Archive for category Reviews

Scalzo, Kevin – Sugar Booger #2

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Sugar Booger #2

The horrific but somehow kid-friendly adventures of Sugar Booger continue! In case you missed the last issue, the premise is simple enough: Sugar Booger eats sweets and pours out a better version of the candy through his nostrils. At least I assume that it’s a better version, as it doesn’t make much sense otherwise. Hah, there I go, trying to make sense of this idea. Anyway, this issue starts off with Sugar (if you’re OK with me calling him by his first (?) name) realizing that all of the candy that he’s made is causing a problem, as it’s not possible for the residents of this land to eat it as quickly as he makes it. Luckily a Gloomy Globby monster comes along and is ravenously hungry, so it looks like both of their problems will be solved. But Sugar isn’t counting on the hunger of this monster being insatiable, so steps must be taken to reign in the problem. The art in this is ridiculously joyous, but the hints of the horror of this creature do seep through here and there. Or maybe it’s just me, who knows? But in a world where Adventure Time can take over cartoons, I see no reason why this couldn’t be a fantastic cartoon in its own right. Assuming Kevin would even want to go in that direction, that is. His use of color is also damned near unparalleled, as so many small press color comics are content to just throw in a few colors and call it a day. Kevin uses every color of the rainbow, often not in places that you would not expect, and the results are utterly unique. And don’t even get me started on the various smaller creatures that inhabit this land, because those walking brains that also serve as bouncy shoes are the tip of the iceberg. Get this comic, is what I’m trying to say. I can say this and have it be literally true: you’ve never seen anything like it. $5.95

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Mitchell, Brian John & Branstetter, David – Ultimate Lost Kisses #15

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Ultimate Lost Kisses #15

Did you ever have some completely happy news on your end torn apart by the person that you’re relaying the news to? That’s the subject of this comic in a big way, as the star of the story is a young married woman in her 20’s who calls her mother to tell her that she’s having a baby. This is almost universally a cause for celebration (at least to somebody in a stable relationship and living situation), but her mother immediately tells her to get rid of it, that it will destroy her life and her figure. It’s impossible to ignore the obvious implication: her mother feels like having her 20+ years ago ruined HER life. The rest of the comic is a tour through the childhood of the pregnant woman, her feelings about that and the reaction, and how she decides to go forward from there. It’s an intriguing story, and a good reminder that relaying news to loved ones can often uncover some unpleasant truths. $1 as usual, and as usual you should go nuts and get at least a handful of these comics when you’re ordering, as they are tiny.

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Taddei, Marco & Angelini, Simone – Short and Merciless Stories

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Short and Merciless Stories

If there’s one thing that has remained the same over my years of writing about comics, it’s my absolute abhorrence for spoilers of any kind. And yet, for the 8 stories in this volume, all I want more than anything is to talk about the endings and how brilliant each and every one of them is. I won’t, of course, but man is it tempting. The stories in here involve the circumstances behind the disappearance of a young woman, a man who wakes up one to discover that he is missing a head but somehow still living (and what he does about it), a man who is the only one to see plumes of smoke rising up from over the hills, the death of a solitary man and the life of a creature who remains in that house, the focus group tested message going out from a shady military group, the rules of hell and “living” in it on a day to day basis, a man with the remarkable gift to transform anything he sees into anything he wants and what he does with it, and Death itself giving an interview to promote an autobiography. Summarizing these stories like this may make them seem simple, and that is the furthest thing from the truth. There are layers to each of them, and good luck reading this without having at least a few of them stuck firmly in your mind, waiting to pop back into your consciousness. The art is perfectly suited to the writing and, even though I didn’t know about these two before reading this book, I really hope there’s more out there from them, as this book is absolutely captivating. And for only $12.99, it’s even a bit of a deal. For whatever it’s worth, this is one of my favorite books of the year. Buy it for yourself and see if I am correct! $12.99

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Irene Comics Anthology – Irene #5

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Irene #5

Does it really matter if you review anthologies out of order? I’m pretty sure it doesn’t, but if it turns out that there are continuing stories from #4 of this series (which was also sent my way) then I apologize. Anyway, this is a pile of stories and drawings by a little over a dozen artists. As always, some of them were more compelling to me than others and, as always, your opinions on which stories are more compelling probably varies wildly from mine. This does seem to be a regularly published anthology series, and the packaging does look gorgeous, so if you’re looking for that sort of thing, maybe check in with them from time to time? Anyway, highlights include the story of how he used to give story ideas to his father every night before he went to sleep and how he couldn’t sleep without the ensuing story by Andy Warner, a trip into (and discussion of) Mexico by Dave Ortega, Luke Healy’s story of following a woman up onto a mountain to see what happened to her (there’s more to it than that, but I’m certainly not going to give it away here), James the Stanton and the search for a Guru, Pat Barrett’s tale of the last days of a space explorer as she tries to save an alien (or are they really the last days?), Jon Chad and the best way to get intergalactically pwned, and Dakota McFadzean’s memories of being a kid, flying, and creating life (sort of). I should also mention the various single pages by Lindsay Watson, as they appeared between the stories and brought a life to the whole anthology that might not have been there otherwise. My absolute highlight for the stories was the piece by The FDZ (writer) and Fouad Mezher (artist). It starts off as a fairly simple story of a man living his last night in Lebanon and an unfortunate encounter with a guard dog, but things take an absolutely brutal turn from there and, once again, I shouldn’t really be talking about it. All kinds of good stuff in here, and it’s 160 or so pages, so you’ll be getting value for your $15.

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Bixby, Kevin & Arthur – Bixtone Productions 24 Hour Comic Madness Extravaganza

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Bixtone Productions 24 Hour Comic Madness Extravaganza

Ah, the 24 hour comic. When successful, it’s usually obvious to tell that it was done quickly, as the art is a step below the usual output of the artist. But when it’s not successful (meaning only that it wasn’t finished in 24 hours, not a knock on the quality) there’s a substantial amount of guesswork going on with the reader. Is this the way it looked on the day of the challenge or has the art/writing been touched up since then? I’m going to guess that at least the art has been touched up, but as Kevin makes it clear that these are three stories that didn’t quite meet the challenge of 24 hours, I think that’s still allowed. The stories in this one include a zombie outbreak (which I think is legally mandated material for all comics artists on 24 hour challenges to try at least once), the revenge of a villain who is currently posing as a hero after “foiling” a kidnapping plot, and Kevin giving up the reins of another challenge to a 6 year old nephew so he can plot out a story. Not really, of course, but it made for a good excuse on the art for that one. Let’s go through them in order! The zombie outbreak was a lot of fun. Not much new ground was broken, but I’m always up for scenes of human-on-zombie violence. The Devilman story was by far the most plot-heavy of the stories, but it also ends on a cliffhanger with no sign of the story ever being finished. Still, another fun read with some solid action. Finally there’s the utterly random story, which somehow managed to be the most enjoyable of them all. There’s no real way to summarize it, but I will say that it involves Pokeman eating Thor (and becoming Pokemon Thor) and a giant Batman robot fighting Godzilla through “yo mama” jokes. See? Random. My only minor quibble was that I could often see the pencils of the text bubbles, as they weren’t erased thoroughly in spots, but that kind of thing is far from a dealbreaker. It’s good clean fun and the three stories makes for a hefty book, so give it a look why don’t you?

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Gennis, Emi – Trepanation

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Trepanation

Trepanation! Who out there has thought about doing it? I’m guessing the total is right around zero for those of you who know what it is. If you don’t know what it is, that’s probably because it hasn’t been used with any kind of regularity for at least a hundred years. Basically it involves having someone drill a hole in your hear to either relieve pressure from headaches/stress or release the demon inside you, depending on whether there was even a little bit of science involved with it. Makes it pretty obvious why this has fallen out of favor, right? Anyway, this is the story of the handful of people who have had this done and/or are advocating for more people to get it done to themselves. It is illegal to do this in the United States (which makes sense until you think about some of the plastic surgeries that are still somehow legal), but the “movement” to get it legalized isn’t much to speak of. The people quoted in this comic universally have good things to say about the procedure, but at least one of them still has the presence of mind necessary to know that he is also unable to compare it to anything else, as it’s not exactly a process that you can get undone. Doctors have come to their own conclusion, and you might not be at all surprised to learn that any benefits people experience are due to it being a placebo effect. Meaning that they were so convinced that good things would come from this process that they ended up having good things happen come from this process. Also included in this comic are some examples of when it was used in the past and how the process has become less obviously barbaric in the intervening years. Sure, it’s still drilling a hole into the head of another human, but you should see some of the tools they used in the past. And you will see them if you read this comic, which you should do. It’s a fascinating subject, and whether or not you knew about it before reading this review there’s no way that you aren’t curious about it now. Read it and enjoy, and if you end up converted there’s contact info for some of these lunatics included in the comic… $4

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Ludtke, Jason – Colossal: Before Curious Machines

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Colossal: Before Curious Machines

Regular readers of the website may remember this comic, as I praised the pants off of it for the last issue that I’d read. It also seems like I may have missed an issue or two, or maybe it’s just the fact that I haven’t read the last issue for a couple of years and my memory is a garbage pile. One or the other! Anyway, the basic gist is that a giant robot wakes up in a desolate world with very little idea of what it is or what’s going on. In this issue the robot and his bird friend are looking for clues and run across a group of deer (herd?). There’s a fantastic philosophical discussion on whether or not the robot is alive or has consciousness, then they tell the robot where it should next go to get more clues. We also get to see a regular dream of this bird (which shows some great hints about its place in the universe) and we see more and more clues about what is left of this world. For example, at this point they’re in what used to be Milwaukee. No humans are to be seen, but the bird has seen a few in its past, and we also see the first (?) genuinely hostile act against the robot, but I shouldn’t get into what that was all about. My only complaint is that there were a few typos (all of the dialogue is typed), which is the sort of thing that you really should work past after a couple of issues. Nothing that broke the story, and possibly nothing that nobody else noticed, but the typos, they do stick in my craw. I remain fascinated in this story and very much wonder where it’s all heading, which is all that you can ask out of an ongoing book like this.

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Brubaker, Charles – Smallbug Comics #2

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Smallbug Comics #2

13 years into me running this website, do you think it’s too late for me to put some of these comics into categories? Yeah, I figured it was too late too. Anyway, this comic would be considered “all ages,” and I tend to review those a little differently than other comics, as I no longer have the mind of a child <insert obvious joke about my mind here>. I think kids would probably enjoy this quite a bit. The basic story involves a king who is so unremarkable in every way that he finally comes up with an idea to get people to remember him: he has a special crown made of a golden cat. It’s such a ridiculous crown, the theory goes, that people are bound to remember it. And it works, but it doesn’t exactly cast him in the best light, for obvious reasons. As this is going on a young brother and sister are arguing, as the younger one wishes more people would pay attention to him. Things happen and, as this is a comic, the crown ends up falling on the head of the younger brother. Soon people are paying attention to him, but it ends up being unwelcome attention in some cases, and the king is also soon on the lookout for his missing crown. Hilarity ensues! I liked the attention to detail on some of the panels, especially the one full page panel of an outdoor market. All kinds of stuff going on there if you look for the little things. And it looks like Charles has done a good job of building up a credible world with interesting characters in it, or at least a wide variety of people. So there, it has been established that kids would probably like this just fine. What about adults? Um, probably? It might be considered a little cutesy by some people, as some people are very cynical, but I consider myself pretty cynical and I liked it. I even laughed a few times, which is always welcome. So yeah, I’d say it’s worth a shot for everybody. For $2, why not?

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Various Seattle Artists – Short Run: On Your Marks #2

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Short Run: On Your Marks #2

Is it too late for me to move to Seattle? Because the idea of a local community group like Short Run that “celebrates and strengthens” the local small press community sounds really fantastic to me. Oh right, you’re here to read about a comic, not join me on my mid-life crisis. This one is an anthology featuring six local artists, or at least I’m assuming they’re local because they’re all in this Seattle anthology. I also wish that the stories had titles, mostly for one story in particular, but I’ll leave you guessing as to which one I’m talking about. Stories in here include a piece by Drew Miller about a lonely survivor who is surrounded by people who won’t come out of their shells (literally), Yumi Sakugawa’s take on the dream of smashing all electronics and riding off into the sunset, Jaime Coe’s frankly adorable tale of Hercules playing with a puppy Cerberus, and Scott Longo’s piece on one particular part of the disappearing water supply. I also enjoyed Suzette Smith’s piece on the possibly irrational fear of black men as a couple gets off the bus, but one panel is mostly blurred out. If this is a printing error it’s in a very unfortunate place, if it’s intentional then it’s a pretty damned smart place to show why the conversation about getting a gun can fall apart in a conversation with a couple. I also didn’t get the piece by Anna Saimalaa, but I’m guessing that’s more my fault than the fault of the artist. $7 might seem a little steep for this, but come on now, that’s still 6 stories for $7. And they use blue!

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Alabaster – Mimi and the Wolves Act I

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Mimi and the Wolves Act I

All of these years reading comics and I think my favorite thing about them is still having my expectations utterly subverted. This one briefly shows all the characters before the action gets started, and most of them look cute or possibly even a little wacky. But, as you may have guessed, that’s not the direction this one ended up in at all. Things start off with a slow build, as we see a mysterious figure in the forest before finally meeting our heroine (Mimi) and her mate (Bobo). We see them going about the daily lives, happy as can be, before they go to bed for the night. Mimi has been having dreams her entire life, and they make her profoundly uncomfortable to think about, apparently because they involve some horrific creatures/images and seem to end with her quite enjoying something sexual (it’s all still a little vague). Mimi arranges to have a lucid dream so she can confront the woman she keeps seeing in this dream, and that conversation leads to her hanging up icons around the forest. These icons bring the attention of the wolves that are mentioned on the cover, and their intentions seem good, but it’s probably too early to say for sure. The rest of the comic deals with stuff I shouldn’t be talking about, so I won’t. See how easy that was? It’s a solid start to a series that I am very much looking forward to. The art is tremendous and evocative, the writing fits the images perfectly, and it was a blast to read. So maybe you should too! $12

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Maku, Sakura – Dark Tomato #1

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Dark Tomato

I know the rules of the small press publishing world by now (more or less), and I know that it’s impossible to publish most of these comics in color. Still, this one is crying out for color, and stuffing this into a black and white world hurt it more than a little bit. Of course, for all I know this is how it was meant to be seen and I’m an idiot, but this story is more (for lack of a better or more accurate word) colorful than all this. Not to mention the fact that the text sometimes gets lost in the various shades of grays, but that’s a technical problem. This is the story of Prince Tamlin Tomato, a woman who runs a subway train. It deals with the people she sees and various aspects of her life, which seems like too simplistic of a way to put it, as there’s a lot going on in every page. There’s her rather one-sided chats with her grandmother about the various odd things that she sees, and of course the things in the dark that she can’t quite make out. This is one of those cases where I bail out in the middle of the review, as I honestly don’t know what to say about it. It’s an utterly unique tale, more of an illustrated poem than anything, but it also defies any sort of conventional analysis. Check through her art on her website to see if it appeals to you, and if the answer is anywhere near yes, then this is very much worth a look. Provided that you can see past the “what might have been” aspect of this potentially existing in full color, that is. $5

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Quantic, David & Bonvillain, Tamra – Bakersfield, Earth #1

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Bakersfield, Earth #1

I have one tiny problem with this comic, and I absolutely loved the rest of it. For a change, I’m going to talk about all the good stuff first, just in case anybody wanders off in the middle of the review. This is the story of an alien from Jupiter who has lived on this planet since before the start of recorded human history by taking over the bodies of humans moments after they die. Why did he/she stay for so long? Mostly cheese fries. Which implies that cheese fries were invented thousands of years before anybody thought, which would explain a lot. That timeline David gives of the important events in human history is packed with funny, so don’t just skip over the page. Anyway, life goes on for hey I just realized that we never learned the real name of our hero. Huh. So life goes on for this creature until we finally make it into the 70’s, where it hops into the body of a transgendered man. Some altercations take place before our hero finally stands up for him/herself, at which point he/she decides to start standing up for the little guy on a regular basis. This, unfortunately, attracts the attention of a mercenary whose job is to bring back missing aliens, and things get ugly from there. All of this was compelling as could be, and here is where I’ll put my complaints. Please note that actual complaints are about the quality of the comic itself, and I have no issues there (writing was solid and Tamra did a great job with the art). So, my “complaints”: he left so much out! So many lives that were all glossed over, then the events of the ending (which I don’t want to spoil) that were glossed over so quickly. We never see Jupiter and there is still so much to learn about it. Which I guess means that it’s a good thing that this is marked with a “#1″, right? I mean, it’s not like they could have had a 500 page debut comic to tell all the backstory. Well, I’d read it, but I’m a weirdo when it comes to this stuff. So, a solid first issue that left me wanting much more story than I got. Sounds like a pretty solid recommendation to me. $5

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Vaivare, Anna – Mini Kus #24: Swimming Pool

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Mini Kus #24: Swimming Pool

I’ve long had a fascination with the people who work behind the scenes, the ones who almost nobody notices in their day to day lives. Janitors, customer service people, lifeguards, anybody who is only noticed if they mess up while doing their jobs. This comic is all about a woman who lives at a swimming pool by night and keeps everything about it clean by day. Along the way she talks about the various people she encounters on a daily basis, bits of her life that led up to her taking this job, and the dread she feels at the thought of going back to any part of her old life. It all leads up to a big reveal at the end that I’m not going to get into, as that would be cheating. Still, Anna does an excellent job of planting the seeds for the reveal along the way, and things end on a genuinely sweet moment. The art is gorgeous, as it’s all painted and she does a great job of showing the various types of people who use a pool along with the fact that the water is never completely still from all the activity. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable story and you should give it a look. $6

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Eronen, Roope – Mini Kus #25: Magnetism

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Mini Kus #25: Magnetism

People who read science fiction stories expecting the science to make total sense, please stop reading now. People who are able to read a science fiction story and think of it as a allegory for other aspects of life without getting too bogged down in the specifics, read on! This one starts off with an obviously sad young woman at a coffee shop. She is unable to get coffee and has to settle for cold water, and the place is practically deserted. Despite this fact a young man asks if he can sit with her, and she reluctantly agrees. This is when we learn that things have gone horribly wrong on this planet and that she’s willing to try almost anything to get away from it. This young man was actually a businessman with a unique product: a magnet that will take you to a different place in the universe. He calculates some basics about the planet to see if it has the basic elements necessary for a human to survive, teleports one magnet to the location, and has the customer swallow the other magnet to get there. Surviving the trip is not explained, but please refer back to the first sentence of this review if you have any qualms about that. Anyway, this somehow manages to be a cute story about utter desperation, and that final image of ____ (thought I was going to slip there, didn’t you?) ended things on a hilarious note. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed. $6

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Kern, Gail – Memoirs of a Muse #4: Akhenaten

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Memoirs of a Muse #4: Akhenaten

OK, I hate to start one of these off with a complaint, but there are more than a few pages in this one where the copy cuts off words on the edge of the page. Which isn’t the worst thing in the world, granted, but by the fourth issue of a series you should really have that sort of thing figured out. That’s a lesson to everybody making comics, free of charge: get the basics right please! All kinds of people (me included) could pick this up in a comics store, notice something like that and put it right back down. Of course, these are review copies, so I didn’t have to worry about the price. Anyway! In this issue the Muse is still waiting for a Pharaoh to come along with some artistic talent so that she can join her love in the afterlife. The visuals in this one were striking, definitely the best of the series, but I must confess that I’m losing the thread of the story a bit. The Muse is taken from a guy who gets assassinated and bides her time to find the right pharaoh, so we see quite a bit of time passing. Eventually she finds her man, but he starts going blind, which complicates her plans. From there we see a conversation between her and the god who had agreed to help this blind pharaoh, which is all done against a sheer black background, which is also a chance for some of the conversation to seep out the sides of the pages. Things get a bit chaotic from there, and in theory the next issue will be set in Greece. I’m still intrigued to see where this whole thing is going, but it’s hard to escape the sense that it’s meandering a bit. As I can’t find a hint of these books online that may be a moot point, but I’m interested in seeing more if any more are forthcoming.

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Daubure, Ruta & Anete – Mini Kus #23: Domino

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Mini Kus #23: Domino

What happens if the person who was responsible for maintaining the balance in the world took a day off? That’s the premise here, as our hero Rober generally does what he can to keep things even. He can use any object, great or small, to maintain this balance. He’s never seen, but he is crucial, and one day he decides to rest. He eats cookies on a train because, as the text says, “he thinks that is what the usual people do.” He notices something that could be his concern, but he leaves it alone, as it’s his day off. Then somebody stops him as he’s getting off the train to give him his hat… but Rober didn’t own a hat. And with that, the balance is thrown off with the guy who is supposed to be keeping the balance, but Rober is helpless in the face of what comes next. We also get to meet the “bad guys” and hear a bit of their reasoning for why they do what they do. It’s a fascinating story, but I have to at least mention how incredible the artwork is here. Ruta is all about big, expressive colors, and every page of this teems with life. Granted, Ruta and Anete are sisters so them having a clear connection isn’t the oddest thing in the world, but it does make this book what it is. If you do get this (and you should), take a few extra minutes to let the images soak into your head. Trust me, it’s worth it. $6

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Pavlovskis, Oskars – Mini Kus #22: Lucky

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Mini Kus #22: Lucky

We’ve all gotten to see various “interview” shows in recent years (The Office, Parks & Recreation) where we get to know fundamentally decent people. Oh sure, they’re wacky because they’re on tv, but you know, you’re unlikely to find a genuinely terrible person in those types of shows. Well, meet Lucky. This one starts off with Lucky being interviewed by an unseen person. Lucky tells us a bit about his average day and his basic philosophy in life, but we don’t really see it in action until Lucky tears the side mirror off a car. From here he uses one of several phones (or an internet cafe) to sell the mirror online and, as he’s stealing them off cars, there’s always somebody in the area who can use a mirror. Things go downhill for Lucky from there, as we also see him mugging a guy and pretending to get injured after being “hit” by a car, and all the while his interviewer is trying to get Lucky to see what he’s doing to other people and to change his ways. Finally the two of them have a confrontation, and I can say no more without giving away the whole thing. I’ll just say that you’re not going to see it coming, and I feel confident in saying that even if my saying that will instantly put you on your guard, expecting a twist. Even so, you will no see it coming. That ending is more than a little bit haunting, but Oskars earns every bit of it. Check it out if you want to learn how to be a professional asshole, or if perhaps you just want a little more insight into their existence. $6

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Jackson, Rob – Slaves of the Megapode #3

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Slaves of the Megapode #3

Oh Megapode, what exactly are you? That question is answered in this final issue, more or less, and Rob even manages to sneak in an alarming epilogue on the back cover, but I’m getting ahead of myself. In the last issue our heroes were confronted by some Roman soldiers, although that fizzles out without a struggle. They’re arrested and kept under heavy guard, but there are many hidden passages and they manage to escape to get a better look at what’s really happening. From there they uncover where the conspiracy is coming from, which also explains why it’s impossible to do much of anything to stop it. This is also the point where I have to stop talking about the plot or I’ll get into spoilers, and nobody wants that. I’ll say instead that Rob wraps this up in a thoroughly satisfactory fashion; he has more or less mastered the art of the comics trilogy. Unless he’s implying that there’s more to come with that epilogue, in which case never mind. I like to think that he went with that last page to preserve some ambiguity, but I am most definitely not the author, so that’s just a guess. I wonder if Rob has ever considered some sort of personal omnibus? Marvel and DC have been releasing 1000+ pages of certain titles or crossovers, and it’s nice to have everything in one place. Rob certainly has a large enough back catalog that he could put out his own edition. Of course, money would be a big factor, but that’s why Kickstarter exists, right? Anyway, it’s another solid series from the man, and another one that you should check out immediately if you have not already done so.

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Gasiorowska, Renata – Mini Kus #21: Jungle Night

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Mini Kus #21: Jungle Night

Does it make you crazy or depressed if you just want to be alone after a certain amount of time spent with a large group of friends? That’s the question that Renata asks in this comic, and I think she comes up with a pretty compelling answer. This one starts with our hero, Lili, waking up in the hospital. She has just been found after three days of being lost in the forest and spends the comic trying to explain why she “ran away,” and why she doesn’t think of it as running away. There’s a tradition of the youth all going into the forest together to reconnect to their roots. All of these characters are animals that have evolved to walk upright, wear clothes and talk, so the adults think that it’s important to keep this tradition. The kids, as kids do, see it more as an excuse to go into the forest with a large group of friends to drink and have fun. Anyway, all is going well, the kids are having fun, but Lili is feeling more and more disconnected to the group. Finally she has that moment at the party (that I think most people have at least a few times in their lives) where she notices that everybody else has paired up or is talking to each other, but she’s off on her own. Which makes her think that she could just get up and walk away without anybody noticing, so that’s what she does. But does that make her depressed? She clearly doesn’t think of herself that way, and it’s certainly a natural enough instinct. Your opinions may vary, but I know where I stand on this one. $6

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de Wet, Jean – Mini Kus #20: Crater Lake

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Mini Kus #20: Crater Lake

Oh silent comics, you do vex me so. For those of you who are new to the site, I’ve showed my ignorance on the meanings of certain silent comics several times over the 13+ years that I’ve been reviewing comics. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t, and sometimes I think I do but actually don’t. That last option is the most amusing, at least in hindsight. Anyway, this is all stalling so that I can avoid talking about this comic, as I had very little idea of what was happening before I read the back. The comic itself is a series of scenes, told mostly over two page spreads, of several happenings around a town as a meteor shower (?) is happening. Most of these scenes are shown at such a distance that you could plausibly come up with several reasons for why they’re doing what they’re doing and then, to me at least, things ended rather abruptly. The back of the comic helpfully mentions the various things that they’re doing, but I had a hard time going back into the comic and picking out which pages depict which events. It’s still a gorgeous book, but I was more impressed with the ideas going on than I was with the execution of them. Then again, I do have a sporadic and inconsistent dislike of silent comics, so take that into consideration when reading this review. $6

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