Blog Archives

Baylis, Jonathan & Various Artists – So Buttons #10


So Buttons #10

It’s the 10th anniversary issue of So Buttons! And no, it’s not quite an issue a year, if you go to his website you’ll see a few more issues here and there. Anyway, this is a hefty issue, with sections involving Birth, Life and Death, so the man covers a lot of ground here. I will just say before I get started that I’m sorry for the loss of his dog Mocha; as somebody who owns a cat who’s been around a little longer than this website (which started in August 2001, so you do the math), the whole pet mortality thing has become very real to me in recent months. Self-indulgent aside over, how’s the comic? The “Birth” section has two stories, one about Norman Mailer (and, oddly, another reminder that I should find a biography of Rip Torn ASAP), and another about how Lorne Michaels got his first literal seats at SNL from George Steinbrenner. Next up was the “Life” section, and it’s probably a good sign that this was the biggest section. Stories in here include his son’s first day of preschool, his idea of what his parents collected, a gone but not forgotten old Manhattan restaurant and how he tracked down a cookbook from the chef years later, and his reaction to the David Cronenberg film Crash. Which, as he makes emphatically clear, is a very different film than the one of the same name that somehow won as Oscar a few years later. Finally there’s “Death”, and in those two stories he talks about how important it is to be a bone marrow donor (if you’re younger than 45, sign up!) and another about the death of his dog. Here’s to 10 more years (or longer) of So Buttons, the man has a natural gift for storytelling. $5

Sallah, Alissa – Role Play



Role Play

This comic does something I don’t think I’ve seen before (assuming I’m reading it correctly, which is often a dicey proposition): it treats the entire story as a stage play, told from the perspective of the actor who begins the show as a complete blank slate. It’s just him alone on a stage with a spotlight, trying to understand the basics of life with help from the cues of the audience and the other two actors. He tries to understand wardrobe, the purpose of said wardrobe, how to relate to the female actor who is there to love and be loved, and how to deal with “a manly way to show appreciation” by the male actor. Things get awkward quickly, meaning that it does an excellent job of mimicking real life. It’s a thoroughly engaging story, and it accomplished the rare comic feat of making me go back and read it over again after the first time through. Check it out, see if you think my interpretation of the story is completely wrong! It probably is. $5