Archive for category Reviews

Cardini, William – Coldheat Special #10

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Coldheat Special #10

It’s been too long since I’ve gotten a chance to read a William Cardini fever dream (otherwise known as a “comic”). As always, it’s hard to talk too much about it without giving too much away, but luckily it’s impossible to give away how you’re going to feel looking at those visuals, so in that way it’s impossible to spoil. The gist of this seems to be the story of a man on a quest to kill a minotaur. Or maybe he’s just trying to get through a maze and the minotaur is a guard? Anyway, even that isn’t clear on the first page (clearly getting ahead of myself), as the first thing we see is an enigmatic creature with three eyes shifting into a large spider. From there we join our hero as he tries to track down the minotaur, until he eventually finds the already deceased creature. Which would be the end of things in a normal comic, but in this case our hero sees something wriggling around in the belly of the minotaur, and that’s when things really get rolling. This is jsut a touch less abstract than some of William’s other comics, but don’t worry, the last three pages will satisfy any cravings you have in that regard. And for the people who genuinely wonder about such things, I saw no indication that there were 9 previous issues of this series, but it’s still listed as a #10. Check it out, see what that spider thing is all about! $5

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Spina, Sam – Tarn #1: Mr. Futtts

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Tarn #1: Mr. Futtts

OK, new policy: I’ll be reviewing the remaining four issues of this series every Thursday until it’s done. Hell, I may convince myself to review them all today before I finish writing this review. Can Sam Spina do no wrong? It certainly seems that way. This is the story of Mr. Futtts. What’s his deal? He eats butts. So simple, yet so beautiful. Things start off a little rough, as Mr. Futtts is trying to psyche himself up to some unknown task. We soon learn that he’s a substitute teacher for the day, and his only duty is to get the kids to read. We also quickly learn that he has a criminal record for previously eating butts, so this job looks like a last chance for him. He takes over the class, panicked, trying to reason with himself, but things quickly fall apart from there. And then he sees an old lady, butt in the air, tending to her garden… and that’s where I have to stop talking about the story, as this is a wee little comic, after all. What does Tarn mean? Why do the other issues seem to have brand new characters in them? How does all of this come together into a series, or does it? These are all questions to be answered later, starting next week. In the meantime, if this was the only comic of this series, or indeed the only comic that Sam had ever made (luckily for us that is not the case), I’d still tell you to read it an enjoy. So do it! $5 (for the whole set of five books)

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Moore, Alan & Parkhouse, Steve – The Bojeffries Saga

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The Bojeffries Saga

There’s no way I’m going to be able to talk about this one without giving out a little bit of personal history, so bear with me. Back in my youth, I had terrible taste in comics, sticking mostly with garbage Marvel superheroes. So did most of you, if you’re being honest about it. Or maybe not, as it’s never been easier to find quality comics than it is now. Anyway, eventually I started to grow out of it and look for other, better comics to take their place (giving up on comics altogether wasn’t really a consideration). I knew that THE books to get were The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, so I got them both and loved them. This led me to look for more from both authors, so I was able to get a few random old issues of Daredevil by Frank Miller and The Bojeffries Saga by Alan Moore. In hindsight this was damned odd, as he certainly had more popular and better known books out there, but I lived in a very small town and took what I could get. I’m not going to be able to get through this review without a fair amount of hyperbole, but it’s safe to say that that book influenced my sense of humor in a big way. I didn’t get the accents (Moore writes his characters in this book with heavy, thick accents that you practically have to sound out to understand), and I didn’t get a number of the references. But I could tell that it was funny, and the more universal bits made me laugh right away, so I researched the bits that I didn’t understand, which made those a whole lot funnier, until finally there was a solid decade there when I would have called it my favorite comic, even above the books that led me to it. That was longer than I intended, but you get the idea: an objective review of this comic is impossible, so what you’re getting is a subjective review, impressions that I have now after reading this again for the first time in a decade (ish) after reading it maybe a dozen times in the past. My first impression was amazement at how short the stories seem now. It seemed like every page (and damned near every panel) was crucially important at the time. But then the funny started to come at me, and large chunks of this haven’t aged a day. The opening story with the rentman was a fantastic introduction to the cast of characters, and him constantly coming up with titles to the story of his life in his head while doing his job had me laughing out loud constantly. Raoul’s Night Out, the batfishing story (and that closing line to it!), every single thing said by Ginda, the slapstick comedy of Festus dying over and over again, there’s just so much here that hasn’t aged a day. Outside of a reference or two, that is, but that’s inescapable. Finally there’s a new 24 page story to bring everybody up to date on the family, and just in case this is your first introduction to them, I won’t spoil a single bit of it. Sometimes new stories in old collections feel tacked on, but that is not the case here, as it just makes the whole thing more complete. I recommend a lot of comics, but even 20 years after seeing this for the first time, there isn’t a single comic out there that I would recommend more highly than this one. Buy it, read it, make your life better instantly. $15

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Jep – The True Adventures of Jep Comix #4

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The True Adventures of Jep Comix

Huzzah for mini comics full of random stories! That may seem an odd thing to huzzah about, but I am easily overjoyed. Apparently the name of the author is also Jep, or maybe jep, or maybe JEP, or maybe Mister Jep. Initials? Secret code? His website doesn’t clarify it, but it’s also not like it’s a big deal. Anyway, there are a wide range of stories in this one, and I’ll save the best one for last. Runners-up in this unofficial contest of “best story in comic” deal with the simple joys of playing Altered Beast with a friend at a Dairy Queen (and recalling a question about religion in class that I’ve still never heard a good answer to), being paranoid while walking in a park, filling your basement up with water for better baths (and the humorlessness of Catholics), drawing an odd line at sharing a glass with your significant other, a stranger in a bathroom going by sound to tell you that you have a fake bladder, and learning guitar. And finally, there’s Roger. The story, and also the person, I guess. Jep had a gay couple living next door to him, and he knew them both casually. By “knew” I mean “knew their first names and said hello to on the street.” As far as he was concerned, that was more or less the end of it. Then Jep got married (to his girlfriend) and ran into Roger in a grocery store. Everyone else had been congratulating Jep once he shared the news, but the reaction from Roger was odd. He confessed to having a crush on Jep and asked Jep what he (Roger) was supposed to do now. The two pages that show the thought processes that went through Jep’s head here are priceless, and I’ll say no more about the story so you can discover it all for yourself. I will only add that sometimes there are no good answers, and guilt doesn’t help anybody. Anyway, check it out for yourself, you’ll love it. No idea on the price, as he doesn’t have one listed on the comic or his website (where you can find all kinds of stories for free), but I’ll guess $4.

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Thomas, Grant – Dodo Comics #4

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Dodo Comics #4

I don’t know how people with kids have any time to make comics (I have no kids and barely have the time to review comics), but Grant seems to be making it work. Granted, he says he makes comics “before daybreak, on weekends and while his children nap,” but he’s managed to maintain a pretty high level with his work. He also included another comic that I’ll be getting to soon, which makes him more prolific than lots of comics creators who don’t have kids. Now that I have shamed those people for the lazy folks (who don’t know how good they have it) that they are, how about the contents of the book? Three stories in this one. The first is the story of how the raven and the loon got their colors, and kudos to him for picking two birds with black and white tones for a black and white comic book. Next is his attempt to find the meaningful thing between things, and his conclusion strikes me as more than a bit autobiographical, but maybe I’m reading too much into it. Finally there’s the story of a man who kept a stone in his mouth for three years to teach himself silence, and a quick history of some of the interactions he had during that time. The art for each story is unique and distinctive for the story being told (and I didn’t even notice the family of birds growing for that third story until just now), and it’s just a thoroughly engaging comic from top to bottom. His letter lists it as $4 while the cover lists it as $3, so just stick with the higher price and know that if you’re wrong, at least you gave an extra dollar to a small press artist.

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Jackson, Rob – Slaves of the Megapode #2

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Slaves of the Megapode #2

“It’s all fun and games until someone is crucified.” You know, sometimes I think I should start these reviews with a quote from the comic, or at least I should when a comic has as many quotable lines as this one. The second issue starts off a little bit after the events of the last one, with our two heroes waking up, unable to be sure about which parts of what they just saw was a dream and what was real. After a conversation about the night in question they eventually find a good place to get a little bit of sleep, where they once again see the Megapode in their dreams. One of them is woken up by a woman who claims to have inside knowledge of it, but she’ll only tell him what is really going on when his cravings get too great to control. He’s already tasted the fruit of this thing, so in theory it’s only a matter of time until the succumbs to it. The rest of the issue has an armed confrontation on the road, the two heroes infiltrating the Megapode cult (and getting exposed to some gas), trying to convince his Roman army that they really should investigate further despite them possibly imagining it all because of the gas, and an ending that I did not see coming at all. Should set things up nicely for the final issue, which I’ll most likely be reviewing next week if all goes according to plan on my end. Which rarely happens, but I live in hope. Either way, this series is another winner from Rob, and when you buy this be on the lookout for the winged penis statue. Yes, it’s in there.

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Mitchell, Brian John & White, Andrew – R.E.H. #7

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R.E.H. #7

Out of all the various series that Brian writes, this is the one that makes the least sense to me. Granted, that is mostly my fault, as I have #5 and #7 of the series and that’s just guaranteeing that I won’t know what’s going on, but I feel compelled to point that out before I get started. As a stand-alone issue this is fascinating, and it has a good message for people in general. It’s all about the meaning of names, where names come from and how you should try to live up to your name if you know what it means. There’s also a bit about how he’s not sure if he could ever picture himself getting married, but he could see himself with a son. See, here’s where I get confused: I’m not sure if this is Brian narrating a tale, or Brian speaking in the hypothetical voice or Robert E. Howard. Oh yeah, I should have also pointed that out up front: “R.E.H.” stands for Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan and a long time pulp writer. Anyway, the content of the comic is still well worth checking out (Andrew White does his part to make things feel a bit hazy and indistinct, which makes me think that this is all meant to be a fictional memoir by Howard), and it did compel me to check and see what my name means. Apparently mine means gentle, handsome and beautiful. That is absurdly complimentary, but I’ll take it. $1

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Vayda, Jamie (and various writers) – Loud Comix #3

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Loud Comix #3

This comic is reminding me more and more of Real Stuff, a Fantagraphics series written by Dennis Eichorn in the early 90′s and featuring art from damned near anybody who was anybody in the independent comics scene. Kids, ask your parents, but if you can find that series, do it. The big difference is that Dennis wrote everything while getting Julie Doucet, Jim Woodring, Peter Bagge and everybody else to illustrate it, while Loud Comix is all drawn by Jamie Vayda but written by various writers, but with a loose theme: they were all in bands of some kind, and they all have a damned interesting/messed up story to tell. This one starts off with “The Time I Shit My Pants at a Motorhead Show” by Alan King. Granted, that title tells you a lot of what you need to know, but the story itself digs into how it happened, what happened after, and how it played into Alan’s plan to finally ask a lady Motorhead fan (who went to all the shows like him) on a date. “Cocaine Fueled” by Eric Perfect is a delightful reminder of the dangers of paranoia combined with a loaded weapon, especially an unfamiliar weapon where you’re not completely clear on the pressure needed to pull the trigger. “Satan’s Fantastic Knockers” by Joel Rivers is all about a desperate search for proof of Satanism when the Joel made the whole thing up to get a chance to see said knockers, but I’m not ruining that one for you and it all makes sense if you read it. Other stories include a couple of short pieces called “Roxy & Molly” (dealing with hookers chatting about their pimp and black history month) and a short snippet of a story that’s going to be continued in the next issue. In this one there was only time to see what looks like quite a provocation of biker gang, so it’ll by fun to see how all that shakes out. These comics have been pretty damned entertaining so far and Jamie seems to be keeping to a fairly regular schedule. Those regular schedules are generally easier to keep if people buy his comics, so you should do that and enjoy them. Unless profanity scares you, in which case I don’t know why you’re on this website or reading small press comics, but I’m not the boss of you. $6

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Brown, Bryan G. & Grigoropol, Dre – Blueberry Boy of Asbury Park

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Website for Dre

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Blueberry Boy of Asbury Park

And here I thought that I had heard all of the comics convention stories that were weird/entertaining enough to be worth mentioning. Wrong! So completely, terribly wrong. Before I get into this, just take a moment to look at the title to this comic. Combine that with the fact that this happened at a convention, and take a wild guess in your head regarding what that title is referring to. Got it? Well, you’re wrong. Or you’re the person who requested this sketch, as I can’t imagine there being two of you out there. Anyway, this is the story of Bryan and Dre (not sure who wrote or drew which bits) attending a convention in a bowling alley. After a rough start things were going pretty well, and at the end of the day a gentleman walked up to the two artists (who, it must be mentioned that they were advertising that they were willing to draw things for attendees) and asked them for an image of the girl from the Willy Wonka movie who blew up like a blueberry. Except he wanted a version of her as an adult. And dressed in a bikini. And… well, it just gets weirder from there. The reactions from the two artists were both priceless, as they each tackled this problem in their own way. Kudos to the both of them, I think, or shame on them for giving this guy the one last thing he needed to start his killing spree. Hard to say for sure. Either way, this is well worth checking out, just in case you were wondering what exactly was the limit for what you’re able to request from the artists at cons. It turns out (if the artist is game) that there really isn’t one! $5

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McGovern, Bernie – DemonDust #16

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DemonDust #16

It’s time for a peek behind the curtain here at Optical Sloth headquarters! Bernie sometimes sends his tiny comics to me in regular old, smallish envelopes. Sometimes, or at least one time, said envelope slides down a crack into a strange nether realm, only to reappear after I have moved into a new apartment at least a year later. Just in case anybody out there keeps up with all of this in real time and wonders why #16 is getting reviewed after #17-19. Anyway, the impetus behind this particular volume was Bernie asking the internet the following question: “how do I deal with an existential crisis?” He scatters a few answers here and there, but I’m not going to give away the answer, as Bernie does uncover the basic secret of our existence, but you know how I hate spoilers. As always, the text epilogue in the back is invaluable, and you should really be reading these, even if you have to go back in time to March 2013 (when this came out) to do so. $1

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Allen, Jon – Ohio Is For Sale #2

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Ohio Is For Sale #2

Now I’m starting to possibly see why Jon didn’t bother with numbering either of these issues: it doesn’t matter which order you read them in. OK, sure, you’re introduced to the characters in the first issue, but it’s not like you learn the stories of their lives or anything. And this issue would have been just as entertaining (and make no mistake, it was damned near perfectly entertaining) if I had no idea of the identity of any of these characters. But hey, I’ll list the issue numbers anyway, just because. The face on that cover, in case you were wondering, is the face of the devil. This issue starts off with two of the friends using a baseball bat to hit rocks into the windows of an abandoned building. They’re having a great time with it when one of them misses the rock and instead clobbers Leonard (who I believe is the only character named), killing him instantly. It could have gotten grim from there, but I laughed more than a few times reading through the rest of the book. Leonard goes to hell and gets a tour of the place before finally meeting the devil, who is overjoyed to finally meet somebody who he thinks is cool (he also loves smashing windows for no reason), but their differences start to become apparent pretty quickly. Meanwhile, Leonard’s killer calls his other friend and they hatch a plan to avoid getting in trouble for killing Leonard, while one of them is a lot more broken up about the whole thing than the other guy. Jon’s depiction of hell is brilliant (are the demons really blacked-out versions of the shopkeeper and his wife from the last issue?), and somehow he even managed to give the devil’s room a bit of a homey feel. It’s damned brilliant is what it is, and you should read it. If you only have enough money for one issue of this series, get this one. I thoroughly enjoyed the first issue too, but this one is the champion. $6

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Jackson, Rob – Slaves of the Megapode #1

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Slaves of the Megapode #1

Are you ready for a mystery involving the Romans set way back when they were a thing? Well, THE thing, really, as their empire lasted for centuries, but in theory you already know that. Anyway! A caravan of Romans arrives to investigate some killings and disappearances. The local authorities are baffled, but a slob of a trained slave (with impeccable training and credentials) comes along to try and help them solve the mystery. As a local official says of the suspects, “I tried crucifying them, I tried not crucifying them. I’m at my wit’s end.” An examination of the body turns up traces of poison, and the chef of the poisoned man kills himself while leaving a note confessing to the crime, but it all feels just a little too convenient. So the investigation continues, a strange substance is discovered, and all that’s left to do is to try it out on a suspect. Best not to say much more about the story for now, but Rob has turned into a master of endings, and this one is no exception. Those last two pages are something else, and they have me all kinds of intrigued to see just what this Megapode is supposed to be. He was also nice enough to send me the entire series, so I’ll be reviewing the next two issues over the next couple of weeks. That breaks with my usual policy of spacing out reviews from the same author, but I’m curious to see where this is going and you’re not the boss of me, so I’ll do what I want! Not that anybody ever actually complained about it or anything…

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Mitchell, Brian John – Lost Kisses #26

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Lost Kisses #26

How great/awful would it be to have the ability to travel back into points of your own past? Most people seem to think that they could fix things, but chances are that you would just make things worse. This issue starts with a summary indicating that the hero of the comic is going back to “change the past & save the future”, and this issue starts with him returning to his 14 year old self, while he is tripping on LSD. As he knows his future, he’s able to see that this is a low point for him in a lot of ways (for example, a suicide attempt leads to his not drinking lemonade for a decade because that’s what he used to wash down some rat poison), but he also thinks about his son and her mother, which makes things a bit narratively confusing. After all, he’s his 14 year old self at this point, but he’s also thinking about how he never expected to see his son or the mother again, and how he was wrong about one of them. Anyway, he realizes her importance a bit more as the book goes on, and by the end he has a clearly defined mission for what he is going to do with this ability to travel through his own timeline. I guess future issues will determine whether or not he was correct. Oh, and just because I can’t praise this enough whenever it happens, kudos to Brian for putting a synopsis on the inside front cover. If all comics did that then the world would be a better place. Yes, the whole world! $1

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King, Alan & Vayda, Jamie – The Rats Were Bad That Year

Website for Jamie Vayda

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The Rats Were Bad That Year

Are you terrified of rats? Would you like to be terrified of rats? Then I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Granted, the circumstances of this rat infestation are not likely to match your current living situation, but if they do, good luck ever sleeping again. Anyway, this is the story of a brief period of Alan’s life when he was a kid. His father was working on buying a house, but some problem with the finances was tying things up, so his only choice was to rent a house next to his grandmother. Reports are varied on who lived there before him, but their time living there was a lovely learning experience for Alan about rats. It’s hard to say if the reality of the rats (their tearing through cereal boxes and anything in the cabinets, leaving turds all over the place) was more terrifying than the idea of them (eating children that slept in cribs), but let’s just agree that they’re both pretty awful. Things eventually build to a killing spree, as you probably figured, and no details are spared of the carnage. I should point out that there are no word balloons, as the text is a story from Alan and the art is illustrations from Jamie, which only serves to create the tiniest bit of distance between the two needed to make the whole thing genuinely terrifying. Oh, and the capper (pun very much intended) is also guaranteed to make you think. And, quite possibly, feel a little bit bad for the rats. And all this for a measly $2!

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Kern, Gail – Memoirs of a Muse Volume II: The Ancient World

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Memoirs of a Muse Volume II: The Ancient World

The journey of the muse continues in this issue, and we all get to learn a little bit more about ancient history as it goes. The muse is still looking for Enoch, so it takes up residence in a mask made by an artist and stays there for many years until it is forced into the body of a general from Babylon. Her artistic message was garbled at this point, but the muse came up with a way to get away from this existence, and that’s where we spend the bulk of the second half of the comic. If I had one complaint about this series so far it’s that I wish that Gail would put at least ballpark figures for the years involved in these books. I know a general sense of them, but that covers a wide range of years and would love to narrow it down a bit. I loved the idea of the carrier of the muse being able to pervert the purpose of the muse itself, and think that could be carried over to cover all sorts of people. Hitler is always the ballpark analogy for worst human ever, but it could be argued that the paintings Hitler created had to come from some sort of muse. A twisted, monstrous muse, but he had to have some sort of inspiration to paint at all. Unless I’m mixing Hitler up with some other historical dirtbag who painted, in which case never mind. The next issue is all about Egypt, and I’m very intrigued to see that journey. If you have any curiosity at all about the creative process, ancient history or both, you should really be checking this series out.

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Allen, Jon – Ohio Is For Sale #1

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Ohio Is For Sale #1

Petty criticism alert: when you send me more than one issue of your comic, and when it’s the same title, maybe put an issue number somewhere in at least one of those comics? I get why you maybe don’t number the first issue, like if you’re not sure you’re going to keep going with the series, but there’s no reason not to put a “#2″ somewhere in/on the second one. And that right there is my only complaint with this as a comic, because as far as the story was concerned I absolutely loved it. This is all about a dog-like creature who is writing the Great American Novel. It keeps getting longer and longer but doesn’t seem to be heading towards any kind of conclusion, which leads to a bit of a freakout pretty early on. Then two friends come visit our hero (pretty sure nobody was given a name of any kind; they were easy enough to keep track of in the comic but this might get a little confusing in the review) and they head out to the local 7/11. And that’s where we meet the character depicted on the cover, as he’s working at the 7/11 and very clearly on all of the drugs/crazy or both. From here an unfortunate accident takes the vehicle of the friend of our hero out of the picture, which leads to our friend having to get a job, and what a job it is. This may be my personal favorite representation of the ultimate pointless data entry job, but I’ll leave it to you to discover exactly what I mean by that. All kinds of little touches in here that add up to a thoroughly entertaining first issue. There’s the crew noticing a creature wearing only socks at the 7/11 (odd because these are all anthropomorphic creatures not wearing clothes and I had no idea where he was going with it), the co-worker who I was pretty convinced was somehow a sock puppet for the first few panels, and the picture of his wife that got the rare “laugh out loud” (see, I have time to type out all three words) out of me. It’s an engaging and intriguing first issue and yes, the cover for the second issue is somehow as great as the cover for this one. $8

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English, Austin & McManus, Jesse – Spider Monkey #1

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Website for Austin English

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Spider Monkey #1

Why hasn’t the world put Austin English (writer) and Jesse McManus (artist) together before now? Stuff like that always seems so easy in retrospect. I should also point out that this is the first issue of a series, that it came out in 2011 and that it is now the middle of 2014 without another issue in sight. And yes, there is a continuing story, so that’s annoying, but it’s easy enough to take this as a self-contained story. This one starts off with a young boy who is able to talk to animals. The method that he uses to talk to animals is a little hard to explain, so I’m not going to bother, but I’ll just say that it’s a unique solution to the problem. Granted, I didn’t understand why his sister heard him talking to his mouse friend and only heard a series of “meows”, but maybe that’s just how all people/animal conversation sound. His sister has a unique way of connecting with the house whenever she gets home, which should also be seen to be believed, and I realize I’m dangerously close to not fulfilling any sort of useful function as a reviewer here. How about if I point out that Jesse is the perfect artist to show both things: the infestation of black lines from the animal conversations and the way reality seems to bend around Spider’s sister after she completes her route. Anyway, these two live in a strange town of some kind where they can also go see a man who custom makes masks and tells stories in them and of them. It also appears that people can get their heads split open and fix up the wound with tape, which sounds like a cartoon, although in cartoons you can’t see their brains. Mix all this together, throw in a school, some history about a performer who worked in squiggly lines and a performance from the mask maker and you have yourself a comic. It’s all a bit more linear than I made it sound, and I do hope that this isn’t yet another series that never makes it past the first issue (as I do have questions that they seemed to be on their way to answering with future stories), but either way this is well worth your time to seek out. And for $5 for this much comic there’s really no reason not to!

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Various Artists – Blackguard #5: Science

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Blackguard #5: Science

Before I get started, a note for anybody reading this from an alternate universe: this volume was supposed to include a story from ____, but because this took Stratu (the editor) so long to put together, he completely forgot to include it. And no, I am not going to list the name of the creator whose story didn’t get published, as I don’t want to be the one to break it to him or her. Anyway, the point is that shit happens, and I’m sure this story will see the light of day one way or another. As is implied by the title, this issue is all about science, filled with stories by artists who (by their own admission) may or may not know much of anything about science. Still, that doesn’t stop a good chunk of the stories from being fascinating in various ways. As always, your favorites will vary, but the highlights to me were the haunting horror of that cover (I don’t often mention the covers, but that is just amazing), successfully introducing a drug that added growth to the penis by Michael Amaral, Chris Mikul’s tale of his early interest in science and his attempts at experiments, Shaun Craike’s piece on various science fiction series that may or may not ever mention actual science (and he should probably prepare for angry mail from Star Wars fans, even though he’s dead right on the issue), Neale Blanden’s story of early experiments on a baby who was unlucky enough to have a mother who worked in the lab, Ryan Vella’s bleakly realistic take on what would actually happen to four explorers who landed on a strange alien world teeming with life, Bize and his explanation for how gas tanks work, Giles Kilham and Brett Weekes and their conversation with a young lady who thinks that she doesn’t like science, and somebody called Julie (hard to get much more anonymous than that) with her story of cutting up sheep eyeballs for a science class as a kid and the absolutely horrific mistake that she made. No, I won’t ruin the surprise. There are also two text pieces and a solid 8 pages of comics reviews. I learned about a few comics that I should probably check out, which is always helpful, but I have to confess that I skipped the text pieces. There, I said it. They always drag me down when I’m in the middle of a comic book, and this time instead of slogging through it I just passed them right by. Seems vaguely wrong to review a comic while ignoring content like that, but I did it and you can’t stop me. Maybe you would love them! Hell, maybe I would love them if I just gave them a shot. Anyway, there’s quite a bit here to enjoy, and quite a bargain for $5. Check it out why don’t you! $5

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Kern, Gail – A Memoir of Art Volume 1: Prehistory

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A Memoir of Art Volume 1: Prehistory

All these years of writing reviews (13 years, give or take) and I’m still not entirely sure how to handle reviews on comics that are a few years old. In this case Gail sent along the first four issues of this series, but this first issue was released in 2010, so chances are excellent that she already corrected the suggestions that I would normally make. Still, maybe not, and maybe the advice I give will help somebody else out, so I’ll go ahead with it. This is the story of the first muse in history, which is also presented as the only muse at this point in the story. It inspires Enoch and gives him the ability to convince his people to confront the Auroch and motivates Moombi (the ancestral mother of Kenya, according to legend) to fatten herself up so that she can have as many children as possible. It’s a fascinating story of the start of human creativity and I’m curious how she handles the concept for the next three issues. My complaint is more on the technical side of things, but typos in a story from the biggest artistic motivator in the world really should not happen. They shouldn’t happen in any story (everybody knows at least a few people who know how to spell, and even if you don’t it’s not difficult to find the correct spelling for words), but they really shouldn’t happen when you need to convey a solid authoritative narrative voice. But hey, chances are that this was caught and fixed for the next issues. Either that or I just trapped Gail into something that she is now completely unable to correct, in which case I’ll try to go easy on it in the next few issues. Still, this is a solid story about the birth of creativity, and there were only a few typos, so lighten up already, me. Check it out, learn about how inspiration started!

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Mitchell, Brian John & ED – Pow Wow #3

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Pow Wow #3

Huzzah! I’m sure I had nothing to do with this, but it looks like Brian is now putting synopses of the previous issues at the start of his serialized comics, and wow was that necessary for this one. It’s not always necessary (like for me previous review of Come Home Safe #2), but in a case like this this was really useful information. Granted, it still didn’t make a ton of sense, but it was good to know that the lead character had transferred all of the diseases of his grandmother into the earth. I’m not clear on whether or not that was a good thing, but at least I know that it happened. In this issue a golem comes to take his grandmother away, and our hero spends most of his time trying to get this monster to even notice him. We do get a bit of a sense of the powers of this guy once he finally gets to interact with this beast, but I’m still not clear on a few of the basics, so I’ll hold off on commenting on certain things until I’ve cleared that up. If you’re one of those people who buys your comics based on page count, this one was also at least twice as long as the last one I reviewed, so that sort of thing can clearly vary wildly. Of course, these are all so cheap that you’d have to have an odd phobia of some kind to base your purchases on page count, but who am I to judge your weirdness.

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