Various Artists – On Your Marks #1
On Your Marks #1
Oh, what a crank I am. I get a pretty damned great anthology filled with small press people living in Seattle who could use a little more exposure and I can’t help thinking that I would have liked it better with a clear indication of which artists did which pages. They’re even all listed on the inside front cover, but they’re inside of a drawing, which makes some of them tough to make out. Does this take away from the quality of the content? Not one bit, no, as it’s not like it’s impossible to figure out who did certain pages with a little bit of work. Eh, I blame it on the general tone of the holiday season. All this Christmas music everywhere just bugs me. And if you ever needed more proof that I am in fact a total curmudgeon, there you have it. Anyway! This is a collection of mostly one page strips, done by all kinds of people that you either already know about or should be ashamed of yourself because you’ve never heard of them. Stories include Ben Horak having the comic he made when he was 6 read by adults (with a perfect final panel), Tom Van Deusen’s creepy piece about a head growing out of a roof and what happens when it’s removed, Bobby Madness and the sacrifice he made for the environment, Kelly Froh’s traumatic moment on an aimless afternoon, Pat Keck and his dungeon Gremlins, Aarow Mew and the result of his “spider” bite, Julia Gfrorer’s tale of a creepy ouija board experience, Rick Altergott and Pat Moriarty’s story of what cats think is going on with their litter boxes, Marc Palm’s Flannelwolf and Frankcan, Robyn Jordan’s worries about what she’ll be like in 10 years after she has kids, David Lasky’s questions about what you would do if you were a superhero, and Max Clotfelter’s mistaken assumption involving getting his older brother involved in protecting him. Like I said, it’s a damned solid anthology, full of ridiculously talented people. Maybe next time they’ll put page numbers on the pages to lessen my crankiness, or maybe it’s something I need to work on on my own and I’m sharing too much here… $4
Van Deusen, Tom – Alex Jones True Adventures #1
Alex Jones True Adventures #1
Ah, Alex Jones. I’m going to happily assume that this comic is supposed to be about the Alex Jones of radio/various conspiracy theories fame and not just a random Alex Jones, mostly because this comic would serve as an excellent origin story for the guy. Scratch that, Alex has a microphone and a tape recorder on the first page, so obviously it’s him. Anyway! This comic reads like a bizarro lament to my opinion that too few comics deal with modern political events or figures. This one has a bundle of political figures show up, and if any of them ever somehow heard of this comic I’d have to imagine that they wouldn’t be too happy about it. Buy hey, fuck ’em. This starts off with Alex on his personal tour of Bohemian Grove, the “play area for the elites,” and his confrontation with a “dandy sex toy” who seems to have stolen Jughead’s crown. From there he witnesses all kinds of horrors involving Geraldo Rivera, Herman Cain, Hilary Clinton and Bernie Madoff that I probably shouldn’t get into because of the dreaded spoilers. I will say that the ending with _____ (I’ll leave it as a surprise) in his “liberty copter” was brilliant, even if the person in question is a goldbug loon in real life. It’s a nice little piece of cathartic madness all wrapped up in eight pages. Normally I’d also complain about the lack of any contact info in this comic, but considering the subject matter I can see why Tom might want to make this a little tougher to find than most of his comics. That being the case there’s no price, but a buck or two should probably cover it.