Category Archives: Reviews

Reviews

Derry Green, Delaine (editor) – Not My Small Diary #18: The Pet Issue

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Not My Small Diary #18: The Pet Issue

I’m probably going to be rambling about this for awhile, so strap in, but there are only two facts to consider in whether or not you want to give this a shot. 1. Take a look at that list of tags under the review. If you can look at that list of names and not want to buy this immediately, the only other thing I have to say is 2. It’s only $8. And it’s roughly 150 pages. So now that you’ve placed your order with Spit and a Half, what exactly do you have to look forward to? Well, I should have been more honest about one thing before you placed your order: this one is occasionally rough to get through, especially if you have older pets that are noticeably slowing down. Like, for example, me, with a 19 and a half year old cat who mostly sleeps these days and is losing her most adorable habits one by one. Don’t get me started, I’m perfectly content here in the land of denial. So are you in for a giant comic full of stories of pets dying? No, nothing so grim as all that. There are all sorts of types of pet stories in here. There’s Ben Snakepit with the heartwrenching tale of Buster (who died trying to get back to his house after his family had to give the dog up), Mark Campos with his cat’s reaction when she finally got the freedom she seemed to want, Cara Bean’s story of a dog that was found in the wilderness and how it became a constant traveling companion, MariNaomi and the angriest chameleon I’ve ever heard of, Ayun Halliday and the snake who was born again, Andrew Goldfarb and the guinea pig who could keep time to his music, Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz and how her rats eventually got along with her boyfriend’s cats, and T. Motley with his recollection of what mice sound like when they’re utterly defeated by a cat and sobbing. And that’s not even the first half of the book, which leaves you plenty of surprises. It really is impressive how is covers so much ground. Some of these people were indifferent to pets and eventually warmed up to them, some stayed indifferent, some used pets as a jumping off point for the larger story they wanted to tell, or told the story of their first pets. And, of course, there were the people who told the stories of how their pets died. That was the part where I had to take a few breaks while reading this to pet my cat, because sure, I can see the writing on the wall there, but she’s still here now, and I intend to enjoy that right up to the point where she’s no longer enjoying life. Now if only there was a manual of some sort to tell me exactly when that was… Anyway! It’s not about me or my great cat. This is a thoroughly enoyable book, somehow both something an animal lover would find a lot to relate to and a book that’s sometimes hard to take with the deaths and all. Still, I’d just like to repeat: that list of talented artists and that price. Give it a shot, if you haven’t already! $8

Rurans, Roberts – (extra) Ordinary

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(extra) Ordinary

This is one of those mini kus offerings where the concept is so simple (and the execution so thoroughly engaging) that there probably isn’t going to be a whole lot for me to say about it. This is the story of a woman who’s bored at home. First she notices a vase with flowers in it and convinces herself it’s an elephant, then it’s on to a fork with two cherries dangling from it that looks like a strongman, and then onto a carrot that looks suspiciously like a guy breathing fire. It spirals from there, with several ordinary objects in her house being transformed into things that are significantly more exciting than what she was actually seeing, until all of these things join together to put on one hell of a show. It’s delightfully charming; the deceptively simple art and colors draw you right in. If you can read this and have no reaction I don’t know what to tell you, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Another one in the win column for the mini kus crowd! $7

Katz, Keren – Chapter Two

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Chapter Two

These mini kus books can be over in a flash, or they can linger in the mind like this one does. Which isn’t to say that the wordless ones have no value; quite the contrary. But there’s so much going on in this particular mini that it feels more like a graphic novel condensed down into a mini, which is a high compliment in my book. Wow, if this is anybody’s first review here, so long! Sorry about all the talk of the minutae of comics. So what’s the comic about? It’s about Ada moving into the Clock Tower Inn. To encourage the guests to get to know each other, they’re all part of a month long Secret Santa game. To anybody who’s ever taken part in this tradition, the idea of a month of gifts must seem daunting, and our hero quickly proves that to be the case. Ada is assigned Adam, who offers her the clue of his favorite book that she can use when it comes to gift ideas. The problem is that she can’t even look at the book without falling instantly asleep, which forces her to resort to her own ideas (and skills) for gifts. An entire hotel of people exchanging gifts quickly leads to chaos and a lack of space for said gifts, and the whole desire to get the best gifts and stay ahead of the crowd eventually leads to a tragedy, with the perfect line to end things. Yeah, you’ll have to read that part for yourself. Keren’s two previous books showed me that she’s somebody to watch out for in comics, and this mini shows that she can handle this format just as well as the big books. Get in on the ground floor before she gets incredibly famous and ditches the small press comics! $7

Canini, Brian – Blirps #2

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Blirps #2

Do you mean to tell me that Brian has yet another series out there? Yep, he sure does. Feel shame, comics artists who are only putting out one series at a time! This is a series of four panel strips meaning, as always, that some are going to be funnier than others to me, and that humor is subjective anyway, so what do I know. Each starts with something like a mantra from the main character, as he repeats whatever is bothering him in that strip. The one sampled shows the dangers of getting lost on the internet, despite your best intentions. Other subjects include fitting in, patience, blinking, trying to not be a jerk on a date, pretending to be rich, convincing the bully that you’re tough too, and avoiding panic. Plus a couple of others I’m not mentioning, because who doesn’t like a surprise or two? Anyway, this is a mostly funny book, which is all you can ask for out of four panel strips like these. It’s also very cheap at $2, so why not give it a try? Or just send him $20 and ask for a grab bag; the guy has a vast back catalog at this point. Send him money and ask him to surprise you!

Porcellino, John – King Cat #74

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King Cat #74

So I noticed recently that I never got around to reviewing King Cat #74 (it’s July 2020 right now, this book came out in 2013). How does this happen? Who knows? And is it worth it for me to remind the readers that this book came out in 2013? Eh, if it reminds anybody to get caught up on their King Cats, it’s worth it. This one actually recounts his life at the time in a three page essay, which is rare for these books, so the whole story of his move from a small, grim town in Illinois to just over the border in Wisconsin is in here. Later it’s also one of the comic stories, but with something he didn’t mention in the essay: they found a bat soon after he moved in, and since it was too cold to release it into the wild, they had to quickly come up with a plan to save it. Other stuff in here includes several short poems of his thoughts while lying in bed, a series of pictures of local bridges, letters, his top 40 list (as I’ve said, it’s from a different time, and actually reminded me of a few more books that I missed), and an obituary for his girlfriend’s dog. The main story highlight for me was his tale of how he gave up on deodorant nearly 20 years earlier (at the behest of his 1994 girlfriend who thought it caused Alzheimer’s) and lived his life without it until one fateful day. He had no time to shower, had to spend the day at a convention where he was working closely with people, and his usual methods to control the smell weren’t working. As somebody who’s run into John at several cons now I can honestly say that I never thought he stunk, for whatever tiny bit that’s worth. Bottom line is that this is another issue of King Cat and, as such, well worth picking up. And now I can rest easy knowing that I’ve had at least something to say on King Cat #61-79, with several other odds and ends included… $4

Harukichi – Hero

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Hero

How many times can DJ Cat Gosshie save the day? However many times you’ve guessed, it’s probably going to be more. He (or she) is a hero! Things start off with Gosshie selling his LP’s on the street; we are shown early on that he is a fair street merchant, stopping someone from accidentally paying him too much money for an LP. Next is an impossible traffic jam after an accident. What can DJ Gosshie do, how can he help? Well, different LP’s have different colors, and those colors can be used to help direct traffic. From here all this cat wants to do is to take a nice peaceful nap while listening to his music, but then a woman and her baby come along to screw that up. Can he solve this problem as well? Well, yeah. Spoilers! There are two more calamities yet to come, one of which the cat is well equipped to solve on his own, and the other which involves, well, water. And everybody knows water is not a thing that cats like. So how does he solve that one? Obviously you’ll have to read this to find out! I’m hopelessly biased towards almost all comics that involve cats as heroes (there are more than you’d think!), so I’m not the most objective voice here, but this one was a blast all the way through. Quick on his feet, willing to help everyone regardless of personal opinion, while still managing to maintain that certain catness all the way through. Give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed. $7

Chihoi – The Book Fight

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The Book Fight

What would happen if a bunch of different types of books got into a fight to see which one was the best? Would they eventually join together or tear each other apart? Granted, the idea of this eternal struggle probably hasn’t taken up too much of your time, but this should answer all your questions regardless. This is a unique and more than occasionally ridiculous book (I say both in the best possible way); even a lot of the dialogue is done in a rhyming, sing-songy way. So who are the contenders? Things start off with a list of 4 challengers on the first page: zines, comics, photo books and pop-ups. Things start off with a beating, as zines tries to convince comics that they can both get along, and indeed that they can be better together, but comics doesn’t want to hear it. The photo book takes the stage, followed soon after by the more crowd pleasing images of the pop-up book. Finally there’s one more contender that threatens to take the crown from all of them, but hey, I might as well leave one to your imagination. Have you guessed the type? I was fascinated by this from start to finish, but I am a weirdo who’s been running a review website of comics (and occasionally zines and things in between) for almost 20 years now, so my opinion is undoubtedly skewed. If you’re a weirdo like me you’ll love this book, and if you’re not, reading this book may well transform you into exactly that type of weirdo. You’ve been warned! $7

Campbell, Jessica – XTC69

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XTC69

Oh my god, that final image! So unprofessional of me (an unpaid amateur), and how gauche! To start a review talking about the final image! Heavens, however will my fainting couch stand the strain? OK fine, I’ll start at the beginning. This is the story of three astronauts who are on the search for dudes to mate with to help restart their species. They’re human, more or less, so they’re looking for human males, and I already don’t know how much of this I should give away. See, technically they had all willed themselves to be female, and they could also will themselves to be male… but it’s considered unthinkable to even ask anyone to pick a gender that they don’t want. So they wind up on earth, a place with no life signs, but they’ve made it that far and decide to explore. They come across a stasis pod, which contains one Jessica Campbell. Yep, we’re going there! The author is in the comic. Not only that, but “Jessica Campbell” is the name given to the fiercest warrior of that world, while the Jessica that was found doesn’t seem to have much experience in fighting (I make this assumption based on her inability to get out of a pit with the rest of the crew and am referring to the fictional Jessica of the comic; Jessica the real person might be an MMA fighter for all I know). The rest of the book is them all getting to know each other a bit, finding another planet that does seem to have life signs on it, and finally meeting the people that they were looking for all along. And oh, that final image! I don’t break out the “never before in the history of comics” phrase very often, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say never before in the history of comics has that ended a comic. Her “Hot or Not” book about old artists was a revelation to me, so that’s still my favorite, but this is a damned fine comic too, well worth a look. She seems to be sold out at her website, but luckily John Porcellino at Spit and a Half still has copies as of early July 2020! $12

Degen, A. – The Marchenoir Library

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The Marchenoir Library

This is one of those books where there’s no chance at all that my words could ever do it justice, so if you’re one of those people who just take my word on comics recommendations (do people like that exist?), just go ahead and buy this already. If you hate it, never trust me again! There, easy. For the rest of of you, this comic doesn’t have a conventional narrative, and it’s amazing. The conceit is that this is a catalog of books available with the Marchenoir character. Every other page has the title of an imagined book, and opposite of that page is a wordless full page spread depicting some of the hypothetical action in that book. I picked the two samples more or less at random; there’s actually less going on here than there are in most of these two page stories. Even so, one look at that second page should give you some idea of how much detail A. put into each of these images. We see the trail that the villain left behind, we see our heroes trying to track him down (along with what each of them is using), and we get a peek into his home or office. All of these stories come after 8 pages of introductions to the various heroes and villains that populate this world, and I could have happily used any of those pages for samples, as the amount of information he’s able to pack into a paragraph or two combined with an image is stunning. Normally this is the point where I’d say something like “some of these stories are better than others” but really, they’re all pretty damned amazing. The fact that I got lost flipping through this book once again just now really proves that point; it really is just that engrossing. Which, again, is odd for a book with little to no narrative flow. But oh, that cast of characters! I’d buy a full book with any of these characters and any of those titles, sight unseen, after reading this. Check it out, there’s very little chance that you’ll be disappointed. $20

Jep – The True Adventures of Jepcomix #8

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The True Adventures of Jepcomix #8

Jep mentions in his intro that he spent a long time talking about “the unspeakable orange twat” after he became president, decided it was making him too sad to continue, and so he went back in time to tell a story from 1999. I’d be curious to see all those strips (I just checked out a few on his website and they’re pretty raw), but this comic deals with his girlfriend and himself (they’ve since married) moving into a place that they were convinced would be their dream apartment. The landlady was eccentric but seemed nice, they had access to a garden, and they loved their place. Naturally, this wouldn’t be much of a comic if things stayed that way throughout, and they very much did not. Their landlady had medical problems and the two of them were young and a bit petty in their attempts to fight back (as Jep freely admits), although it’s tough to say if anything could have salvaged this mess. And to think that the troubles all started because they had set up their bedroom in the “wrong room!” It really did set off a cascade of consequences, despite the fact that the original problem never made any sense. I loved the little peeks we got into the creative process as well, how Jep would ask his wife (in real time, on the comics page) if he had the timeline right, or why they didn’t just leave at this point, or if they really knew all along that the situation was going to blow up or if it was a complete surprise. Some of the events that you would expect to have the most impact just got forgotten completely, but they both distinctly remembered things like how the landlady’s husband dropped the keys every single time he came home. It’s a thoroughly engrossing story, and I can’t recommend this highly enough to anybody who’s had terrible neighbors. Which, I’m guessing, is just about anybody who ever left home. Give it a shot, the guy really is a hell of a writer. $4.58 (hey, that’s the price he has listed on his Etsy page)

Canini, Brian – Roulette

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Roulette

The concept behind this one is so simple that it’s going to be tough to talk about for long: two friends play a game of roulette with each other. Is it right to call it a “game” when they’re using a loaded gun and one of them is going to end up dead? Eh, probably not I guess. Brian does a good job of giving us small reveals here and there as the story progresses. We see a bit of why the narrator agreed to this, we see why they picked the location that they did, and we see a few of their tense pulls of the trigger. A lot of the specifics are left out, I’m guessing intentionally. If we knew why these two friends were this determined to kill themselves, the reader would have a chance to second guess, to say that (insert problem here) was not serious to want to kill themselves. We never learn their exact reasons, only that it’s bad enough that both of them seem determined to go through with it. It’s a good, tense story, and it’s tough to have higher stakes than these. I also feel compelled to mention Cutting Cards, an episode of Tales From the Crypt (with Lance Henriksen), because it also features a game of Russian roulette, with the stakes somehow taken up to an absurd degree. But yes, you should give this comic a shot the next time you send Brian a stack of money for a stack of comics. $2

Thomas, Grant – Tatanka

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Tatanka

Grant’s website is still down (as of 6/22/20), so I linked to his Patreon page instead. I generally don’t promote such things here; I mean, I’ll list them, and the links are on the websites of artists I review, but I generally leave it up to them. But I have to say that I like the way Grant is doing his. Donations range only from $1-3 a month, with escalating rewards. No crazy requests for thousands of dollars for a few minis a year (not that I’d turn it down, eccentric millionaires!), just practical support. Anyway, this mini is about the history of the bison in America and how us white folk, as usual, ruined it. The idea was the Indians used bison to live, so if the bison were taken away, well, the Indians would be sure to leave too! The sad thing is that this did work, more or less. It pushed them to attack, which led to them more directly getting wiped out. And the idea that people STILL, even now, shoot wildlife from helicopters or trains… “coward” is not a big enough word for those assholes. Grant packed a lot of information into this small comic, so if you’re curious about this time in our history, you’re not likely to find a more compact synopsis. Ignorant American that I am, the first thing I thought about with that title was the ridiculous WWF wrestler of the same name. Hey, maybe Pat Aulisio can put togehter a mini about the wrestler Tatanka! That would make quite a set with this one. $1

Brubaker, Charles – The Fuzzy Princess: Girl’s Night Out #1

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The Fuzzy Princess: Girl’s Night Out #1

So I did my usual “putting the review together” thing where I go to the website for the artist, hoping to put the necessary links on the post (yep, peeling back the curtain here for no apparent reason). It turns out that Charles is so prolific that this issue isn’t even listed, despite the fact that it was put out this year! Is that going to stop me from reviewing it? Nah, especially since I’m pretty sure you could just email Charles and ask for a copy. This is the first part of a longer story, most likely to be collected in a complete volume later. Maybe that’s why the single issues aren’t listed, he might have already wrapped up the story and is putting the book together. Anyway, as the title makes clear, this is a night out for the ladies. I’ve completely lost track of who’s who in these comics; I’d suggest a character gallery on the inside front cover, but this is a man who uses every square inch of issue for comics, so maybe that’s not as practical as it usually is. So our heroes are stuck inside for a night and decide to all go out. They discuss it, and a large pile of clothes is dumped on the floor for them to go through and use. They’ll have to live with their choices throughout the evening, and one of those choices has already had consequences. As for their night out, it doesn’t exactly involve boozy debauchery (are all of these characters adults?), but instead they get some dinner, then head out to an arcade before a movie. That’s where the mayhem happens, but I’ll leave the surprises to you. And it’s left on a cliffhanger, so it sure looks like more antics are on the way. If you’ve read Charles’s comics you know the deal by now: an all-ages read with some jokes and nothing too heavy to deal with, put out at a pace where you could be reading an issue every couple of weeks or so with no problem. There are worse things in the world!

Hill, Dan – The Fifty Flip Experiment #25

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The Fifty Flip Experiment #25

Aw, Dan’s website (which is delightfully old-timey) has a gif of ladies dancing with sloth heads superimposed over theirs. I’m just going to assume that’s meant as a hello to me, so hi Dan! I also included a rare second sample image because Dan put an ad up for older comics on his back cover, so I want readers with extra time on their hands (I know you’re reading this at work, don’t fib) to go back, read my reviews for those issues, and compare them to how Dan describes them. Do I mention that one thing he mentions? For example, I can’t imagine he did a whole issue (#20) as a Jughead parody, but I’m missing that issue. So it might be true! Ah, that’s enough rambling. I’m paid the big bucks (note: I am paid no bucks) to talk about comics, not to get all self-indulgent and ask readers to compare my reviews to his synopses! This one is part one of a three part series, which should be enough to intrigue/terrify you right there. As such, this one is a bit more linear than some of his other comics, so this review might be more coherent than usual. Emphasis on “might”! This one starts with a space probe cleaning up space junk, and on the first page it disregards a vacuum cleaner for the sake of a toaster. Is this important to the plot? Always assume that it is! The drone is given a treat for finding the toaster, and we follow our hero back to her home, where we get a quick, high detail tour. She then goes on a tour of the local ruined society and ponders what the life of a local monk must have been like. Any more and I’ll wander into spoilers, so I’ll just say that there is a big old fight scene before the issue is done, so don’t you fret about that. And, as always, his thoughts on the back inside cover are worth the price of admission all by itself. Give it a shot, Dan is the weirdo we need for these troubled times. $7

Brown, Box – Number #2

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Number #2

My recent unintentional series of reviews of comics from 2014 continues with Number #2! When it’s said aloud do you think it’s “number two” or “number number two”? The world may never know. As for why I’m reviewing this, I saw it on John Porcellino’s Spit and a Half website and realized there was a Box Brown comic out there that I missed somehow and fixed that problem as soon as I could. This comic has two big stories in it. First up is a piece about a skater in her mid 30’s who we get just enough time to see is riding her skateboard home while drunk and ruing her lack of health care. And the fact that she’s 33 and still riding a skateboard. She gets some drunk food on the way home (White Castle, second only to Taco Bell for drunk food) and runs into a local crank who’s hassled her (and other people; the guy has a reputation) in the past. She tries being nice, that doesn’t work, so she tries skating away. That ends badly, but I should probably stop before I spoil the whole thing. I will say that bit with the cops just casually dehumanizing her, especially with the time I’m writing this (during some gigantic protests against police brutality (I should specify June 2020, as that’s sadly not narrowing it down all that much)), really got to me. It’s so easy for those assholes to, at a minimum, ruin your day. The second story deals with a documentarian, his jealousies (personal and professional), how his work is seen by others, whether or not it makes sense to engage people in comments, what gives him inspiration and some of the people he interviews. It’s a really insightful look into a mindset I admire but don’t understand, if that makes any sense. Anyway, it’s Box Brown, of course it’s a fantastic comic! If you missed this one like me when it came out, John still has copies available… $6

Canini, Brian – Glimpes of Life #6

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Glimpses of Life #6

I’ve been reviewing Brian’s comics since the very early days of this website. 2004ish, maybe sooner (I started in 2001)? Something like that. So I thought I’d check Brian’s website as I was copying the link there and check out the store, see the rough percentage of his books that I’ve reviewed. Keeping in mind that he definitely has older comics that are out of print (doesn’t everybody?), somehow I’ve still only reviewed maybe half of his books. Probably not even that much. Search under his name here if you’re curious how many that equals out to; it’s still a hell of a lot! Anyway, personal digression aside, how’s the comic? I’m always interested in seeing an origin story for a guy I’ve been enjoying for years, and this comic did an excellent job of explaining how Brian got into comics and why he sticks with them now. There’s his genuine appreciation for having a knowledgeable and supportive guy in charge of the local comic shop (The Laughing Ogre; if you’re anywhere near Columbus Ohio it’s worth a trip), how prolific he was even back in the day, how he’d take art supplies everywhere he went in case inspiration struck, how much Jeff Smith has done for the comics scene in Columbus and what he means to Brian, and his own philosophy on what makes a comic and how we still have so much to explore in regards to their potential. He also lists some of his influences, and I have no proof of this but it sure feels like an “oh yeah!” moment in making comics. Meaning that he made a list, got back to work on the comic, remembered several other names and put them into the comic, got back to work on the comics, remembered still MORE names and included them on the back inside cover. I get it! It’s a damned solid list; if you’re just now looking to get into comics you could do a whole lot worse than to just get books from everybody on his lists to start. Another solid issue, give it a look if you’re curious as to how he came to start making comics! $3

Sweater, Michael – Please Destroy the Internet

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Please Destroy the Internet

Hey look, a collection of (mostly) single page gag strips! Long time readers of this website may remember that I have one simple test to determine if such a book has more funny moments than not (as there’s always a few duds among the strips): how hard was it for me to pick the sample image? If I had to dig around and picked the one funny one, that’s not a great sign! If, like in this case, I had to narrow it down and still am not sure if I picked the funniest one in the bunch? Then that comic is a winner and is full of funny! Of course, another problem with reviewing such books is that nothing kills humor faster than dissecting it, which makes it somewhere between difficult and impossible to talk about it in any depth. So it’s time for my patented (I have no patents) method of mentioning out-of-context snippets from strips in the hopes of intriguing you enough to buy his book. Or you could look at his Instagram page to be convinced, as it’s full of free samples. Strips in this collection deal with crab fighting, coming to terms with being a cartoonist, buried treasure, “reading” on a long bus ride, Hulk vs. Spiderman, how social media came about, banana peels, cat farts, killing a tick, putting everything that isn’t already on the internet onto the internet, having a dog, BRB, giving up on the day, picking your own quote for your tombstone, the fate of all cartoonists, ex boyfriend style, Halloween baby, aliens meeting primitive man, and a comic as a Casper ad. It’s a pile of funny, all in one place, and the man has a few more books available if you like this one. Read a few samples and make up your own mind, but I think this one is worth a look. $10

Wilkinson, Glenn – Quarantine Comics

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Quarantine Comics

Finally, a comic made in the quarantine! Oh wait, I hadn’t read the disclaimer yet. This wasn’t written in the quarantine and isn’t about the quarantine. Oh well, I guess my search for the first quarantine mini comic continues. All kidding aside though, Glenn did have a pretty solid idea for this, considering the time we’re living through: after you finish this comic, send it along to a friend or somebody you think might like it. He has a sign-in sheet in the back so you could keep track of who else has read the comic; he even has plans for how people can post this to various social media accounts. Hey, people have the free time right now, why not give this a shot? Isn’t there also a comic here I should be talking about? Right you are! This is a collection of a few stories, with subjects including a wizard trying to get with the times and support his granddaughter, Peter Cushing as a Time Lord (with the most mundane reason for a body regeneration that I’ve ever seen; Doctor Who take note!), and a man trying to get a better brain. Entertaining stuff, so yeah, why not order it and ship it around to your friends? I suppose you could do that for any comic, so if you don’t want to order this, I don’t know, start your own trend. Find some mini comic from a decade ago and mail it around. Still, you should start with this one, as it was Glenn’s idea first. He’s in the UK so it might take you some dollars to get it, but give it a shot!

Harkness, M.S. – Tinderella

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Tinderella

Did I have an assumption about this graphic novel from the title? Sure, in no small part because it’s a great title. I thought it would be a series of disastrous Tinder dates, maybe with a “happy” ending but who knows. Nope! Tinder plays a role in this, yes, but barely. This one starts off with her hilariously aggressive pickup technique at a gym and goes right from there to her having lunch with her brother. She’d ended up having sex on a tanning bed, so now she was half tanned and half pale. She takes her time narratively with her walk home, then in her chat with her roommate she goes through the pros and cons of the guys already on her phone. Finally it comes to Tinder, and the avalanche of messages she got right away. Which didn’t come across as a brag; based on the word of my single female friends it’s really a buyer’s market for ladies. Several mundane or horrible comments later, she finally found what she was looking for, arranged a date and had something going on that seemed to be exactly what both of them wanted. Was it? No spoilers here. Other subjects in the rest of the book deal with pink eye, spending Christmas alone, the booty call that she can never resist, Shane vs. Vince McMahon, even the origin of her last name, which I didn’t even know was a mystery. I don’t think I conveyed it properly, but this book is hilarious; her “come hither” look (that’s flirting for you young’uns) has to be seen to be believed. It’s a hell of a book, so I have no complaints. Well, one tiny one: after her wrestling comic (from SPACE 2015 if I remember correctly) and this one, now I have to go back and pick up all of her other comics. Is that a complaint? I don’t think that’s what the word means. Anyway, give this book a shot, you won’t be disappointed. $15

Thomas, Grant – The Island of Dr. Miro

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The Island of Dr. Miro

Note: Grant’s website seems to be down, but he linked to it in a Twitter post a few days ago, so I’m guessing it’s just a temporary stop. Or my computer is messed up. Now on to the comics review! It’s going to be a short one, because this is a very short and wordless comic. It’s a fold-out book, so the comic itself is two long images and one single panel frame to wrap things up. He lists three inspirations to the work, but maybe it’d be more fun for you to figure them out for yourselves, so I won’t give them away. I did think I detected just a hint of Jim Woodring (not mentioned in his letter), so I’ll give you that. The comic itself is the story of an adventure in a bizarre world… or is it? It’s visually stunning, which is the most important factor for wordless comics. If this is your first time hearing Grant’s name maybe start with one of his more traditional comics, if you already know his stuff this is yet another worthy addition to the catolog. $4