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Carlier, Chris – In The Crapper



In The Crapper

Oh, the life of a bathroom attendant. If you’ve ever seen one in real life (or even in a movie), chances are you’ve thought about what life must be like for them, how they ever ended up in such a job. Well, this one doesn’t get into any kind of an origin story, but it does paint a grim picture of what life is like for one fictional bathroom attendant. If you’ve never even heard of such a thing, the cover does a good job of showing the basics. It’s one gentleman, impeccably dressed, who’s on hand to offer towels, mints, and cologne after you finish doing your business. Ladies, is this a thing for you too, or does this only happen in upscale men’s rooms? Just curious. Anyway, the list of rules for our hero is simple, and mostly involve keeping everything stocked and clean. There’s also the frankly inhuman rule preventing him from using that bathroom, instead forcing him to use the employee bathroom. While also never leaving his bathroom unattended. Yeah, it does seem specifically designed to break the guy. Anyway, he puts up with all sorts of indignities throughout the day, only getting through it via his rich (if disturbing) fantasy life. It’s a darkly hilarious book, and if nothing else reading this should guarantee that you leave a tip for the poor guy if you ever see one of these attendants in real life. Their life is hard enough already, the least you could do is throw a few coins onto their tip plate/jar. $5


Various Artists – Cringe




Quick, think of the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you. Now imagine yourself writing and drawing a comic story about it. That right there should make you cringe, which means you’re in luck, as that’s what this anthology is all about! This book has right around 30 small press artists, some new and some who have been around for awhile, who are willing to share some shameful incident from their past. I don’t think anything in here will get anybody put in jail, but it’s hard not to cringe while reading some of these. I’m not going to review every story because there are so damned many of them (and for a measly $8!), but the highlights include Shaenon K. Garrity wetting herself while out with a group of other cartoonists (including a big name guy, but I won’t spoil the surprise; I particularly loved the way she ended her strip), Sam Spina’s unfortunate method for drinking a rum shot when he met the Bacardi girls, Adam Pasion’s particularly gruesome retelling of an incident involving a finger in the eye, Geoff Vasile dodging a bullet (not literally), Chad Essley and his series of embarrassing moments (hard to top the one where he volunteered to breakdance at school on stage), Fred Noland’s theories on some crayons he used to own, Chad Woody and his racist former roommate, Box Brown and his former habit of eating light bulbs (it’s not quite as life-threatening as it sounds), Stephen Notley and his experience of being “that guy” at a comic convention (you know the one, the guy who gets up to ask a rambling and pointless question and has no idea how to get out of it once he gets started), and Sam Henderson’s experiences with having seizures while surrounded by strangers. It’s a damned fine mix of stories, and at a ridiculously cheap price. Save yourself the embarrassment of not owing this anthology of embarrassment! Ugh, I feel dirty for saying that. I’ll let myself out… $8