Archive for category Reviews

Madden, Matt – Drawn Onward

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Drawn Onward

Who likes some experimentation in their comics? Is it you? Do you prefer to have
some boundaries pushed, to see an attempt at something completely different? It’s
impossible to talk about this comic without at least giving away the concept, so if
that’s your thing, and if you have trust in Matt’s abilities since he’s been making
comics for 20 (ish) years now, then I’m going to go ahead and recommend this
unreservedly right now. It’s unlike any comic I’ve ever read, and that is saying
something. That right there is your last chance to just pick this book up without
knowing anything about it, although I suppose it’s likely that the description of
the comic on their website might give something away. If you can manage to read this
completely unspoiled, do so. Anyway, now I’m going to talk about the story, in case
you need more convincing and don’t mind at least little spoilers. This is described
as a “palindromic comic,” which eagle-eyed observers might have already figured out
from that title. Things start off with a young woman and a chance encounter on a
subway with a young man. This man seems overly familiar with the woman, but too
desperate for her to do anything but run away from him. She keeps meeting him on the
subway, and gradually she starts to become less and less afraid of him, until
finally she realizes that she’s looking forward to seeing him again. Things finally
break just right, they kiss… and everything changes. And nothing changes. It’s up
to you to decide which of those things is true, or if they’re both true. This is a
genuinely remarkable book, and one of those rare occasions where I went back and
read through it again right after I finished it. Matt is a member of a group called
Workshop for Potential Comics, and I’m going to look into that after I finish this
to see what else they have to offer. For now, read this comic, especially if you
need a reminder that the only constraints that are on this art form are what the
individual creator brings with them. $5

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Payne, Jason – Grampa

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Grampa

Anybody who has been reading this website for more than a few days know that I abhor
spoilers, as all decent people should. But this time I’ll around I’m going to make
it clear that I’m going to be spoiling the ending for this book, mostly because I
just don’t get it. And if I do get it, I don’t care for it. This always leaves the
option that it’s over my head, which is always a possibility, but I wanted you to be
warned. So! This comic is all about a trip with two kids to see their Grampa. They
don’t care for the man, as he stinks, is mean and is kind of racist, but of course
their concerns are shouted down by their parents. Well, mostly the mother and a
nearly invisible father. Anyway, from that setup I was expecting them to either be
proven right or wrong once they reached their Grampa, but we skip over all that
stuff entirely. Instead the first look we get at Grampa involves him telling the
kids not to go into a house near his because it’s haunted. As a warning like this to
children is pretty much an incentive to go into said house, they wander away from
him and into the haunted house. He secretly follows them, notices their reaction (or
lack thereof) and bursts through the window to… really scare them? This is where
it lost me. They’re both all in white, so maybe Grampa cut an artery going into the
window and is now scaring them as a ghost? No, the kids are all white too. So why
would their Grampa busting through a window do anything to convince them that the
house is haunted? Agh, I don’t care for doing nothing but crapping on a comic, so I
should point out that I did enjoy the full color aspect of it and thought it mostly
looked terrific. That joke on the final page about how to be a grampa got a chuckle
out of me. And maybe this book is for little kids and I’m over-thinking it, but
narratively I don’t understand why the problems that the kids have with their Grampa
would be set up so meticulously only to never come to anything. It’s almost like
this comic started as the first half, got set aside for a few years and then started
again, by which Jason forgot or ignored the stuff he was setting up in the first
half. He sent along another book that’s an anthology of stories, and I’m looking
forward to it, but despite the bits that I liked I can’t really recommend this one.
$5.99

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Bavarsky, Niv – Piggy

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Piggy

You know what we don’t see enough of when it comes to pigs? Pig rampages. Sure,
boars get mad and charge at people occasionally, but your average pig rampage is
rarely seen. That is corrected with this issue, as the main story is all about a
man, his post-coital attempt to smell some flowers, and the fierce reaction a pig
has to this fact. All in all the man stays fairly calm about it, which is not how I
would have handled something as shocking as being attacked by a pig. There are then
a series of single page images (at least a couple of which strongly imply that
things didn’t end well for that pig), a collection of ways that people say that they
would like to die, and a final story about a frantic attempt to plug up an active
volcano using a big boulder. Come to think of it, that’s probably how I’d like to
go: jumping into an active volcano. But only if I already knew that I had cancer or
something like that, and preferably holding onto the last remaining copy of Action
Comics #1. Yep, got it all planned out. Anyway, digression aside, I thoroughly
enjoyed the stories in here along with the single page images/stories, but I’ll
leave the details of those a mystery so you have something new to discover when you
buy this comic. $4

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Vahamaki, Amanda – It’s Tuesday

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It’s Tuesday

Sometimes a title really nails the tone of a book, even when it’s a seemingly
nonsense title like “It’s Tuesday.” And, well, that’s what happens here. This is the
story of a typical Tuesday in (according to the back of the comic) “a small town
somewhere in southern Finland.” Once you get past that eye-catching explosion of
color on the front cover, things start off slowly and more or less stay that way,
much like it would in a typical small town on a random day. There’s a cat watching
some people gather apples from the ground, the apples being put out by the side of
the road for anybody who wants them, and we move to a flea market. A gentleman has
just dropped off five garbage bags filled with clothes, and the shopkeeper quickly
realizes that it would make more sense for her to wait until the day when her helper
works to start going through the bags. If all this sounds dull as can be, you’re
probably looking for another book entirely, one with explosions and robots, or
exploding robots. There’s nothing wrong with that, in moderation, but this one is
for the more contemplative moods. Anyway, there’s no sense in me going through this
beat by beat, but other bits I thoroughly enjoyed include the appraisal of a
painting by a moody teenager (and the scene later when this teenager reads over some
of her old diary entries and cringes in embarrassment), a babysitter trying to find
a polite way out of buying some clothes that she doesn’t want, and the creep who
tends to wander through the woods naked and is still on the loose. Translations are
always tricky in books like this, but I really appreciated the fact that Amanda went
through and put the English in for certain signs and locations around town, as it
really helped flesh this tiny world out. I thoroughly enjoyed this, in other words,
and bonus points to whoever did the coloring for this book, as it was stellar
throughout.

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McMurray, Ian – Alone in Kyoto

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Alone in Kyoto

What ever happened to all the small press travel comics? They pop up from time to
time now, but they seemed to be all over the place in the late ’90s. Or maybe that’s
just my confirmation bias speaking, as a lot of the artists I liked were doing them,
so obviously that meant that they were more common. Anyway! This is all about Ian’s
trip to Japan in 2003. He makes it very clear in the epilogue that this is a
non-fiction book, but only to the extent that his memory would allow. Meaning that
of course he was going to forget some of the finer points in the 10 years since his
trip, and he was going to misremember some locations, but the heart of it all and
its effect on him remained true. This basically covers three days of him wandering
around Kyoto and then returning to Canada at the end. He very much let events happen
to him on this trip, as he didn’t plan a hotel room or much of anything outside of a
few landmarks/gardens he knew he wanted to check out. He was a single guy at this
point, which left him plenty of time to quietly observe what was going on around
him, and maybe a little too much pure free time. As an aside, I will never
understand why somebody would travel all the way to Japan and then eat at KFC even
once, but as I’ve never been to Japan, maybe you reach a point when any reminder of
home is essential. This whole comic is contemplative by nature, and it’s a hefty 50+
pages. Highlights for me included his not being all that impressed with some of the
big temples that “everybody” recommended, his observations of a creepy guy who hit
on almost every woman he saw (with the custom in Japan apparently being to speed up
walking and keep your head down instead of slapping a guy, it sounds like a
creeper’s dream), and his being unable to just experience what was going on around
him when it mattered most instead of reaching for his phone. Overall it was
thoroughly absorbing, and yet another reminder that I don’t do nearly enough
traveling. If you need a virtual trip outside of your comfort zone or just wish you
could see something completely different without leaving your home, I can’t
recommend this highly enough.

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Ekebom, Terhi – Logbook

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Logbook

So hey, death. That’s what this comic is about, basically, unless you have another
interpretation of it, in which case you may be right and I may be wrong. It
certainly wouldn’t be the first time! Anyway, this one starts off with a long
sequence involving large white pods bobbing to the surface in the ocean and the
process involved in collecting them and bringing them back to the lighthouse. They
are all quite large but appear harmless. Once these pods are brought into the house
we see why they were collected: there is a man on the bed, but he is covered in
literal darkness. Once these pods are split open a bright light shines through them,
enabling the family to see the condition of the man on the bed. Perhaps they thought
that these pods would be enough to assist this man, but they soon learn that the
darkness is not getting any smaller, with the rest of the comic involving them
dealing with this fact. It’s surprisingly haunting, probably because it’s impossible
to fight against it for long. Is that too grim for you? Eh, I could see that. Still,
the art is gorgeous, and this is one of those cases where full color really brings a
lot to the book. This is worth a look, assuming that you’ve made peace with your own
mortality. If not, you can also ignore the unspoken implications of the darkness, as
it’s not like Terhi smacks you over the face with the message. It’s there for you to
pick up on, or not.

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Steiner, Steve – Colonel MacTaggart #2

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Colonel MacTaggart #2

Oh Colonel, don’t you know better than to go up against an angry monkey? Colonel
MacTaggart, in case you don’t know (and why would you, as I’m pretty sure this is a
new series), is an an explorer who wanders around with his manservant February.
February is a silent mountain of a man, and the Colonel is a proper English
gentleman, with all the obvious comedic potential that entails. I seem to have
picked up the second issue before the first one, but this one is so completely
self-contained that I doubt there will be any confusion. Unless I skipped the origin
story, and even then I’ll get to it soon enough. Anyway! The story for this one
could not be simpler. The Colonel is out wandering the jungle when a piece of fruit
hits him in the head. After a brief period of confusion as to the source of the
fruit, he finds out that it’s an angry monkey. And the chase is on! The rest of the
comic is all about the hijinx and the joys of purple fruits getting splattered. This
is where the full color really comes into play, because who doesn’t love purple
splatters? It’s a fun little story, unless you have something against monkeys and/or
English people. And even then there’s some mayhem involved that might make up for
it. Check it out! $3

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Zlemesa, Zane – Collector

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Collector

Oh abstract comics, you put me on the spot every time. Sometimes I feel compelled to
try to analyze every little bit of it, sometimes I throw my hands up in despair and
leave it entirely up to the reader, and either way I feel like I failed. Ah well.
Anybody who comes here for detailed, intellectual analysis went to the wrong corner
of the internet and somehow never left, so that’s kind of on them. This is the story
of, well, a collector. The cover gives as to what type of collector this person is,
and the back cover makes it even more explicit, but I like mystery, so I’ll leave it
up in the air. What this comic details is the process of collecting these subjects,
what they see and imagine, and eventually how it all ends up. It’s not as ominous as
it sounds! Unless it is and I lied to you right there. Ah, now you’re intrigued! If
so, good. After all, don’t you want to be able to say that you have a complete set
of the mini kus series of Latvian mini comics? As somebody who has mentioned them
out loud to regular humans, I can attest to the fact that it’s an automatic
conversation stopper. Anyway, it’s an intriguing comic, with a sometimes mesmerizing
and sometimes baffling story. Is that a recommendation? It’s up to you to parse that
language!

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Brubaker, Charles – Smallbug Comics #4

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Smallbug Comics #4

Well, it’s finally happened. I seem to have reached peak cat. For today anyway; chances are I’ll love all cats just as much as always tomorrow. But this comic tested the limits of my tolerance for the adorable nature of cats. As always, your opinions may (and probably will) vary! The bulk of this one is taken up with a mostly silent story involving a witch and her search for a particular cat. This is where words would have come in handy, as I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on here until going back and looking at it again. She can’t find this cat, but she does find a different cat, which was completely unacceptable to her. For reasons that I don’t understand, as in real life almost all cats are equally adorable. Anyway, this cat hitches a ride on her broom and returns to her home (?) with her, where this cat immediately makes a favorable impression on her roommate. It’s possible that I should remember the names for these characters from previous comics in this series, but I do not. Anyway, the cat is taken away for some reason (again, words would have been helpful here), the roommate is very sad, and the rest of the story involves her attempts to make it right. Not a bad story, but not particularly compelling either, and as I’ve already driven the “it could have used a few words here and there” point into the ground, I won’t mention it again. Other short stories in here include a funny piece about a guy who made a living putting cat videos on the internet and his comeuppance, another one of the reliably amusing “ask a cat” entries, and a back cover that I’ll leave a complete mystery just because. As the main story takes up so much of the comic I’d call the whole thing fairly so-so, but I did thoroughly enjoy the short pieces. $2

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Teagle, Jack – The Unmentionables

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The Unmentionables

Do you like wrestling? If so, you’re going to love this comic and could save yourself some time if you just went ahead and bought it now. If not, hey, it’s a free country and all, but this comic is still a pile of fun and you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t at least look into it a bit. Hey, let me help you with that! So this one starts off with two lady wrestlers in the ring. The good guy is Lizard Woman and the bad guy is Vulturella. Eh, let’s just go by “face” (good guy) and “heel” (bad guy), OK? There, now you learned something about wrestling terminology, which sometimes also works very well in real life! Anyway, as these two are fighting the face learns that the heel is fighting for real even though the face has been scripted to win. She’s breaking out of holds, punching much harder than she should be, and ignoring all of the usual cues to play along. After a lengthy battle the face wins the match and heads backstage. At this point there’s just the promoter and one other wrestler around, as it’s the end of the night, and the promoter actually thanks the face for putting on such a good show. While they’re chatting they learn of a crime going on: a crew of heel wrestlers has robbed a bank and, as they are basically superheroes, the cops are unable to put them down. The face, the other wrestler and the promoter all set out to confront them, and it occurs to me that I have told you enough about the plot. From there it’s one big fight scene, ending with a pretty great scene of the “team” picking a name. It’s a fun book from start to finish, has plenty of respect for wrestling while still not being stupid enough to think that it’s for real, and has a distinctive cast of characters that could certainly be explored more fully in future issues. Assuming that there will be future issues? There’s no “#1″ on this that I can see. Still, I live in hope, as this was a blast. $6

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Heikkinen, Jyrki – Little Hilma

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Little Hilma

Oh mini kus, I do love how I never know what to expect with your comics. Granted, they’re done by all sorts of people, so it would make more sense to praise the creators individually, but who has the time for such things? This one is all about a man who only wants to pick up some cigarettes. Along the way his children demand that he read to them, his wife wants chocolate and for him to take out the garbage, and an injured monkey is discovered under the sink with said garbage. Our hero gets a phone call, and that’s where Little Hilma comes into the picture. On a rooftop, dropped off by a biplane, of course. I shall say no more, but that helmet (and the triumph of our hero when he finds it) was fantastic, and that finale is damned near impossible to top. It’s an odd book, if you’re worried about such things, but people need more “odd” in their lives. It was also a good choice to leave the comic without panels, as it helped show off the sprawl and mess of the house (there are small children living there, after all). It’s a good comic and you should read it!

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Luster, Joseph – Slime

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Slime

So, how would you handle it if you woke up a slime monster? Because if that does happen to you and you’re having a crisis, I’d recommend reading this book to get some good ideas. Assuming that you still have hands to grip the book, but it seems like this guy manages OK. Anyway, our hero wakes up with no memory of the night before and sees that he’s a slime monster. He takes all this in stride and decides to go out and face the day regardless. As his day progresses he notices that he’s seeing things a bit differently, noticing things that he never did before, and his body is going through some alarming (and occasionally disgusting) changes. The book is basically this slime guy coming to terms with things, even though he comes to terms with it on the first page. Huh, that doesn’t make any sense. Well, then let’s say that he’s really experiencing other people coming to terms with his new look and using his new “abilities” to impress the ladies. Although, seeing as how we don’t see the reaction from said lady, I do wonder how that trick with the beer went over. This comic is a fun little read with more than a little bit that may gross you out, but hey, toughen up! If you ever do see somebody pushing bits of glass into their slime face in real life, this comic will have you ready for it. $4

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Marshall, Scott – Doing the Dishes With Batman

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Doing the Dishes With Batman

OK, a quick test to see how well we would get along in real life. If you saw a comic on the shelf (or, more likely, the internet) named “Doing the Dishes With Batman,” would you immediately stop what you were doing to read it, or would you move along to other comics with barely a glance? If you picked the first option, we could possibly be friends! If you picked the second option, you are dead to me. So hey, about this comic. It turns out that a good chunk of it is actual instructions on how to do the dishes if you don’t have a dishwasher. It’s practical advice! Damned near unheard of in a comic, but if you have questions about the process, there’s a solid chance that this could help you out. Of course, that leaves out the Batman aspect of the comic, and that’s where it gets interesting. Batman, you see, has never really done the dishes, what with Alfred around all the time. And Batman doing the dishes opens up a whole new world to his mind, and it’s a new world with a pretty great payoff on the final page. So to sum up: this is an informative comic about washing dishes, an often funny comic with Batman in it, and it has a solid ending. I’d say it’s worth a look! Unless you own a dishwasher and hate Batman, in which case it might not do much for you, but who both owns a dishwasher AND hates Batman? It seems unlikely.

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Reed, Desmond – Troubled Teen

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Troubled Teen

This creepy world of Desmond’s is really starting to come together. Granted, I got a bunch of his comics all at once and have no idea what order they were supposed to be read in (if any), but this issue features an appearance by both Scumbag and the Uncles. But enough about them, this is all about our hero, Troubled Teen. This gentleman was discovered in a trash can (“like most folks”) when he was a baby by a group of Uncles. The Teen, in the manner of most characters in this universe, aged to maturity over a span of a few weeks. This would imply that his species tends to reproduce quickly, and this is confirmed when we get a close up look at one of the many zits on his face only to see a tiny Troubled Teen beginning to form. Our hero has his own unique form of population control, which shouldn’t come as a shock to anybody that knows any actual teenage boys. Scumbag is somehow his brother (best not to dig too deep into the logistics of that one), and Troubled Teen delights in tormenting Scumbag whenever possible. The rest of the story deals with a possible origin story (specifically who dumped him in that dumpster), but that’s all we get this time around. Assuming that there are more issues coming, which I have no information about one way or the other. In theory Desmond could build an even more expansive universe out of all this. If the only thing holding that back is an unwillingness to creep his audience out even further, I say bring on the creepiness!

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Yamamoto, Tetsuya – The Rule

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The Rule

OK, this one is going to be exceptionally tricky to talk about without giving away any spoilers, as the last 10 pages or so are fantastic. But hey, that’s out of a 30 page book, so technically that still gives me 2/3 of the book to talk about! That’s right, I’m breaking out some math to stall a little bit. This is all about this one guy who finds “It” on a beach. What this thing actually is is never firmly established, and we never do get a good look at it, but it’s clearly an object of great importance to the world. Or at least to the creatures that he meets. Anyway, this guy takes “It” to the oldest museum in the world and the woman at the desk is able to take a picture and pass along the image to undefined specialists. One of them responds (it’s not one that has ever responded before), and our hero is sent down into a dark and foreboding cave. It’s not clear whether or not he tries to get away to avoid going down, but the door slams shut as soon as he gets inside and it’s a moot point. Down there he runs into…. I don’t know what to call those things. They reminded me of gingerbread men, but less expressive. Basically they just unfolded themselves from the cave wall to talk. They tell our hero some cryptic hints about “It,” but all the while the “Director” of this museum has been running towards our hero, and that confrontation is where the last 10 pages or so of the book come into play. Basically the title of the comic refers to “It” being able to establish any rules for a confrontation with this director, and our hero sets those rules up magnificently. This one is a lot of fun, and clearly I loved that ending, so you should give it a shot. And I just caught something from the image on the back cover that I didn’t notice before, and it all makes even more sense to me now. Check it out, is what I say. $5

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Moreton, Simon – Smoo #8

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Smoo #8

Smoo has either been on a break or I just haven’t been getting the comics, but this is the first new issue I’ve seen in a while. And it is just about as stripped down as a comic could be and still be considered a comic. This is (if I have the gist of it correct) about Simon’s time both with and without a girlfriend, or possibly just a very good friend. Everything is told in a few lines, and you can tell from that cover that the title figure barely qualifies as a stick figure. It still somehow works, as the bare bones of what he went through during that time are more than enough to carry the story. The relationship talk in particular is an explosion of a conversation that quite literally shatters his view of the world, and there are a lot of quiet moments following this before the eventual reconciliation. All of this is told with as few words as possible, but most of us have been in positions like this before and can see what’s going on even in the most simplified terms possible. It’s another solid issue, and it proves that you can identify with characters that barely even look human if the content is universal enough.

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Michel, Doug – Monkey Squad One #13

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Monkey Squad One #13

How about that cover, huh? It looks like a big mess of nothing, and it’s not possible to make out the one tiny thing that might be a landmark. Until you actually open the book, where you see that it’s the tombstone for Doug, and it all makes sense. In case I haven’t mentioned this in reviews for this series before (it all tends to blend together after awhile and it’s not like I go back and read old reviews which, come to think of it, might not be a bad idea every now and then), Doug has really improved in his pacing of these stories. Human Doug, that is, not the U.N.C.L.E. Doug who died in the last issue. This issue is downright somber by MSO standards. It’s been one year since Doug died, and Brendan and Connor are both dealing with their grief (and their being trapped on an all-girl planet) in different ways. Connor has kept up his training, even though he still seems to be getting his butt kicked on a regular basis. And Brendan has been spending his time mastering a game called Unicorn Picnic, which I desperately wish was a real thing, but I seem to be stuck in this reality. It’s a little odd that Brendan doesn’t spend more time with the ladies, but I can’t remember how old he’s supposed to be, so maybe it’s for the best to avoid awkwardness. Anyway, we see a bit more of this world, Connor gets his braces taken off (mostly), Brendan discovers something that might help them get home, and that’s the end of the main story. Spoilers, kind of, in the most technical sense of the term. This is the first part of a six part series, so Doug has time to let things breathe, and he’s done a wonderful job of it with this issue. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he keeps up a fairly regular publication schedule, as this pace might get annoying on a book that only puts out new issues every couple of years. The backup story involves the fake future earth from 2039 and a prolonged gunfight (including robots!), with a pretty great surprise ending that I’m not going to talk about even a little. This book has gradually turned into one of the books that I most enjoy getting, which is something I didn’t entirely expect when I first started reading it, so kudos to Doug. If you’re not reading this, you really should be, and it looks like Doug has most of the issues up for free at his website so you can get caught up.

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Brown, Robert – Killjoy #3

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Killjoy #3

See, this is why all small press comics (that are part of a continuing series) should have notes on at least one of the inside covers. Right away I learned that these stories were taken from a project called Catch A Fairy, which is all stories from “formative years prior to secondary education.” So before high school? That seems to be the case for all of these stories so far. I also learned that these are stories of Robert as a child, as he called upon the memory of the girl involved in this story to fill in a lot of details. It’s called “Valentine,” so you can probably guess where it’s going, and he includes many delightfully awkward moments that brought up a wave of memories. There’s the valentine snuck into his desk, which he shoved back into said desk in a panic, and which the girl who had a crush on him had to basically drag out into the open. There was Robert’s utter cluelessness about the term “going out,” which I could relate to in far too many details, but he managed to figure it out relatively quickly. From there we see all the gory details of a boy in middle school trying to figure out the rules of dating while also being far more interested in hanging out with his boy friends than he was with anything involved with dating. He was remarkably callous and more than a little cruel to Amanda (although he was nice enough to apologize in the forward), which is exactly what most “relationships” are like at that time of life. It’s another really great issue, and I’d say that three in a row makes a pattern. These books are unlike most other “when I was a kid” stories and you should really check them out. I guess if you were the perfect kid you might not find anything to relate to, but if that’s the case then why are you reading reviews of small press comics? $5

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Steiner, Steve – Satan Cat #1

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Satan Cat #1

Aw, look at the cute little cat mini comic! This is a shortie with a very simple premise: a cat thinks that it is Satan. Or maybe the cat is Satan? There’s at least a second issue of this series, so maybe we’ll find out later! Although it’s most likely just a regular cat. Anyway, this issue deals with the cat (named, according to the food bowl, Muffin) trying to order a bug around as his minion. The bug is skeptical but follows along, mostly because the cat is very much larger than the bug. This goes on for a bit, the cat convinces its owner to give it fish bits, which then annoys it because its mouth is too small to eat as many fish bits as quickly as it would like. Things are resolved (no, I won’t spoil even this), and that’s that. Like I said, this is a very short story, but it’s cute and there’s always at least a little bit of ambiguity about whether or not any one cat is actually Satan. Check it out if you like cats or Satan!

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Ristaino, Andy – Night of the Living Vidiots

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Night of the Living Vidiots

Full disclosure: Andy works for Adventure Time (he was, according to Wikipedia, instrumental in their getting their only Emmy so far), which means that this book automatically just went up a few notches in my mind. And if you haven’t watched that show because you’re an adult and think that it’s only for kids, you’re wrong. Pendleton Ward, Tom Herpich and Jesse Moyhihan were all mini comics people before making that show, so their hearts clearly come from the right place. Says I, even if I am biased. Anyway, I’ll take a calm step back and evaluate this book purely on the merits. This is a collection of short stories from Andy, done between 2004 and 2013, put together with the invaluable financial assistance of Kickstarter. Stories in here include the title story (about humans who are consumed by literal televisions and end up spouting inane advertisting/self help lingo as they convert everybody they come into contact with), a wolf man and his hot rod (and the law on his tail), an anime extravaganza featuring smaller ships that form a larger robot against nature, Dr. Mario Bandini and his unintentional (and often horrific) heroism, the continuation of that wolf man story (also featuring a vampire lady and a giant squid), and the high price of winning a race to impress the ladies. That anime story was probably the best of that really solid bunch, as the idea of two giant robots playing poker with cars (with card symbols painted on the hoods) to go with the stakes of said game was a thing of beauty, and there’s no getting away from the sheer joy involved in that ending. Recurring characters play a big part of this book too, and it never hurts to break up a collection like this with short single page strips. These are mostly the Death Shirt and Frosty Beveraged Man, who is just like the Kool-Aid Man but full of beer. He gets into all sorts of ethically questionable adventures and, again, Andy really stuck the landing with that character. Oh, and there’s Mangfish, who deals with all of the problems that a man-eating monster would deal with while taking his date to the prom. It’s a really solid collection of stories, many of them are in full and glorious color, and I’m of the continuing opinion that everybody involved with Adventure Time should be as rich as humanly possible, which doesn’t leave you very many reasons not to buy this. Unless people misusing “your” sticks in your craw, that is, as he gets that wrong an alarming number of times. But he gets it consistently wrong, which is oddly comforting to me. Anyway, I highly recommend this, and don’t let my nitpicking at the end here scare you off. $20

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