took him down with a simple sling. But when you get right down to it, the Bible doesn’t have much to say about the temperament of Goliath, or how he spent his days. That gives Tom a lot of room to play with, and he takes full advantage of it here. The Goliath of this story is in the Philistine army, sure, but he prefers admin work to anything to do with war. He’s just trying to live as simple a life as he can under the circumstances, which is that the two armies are at an impasse. So somebody in the Philistine hierarchy comes up with the idea of a champion vs. champion battle to settle the war, and Goliath sure looks like anybody’s idea of a champion. It takes some arm twisting, but they eventually talk him into it, mostly because he agrees that anybody from the opposing army who sees him will be so terrified that they’ll surrender without a fight. The bulk of the back half of the book is Goliath (and his shield bearer) issuing his challenge and waiting to see if anybody will take him up on it that day. Everybody knows what’s coming, but Tom manages to make that ending funny and sad all at once. And then very quickly gross, but I’ll leave that bit a surprise for anybody who doesn’t remember the gory details of the end of the battle. Check it out, gain a new perspective on one of the oldest battles of the world! That’s almost certainly fake, but still… $16.95

Kyle, Patrick – Night Door

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Night Door

Have you ever read a comic that oozes? I seriously don’t know a better way to describe this one. From the start it feels like shapes are barely staying solid, that they’re constantly on the verge of blowing apart. Not a violent blowing apart like an explosion, more like a strong gust of wind that blows through a smoke cloud. Oh hi, I’m supposed to give an informed opinion about this book now, right? Well, it’s the story of a… dog man? Who is looking for a night door (OK, that I just know because of the title). This dog man finds what seems to be the entrance, or at least an entrance. But inside it’s all dark, and it drags the dog man down, although he doesn’t seem to mind that much. And just when it seems like he’s on the verge of finding something out, a new character is introduced. Is he friend or foe? Benevolent, malevolent or indifferent? Read the comic to find out, because I’m not going to tell you. $4

Cass, Caitlin – Ivy Lee: Founder of Public Relations

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Ivy Lee: Founder of Public Relations

Quick, who out there knows that the Rockefeller name used to be dogshit, in terms or general public opinion? That probably comes as a shock to most of you, as these days “Rockefeller” is mostly synonymous with “ridiculously rich.” Well, that’s mostly because one man was hired to improve his image back in the early 1900’s, and that man was very good at his job. The world would be a better place if he had never existed, or if people with his “skill set” had never come into contact with modern society, but here we are, stuck living in this world. Caitlin takes us through a (brief but dense) history of his work, how he used the son to help convince striking miners that the Rockefellers had their best interests at heart. Well, “striking” is maybe too tame a word, as the workers were in a full blown guerilla war after most of their wives and children died in a fire. Anyway, the younger Rockefeller got them to stand down, which led to a lot of them getting killed through poor safety regulations. Yep, American history is rough. Ivy’s history after this incident is complex, as he managed to introduce the Red Cross to the public, but he was also accused of making propaganda for the Nazi’s. Caitlin has a knack for making minor historical characters fascinating, and she continues that trend here. $3

Bradford, Rick (Poopsheet Foundation, editor, with various artists) – Wag Rag #1

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Wag Rag #1

For you comics whippersnappers out there, Poopsheet has been an ongoing online comics library for over a decade now, and if you ever want to buy a pile of mini comics, that should be the first place you stop. Rick Bradford (the head honcho over there) has started up a monthly comics service, meaning every month he publishes another comic (or two, like this month) and they’re delivered to your door. There’s a $5 monthly fee, and he’s using the proceeds to continue working on a mammoth online mini comic and fanzine database, which is a damned worthy cause. So now that all the specifics are out of the way, how about the comic itself? It’s a short anthology and the stories deal with misunderstanding Shakespeare (Roger Langridge), taking us all on a psychodelic journey (Caesar Meadows), and a brief saga about assault and card playing. Sort of, anyway. It’s an eclectic mix, and a solid start for this project. For what it’s worth, I’m all for this idea. Paying a monthly fee to help support a giant comics database like that is itself a ridiculously worthy cause, and you get monthly comics out of it to boot! What’s not to like? $5 (monthly, I assume you can buy these individually as well)

Androutsopoulos, Evangelos – Eviction

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Eviction

The nature of reality seems to be a recurring theme in the current batch of mini kus books (they usually send them to me four at a time). Last time it was a lost dog and how it was perceived, this time around it’s a story that was told to a young man about a camp of refugees. He doesn’t know what to believe about the story, which deals with a man from the area who goes to see what’s happening in the camp. He learns the stories of the refugees, details some of the hardships they have to deal with, and goes over the story of the one night when things got violent. Still, it was a calm enough place overall, and the man telling the story was a native, so he could come and go as he pleased. He doesn’t know how the story ends, as he was out of the camp when it got shut down, which is what leads our hero to check out the camp himself. That’s when he sees something, but what am I leaving for you to discover if I tell you what it was? $6

Magan, Andres – A Friend

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A Friend

Who’s a good boy! This one is about a man and his dog. Or a man and his lost dog, to be more precise. Or a man, his lost dog, perception and reality, to be even more precise. Things start off with our hero asking an authority figure for help in finding his dog, and he gives the man a description to help. Once our hero makes his way back to his apartment, his sense of reality fray, and we see concern from various members of his family along with a happy reunion. Or is it? This comic will take you around in circles, and I’m still not completely sure on what was and wasn’t real, but the sentiment was fascinating. We do see our pets as family members, and we’re often willing to refer to them as such without concern that we might be thought of as crazy people by the rest of the world. Still, leave the phrase “he’s my best friend” out there to hang while talking about your dog. No friendly nod from the person you’re talking to, no quick assent and a comment about their pet, just let the awkwardness of that sentiment hang in the air. That awkwardness is this comic, and it’s delightful. $6

Budel, Michiel – Francine

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Francine

One of the trickiest aspects of reviewing comics is trying to describe something when I come across a style that is completely new. Oh, woe is me, I know, I know. But Francine is one of those books where things didn’t really start clicking for me until I was maybe halfway through the book, and when it did all start coming together I was blown away. The style has some hints of Dave Kiersh and Katie Skelly, a little, but it’s all very clearly Michiel’s own thing. It’s easy to think that this is all entirely innocent, that those flashed panties here and there are accidental. Then you start seeing the weird dynamics between the various characters in the books and how it all seems to come back to sex and attraction, and it puts everything that’s come before in a different light. There’s 8 different sections here, with mostly the same characters and often similar themes throughout. I just flipped through the book again to try and come up with some way to tell you all about it, and if anything I’m more confused than before. The sheer number of hilarious asides, the deftness of the humor, might not hit you right away. This book has confidence but it’s still somehow awkward. deeply important while focused on the little things in life. I genuinely don’t know how to encapsulate it, and feel like it would be an insult to the artist to keep trying. It’s something that you really have to see for yourself. His website has all sorts of free samples, take a few minutes and read a handful of his strips. You’ll get it. $17.95

GG – Valley

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Valley

Well, kudos to GG. I figured I would have an impossible time finding contact information for him or her online, but it came right up. Who would have thought? This is a comic that’s almost entirely about mood, so it’s inherently difficult to review. A woman gets a message from a group of her friends who have gone camping that they’ve run out of food and they’re hoping that she’ll be willing to drive more food to their location. She’s miffed, as she would have liked to have been invited initially, but she gets over it and decides to help them out. But this is all in the wilderness, so communication and cell phone service is unreliable at best. She ends up getting lost herself, but in a warm area with fog and what looks like a natural hot spring. She eventually hears back from them that they’ve decided to go home, but she’s in a state of bliss, so… what’s the rush? It’s more quiet and understated than that, but that message is beautiful. We should all be required to get lost at least a few times a year to keep our heads on straight. Oh, if only I was the ruler of the world. Anyway, this book is beautiful, so give it a look.

Contrary, Carrie Q. – Hot Dork Love #1

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Hot Dork Love #1

There’s naked people and some fucking in this comic, so if such a thing is a dealbreaker for you, watch out for this comic! How anybody could live their daily lives in this current (the hellscape of 2017, future readers) mess and have nudity be a bridge too far is beyond me, but what do I know. Now that all the puritans are gone, what’s in this comic for the rest of us? There are a few stories in here, involving sex in one way or another. The first bit is about a young lady who wanders into a Dungeons and Dragons game and finds herself turned on by the dungeon master. It takes awhile to clear the room, but they get to business eventually. Spoiler alert? Does that count in porn? Internet pedants, discuss. Other stories involve enjoying the shower a little too much, letting your mid get away from you while focusing on a nude male model, and trying to figure out the best speed to seduce a first date without scaring him away for being too aggressive. Sure, there’s plenty of sexiness here, but Carrie throws in plenty of funny lines as well. The punchline on the artist story was hilarious, as were the troubles of the woman who couldn’t seem to find the right pace for her dates. So yeah, this is definitely worth checking out. There’s more here than just sex, but if that’s all you’re after there’s plenty of it as well. $4