Before I get started, let me make one thing completely clear: this book is beautifully done. I don’t know if you can tell from that scan or not, but the cover was completely hand-sewn for each issue, with a different pattern on each cover. The toughest part about buying it was deciding which cover I liked the most. David couldn’t even tell me how long it took to put an issue together because he said it was a process that had many steps. That’s dedication, folks. I should also mention that his girlfriend (?) Nami Biggs designed it. Anyway, the actual comic. It’s good stuff, an anthology with a couple familiar names and a couple of unfamiliar ones. Really, if the pages were all blank I’d still say that you should buy this for the cover alone, but the stories range from good to great. I think I might have misjudged Dylan Williams too, if the one issue I read was a tiny part of a much greater whole like this story suggests. Hey, I’ll change my opinion when I read more of them, OK? David’s story is the longest in this volume and is projected to be much longer. It’s good so far, but I like seeing the whole thing with stories like that. Other names include Chris Wright, Scott McKibben, Jonathon Russell, Michael Bonfiglio, Michael Hall, Carrie Golus. and Lance Simmons. Contact info for all is included and, seriously, get a copy of this. You won’t regret it. E-mail David, I’ve heard that #5 is out now too.
From what I can tell, a lot of the best work being done in comics these days is coming from Georgia. What up with that? Is it something in the water? An active support group for creators? Coincidence? Whatever the case, it’s become almost like a “Top Shelf” guarantee of quality. This book, for example, is tremendous. It says there are three short stories but, with the intermissions and all, reads much less coherently than that, and that’s a good thing. The first story, Rum Rug, is about an, um, man (I don’t know what these creatures are, but let’s just call them “men” now for lack of a better term) who is absolutely wallowing in despair. At his lowest, he is hit by a man who is looking to get with the main character’s ex-fiancee. I sampled the first intermission because it’s one of the funniest things I’ve seen, so I won’t waste time talking about it. The second story… ah, why try to describe it when I can give a quote: “LOOK! My heart has been fisted too!” Then there’s another intermission, followed by Merciful Gift, which is mostly about art and the failure of people to interpret it correctly. Or that’s what I got out of it, along with many, many other things, as I did with everything here. Look, the guy is a poet. I got something out of some random, unconnected sentences when I went through this again because this book was obviously done over time with a lot of love. I think this is one of the oddest, funniest, most unique books that I’ve read from SPX so far. It’s $3 and something that people should read, so send the man an e-mail and see what else he has around too, OK?
Ink Weed Now Available!Â $16
If there’s one thing I can complain about in regards to doing this site (and even this is probably a bit of a stretch), it’s the fact that great comics can fly right by me and I never seek out anything else from that artist.Â You can see from the review below that I loved the mini I saw from Chris, but that was at least 5 years ago and I haven’t seen a thing he’s done since.Â It’s odd that I would follow people I liked more closely before I had this website than I do now.Â Somebody should really speak to management here and get that fixed.Â I’m going on about it because this book is a thing of brilliance, another one of those books that should be on the bookshelf of everyone who loves comics.Â From the consistently rich and textured art to the sheer poetry involved in the writing of damned near every panel, you’re not going to find a more completely rewarding comics experience.Â This is a collection of short pieces, most likely former mini comic, and plenty of original art in between the stories and at the end of the book.Â First up is The Unmerciful Gift, in which an aging artist paints masterpieces that only he can see while never quite understanding why it’s happening.Â Next up is Tapestry, and another old man watches the stars and lives his life with an attractive young assistant.Â Ach!Â Even in generalizing these things to a ridiculous degree, I feel like I’m giving away too much.Â Other stories in here involve smoking out of a “toilet bowl”, an attempt at reconciliation going as wrong as it possibly could, a senile sea demon unexpectedly finding love, and quite possibly the best story of drunkenness and the consequences that I’ve ever seen (and yes, I am aware that there are many contenders for the title).Â It’s all wrapped up with a few short pieces, an excerpt from a new book (?), and a series of new individual pieces.Â The truly haunting parts of this book are best left out of a review, but believe me, they’re there.Â That image in the bedroom, the tiny gun, what Simon is driving at…Â It combines to make pretty much a perfect comic.Â If you haven’t seen his work yet, this really needs to be picked up toot-sweet.Â $16