Reptile Museum #1
This right here is a whole pile of potential. I’m always excited/dubious to see another comic that’s supposed to be published on a regular schedule (this one offers subscriptions in the back where it promises 6 issues per year), mostly because I’ve been burned so many times, but hey, I’ll go with cautious optimism this time around. Ignoring all that past history from other artists, this is a completely engaging story that could still go in all kinds of different directions. Things start off with us seeing that the world has been devastated by something or other, apparently with roving gangs with bombs wandering around, as the first thing we see is a clean-up crew taking down an unexploded bomb. From there we see a brief flashback of this same person meeting a small kid 15 years ago, then that same kid coming back to this person after being mysteriously missing for the last 10 years. Explanations are not forthcoming, but we do see some hints as to what he went through. Finally there’s a confrontation between our hero (his name is Pants) and a group of roving muggers? Bandits? Whatever the case (I’m sure there will be more about them later too), you’ll have to read this to see how it’s handled. I have WAY more questions than answers, which is perfect for the first issue in a long series, and you should all buy the first couple of issues from this man to keep him motivated. $5
Secret Prison #2
Here’s hoping it’s still OK to use images from the internets for the review, as it’s impossible for me to scan the newspaper sized stuff.Â And if you agree with me that Benjamin Marra is tearing shit up with that cover, you should see the back cover by Pat Aulisio.Â I’m also not entirely sure if it’s possible for any old schmuck online to get a copy of this, as I think it’s only available at cons, but that’s a damned shame for a pile of great strips like this.Â Share it with the world!Â If I’m not mistaken (and I probably am) this one is even longer than the last issue, and it’s one of those rare anthologies with no really weak pieces.Â Sure, some things are better than others, whatever that means, but everything in here has something going for it.Â Strips in here (and they are strips, nothing is longer than 2 pages) include Pat’s tale of deliciously sorrowful soul, Luke Pearson’s absolutely brilliant “How to Exist For a Day,” Ian’s silent cubed spy story, Josh Burggraf’s text message-a-rific story of need, Cody Pickrodt with some true confessions, Bob Pistilli going a long way for a great ending, Box Brown and his experience with an exotic “delicacy,” the story behind that ridiculously good cover by Benjamin Marra, Art Baxter loving the summer, Simon Gardenfors getting the most out of his page with a series of mishaps involving a round dude wearing underwear, Kelly Phillips wondering if there’s a line cardiologists should not cross, Cyn Why with a tale for the ages, Steve Teare going to heaven, Doug Slack with a pile of funnies, and Jose Mochove & Rusty Rowley using photos to destroy us with reality.Â I skipped a few to leave some surprises for people who manage to find an actual copy of this, not that I spoiled too much for the other stories, but everybody likes surprises, right?Â Seriously, show this to the world, you guys!Â A working table of contents, a huge pile of talent, this should not be kept away from the world at large.Â Unless it isn’t, and I’m wrong, in which case let me know and I’ll tell people here how to buy it.