My favorite Sam Henderson is filthy Sam Henderson, and he’s fully back in that mode with this issue. The last thing I read of his was an all-ages collection of strips, which was still great, but severely lacking in the number of “fucks” thrown around. And, as the man has proven countless times in his 20+ years of making comics, he has no trouble putting out a thoroughly hilarious comic. Which, as always, is problematic to review, as there’s only so many times I can say that this part or that part was comedy gold. If you’re new to comics and just now hearing his name, there’s a wealth of older material out there from the man that I’d highly recommend if you enjoy laughing. If you’re already a fan, then you should know that the strips in here include some very modern pickup lines, the return of Dirty Danny, easy ways to ruin a joke, an update of his classic strip about LSD with him using his modern sensibilities, how the older cast was always better on SNL (told from a perspective 700,000 years in the future), new shows coming this fall, and Nancy and her exploding head. Scattered around the comic are his usual single panel gag strips, and nobody does them better. Still, the highlight of the comic was the story on high school urban sex legends and the descent of that story into complete madness. The image of that guy slipping on the condom, rolling down the stairs and eventually turning into a giant rolling ball of snow had me practically crying, which is as high a mark as a funny book can achieve. Anyway, there probably wasn’t much doubt from anybody who has read this site for any length of time that I was going to highly recommend it, so no surprises there, but come on, who doesn’t like to laugh? Buy this and laugh! $4.99
The horrific but somehow kid-friendly adventures of Sugar Booger continue! In case you missed the last issue, the premise is simple enough: Sugar Booger eats sweets and pours out a better version of the candy through his nostrils. At least I assume that it’s a better version, as it doesn’t make much sense otherwise. Hah, there I go, trying to make sense of this idea. Anyway, this issue starts off with Sugar (if you’re OK with me calling him by his first (?) name) realizing that all of the candy that he’s made is causing a problem, as it’s not possible for the residents of this land to eat it as quickly as he makes it. Luckily a Gloomy Globby monster comes along and is ravenously hungry, so it looks like both of their problems will be solved. But Sugar isn’t counting on the hunger of this monster being insatiable, so steps must be taken to reign in the problem. The art in this is ridiculously joyous, but the hints of the horror of this creature do seep through here and there. Or maybe it’s just me, who knows? But in a world where Adventure Time can take over cartoons, I see no reason why this couldn’t be a fantastic cartoon in its own right. Assuming Kevin would even want to go in that direction, that is. His use of color is also damned near unparalleled, as so many small press color comics are content to just throw in a few colors and call it a day. Kevin uses every color of the rainbow, often not in places that you would not expect, and the results are utterly unique. And don’t even get me started on the various smaller creatures that inhabit this land, because those walking brains that also serve as bouncy shoes are the tip of the iceberg. Get this comic, is what I’m trying to say. I can say this and have it be literally true: you’ve never seen anything like it. $5.95
Who likes their stories about candy to also be filled with nightmares? If it’s you, then you’re in luck! This is the story of an overexcited creature (monster?) who eats large amounts of candy, which transforms his boogers into candy for other people/creatures. Or it turns it into some kind of narcotic drug, it’s never made clear. But is if funny and/or disturbing? Oh yes. Yes, it is. There are basically two stories here, even though there is no kind of dividing line to indicate different stories. First there’s a brief introduction of Sugar Booger and his ability to transform candy into boogers for all his odd friends. The other story is the one depicted on the cover, where he meets up with a couple of (rightly skeptical) kids to share his treats with them. Things get a little dicey when the parents of these two kids show up, and why wouldn’t it, as that thing is almost certainly a monster. Kevin did a great job with the parents too, with their giant anime eyes and gross, gross perspiration/crying. It’s a three issue limited series, with the other issues coming out throughout 2014 (although the promotional material I got had these all coming out in 2013, so it’s good to see that fairly major comic companies can make the same mistake as me trying to write a check in the first week of 2014), so there’s plenty more of this to come. I guess this may be considered “all-ages,” although I have no idea where that line is any more. I recently discovered “Adventure Time” (always late to the party, that’s me), and if that’s considered appropriate for kids of all ages, I’d have to throw this in the pile too. It’s worth a look and I’m interested to see how this story evolves over the next couple of issues. $5.95
I might have a different criteria for a good anthology than most people. When I get an anthology, I get it to check out work from a lot of different people at once. Therefore, as long as the vast majority of them arenâ€™t actively bad, I usually feel like it was a good anthology. Well, there wasnâ€™t a single bad story in this, so mission accomplished. Lots of familiar names in this (Cole Johnson, Zack Soto, Dan Zettwoch, Jesse Reklaw, Thien Pham, HOB, Damien Jay, Gabrielle Bell) and some unfamiliar names (Howard John Arey, Ellen Lindner, Andrice Arp), which is always a good thing. More than a few of those people are getting e-mails from me to see if they want to be in the distro, in case you were wondering. Thereâ€™s no theme here, which is also a good thing, and stories include a young girl reluctantly spending time with her father, a man trying to find a working bathroom, a cute pug, getting sucked into the television, dating literal monsters, a stranded pirate rhymer, giant babies taking over the world, and how horrible it is to quit smoking. Great stuff in here all around and itâ€™s only $11.95, well worth a look. Hereâ€™s the Alternative Comics website, or just click on the title if youâ€™re feeling spendyâ€¦
Alternative Comics #1
This was the comic that was free on Free Comics Day a couple of months back, so I’m honestly not sure if you can get it online anywhere or not. Check the website and e-mail somebody, otherwise check out your local comic store to see if they have any left, because it’s a great piece of work. The idea is to showcase all of their artist’s best work and they pull this off beautifully. Sure, Sam Henderson could have had more than a page out of his sketchbook, and I would have liked to see more out of Steven Weissman than a cover, but overall everyone associated with the company (again, check the website, as I’m too lazy to type everybody in) had either a good or a great short story in here. There were links to everybody in the book as well, meaning that anybody who picked this up randomly could find whoever they liked best, and that’s the point of this book. Kudos on a job well done, and I’d have to think that this did a better job of promoting the medium than almost anything else could have. After all, it was free!