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O’Brien, Keith (and Various Artists) – Samurai Slate in Punch Drunk or Bowl Me Over

Website (for Tom Cherry, can’t find one for Keith)

Samurai Slate in Punch Drunk or Bowl Me Over

So what exactly is your tolerance level for word puns? If it’s your favorite thing in the world, boy howdy do I ever have a comic for you! If you can barely stand them, you might want to save yourself some time and move on to the next review. Keith wrote these stories, all either one or two pages, and they all feature a comedic theme based on a specific type of wordplay. The strip I sampled (where the story works in using every day of the week) is the clearest example of it, but other stories in here use puns based on books, punctuation, cows, India, chess and minerals. If your eyes naturally roll to the back of your head every time you/read hear a pun, this book might just kill you. If not, there are some genuinely funny bits here and there, and just seeing how they manage to work all these words into each story can be interesting. So… get this with your eyes wide open. I doubt there will be much middle ground for an opinion here, but you might just love it. No price listed, but I’m guessing it’s a buck or two…

Cherry, Tom & Martin, Dale – Double Dip #1

Tom’s Website

Dale’s Website

Double Dip #1

Hooray for the double comic! I don’t know why more small press people don’t do these, as you would think that it would expose both creators to the audience of the other guy, which would have to be a good thing. Then again, it’s generally a pain in the ass to collaborate with most creative types, your work might get lost in the ether if something goes wrong with the printing that’s not your call, with the incestuous nature of small press comics it’s probably going to be mostly the same audience anyway, etc. Eh, whatever, I still appreciate them. So anyway, the comic itself. The stories are in the reverse order that you would think from looking at that cover, just in case you wanted to find something to complain about right away. Tom Cherry and his “Those Funky Idiots” are up first with a tale about getting three wishes and the inevitability of screwing them up, but he throws in a bit of a time travel angle that makes it pretty funny. All of his characters also seem to exist in a void, as there’s nothing resembling a background anywhere, but it works for this story. Dale Martin is up next with Watusi The Talking Dog, as Watusi meets an alien creature that can turn into any type of dog. It was intriguing, but it probably would have made more sense if his story was self-contained like the Tom Cherry story. I’m curious to see what happens next, but there’s no indication where that might occur or what number of the series I could read to see it. That was probably a mistake, but the story itself has a few funny moments in its six pages. Overall I’d say it’s worth a look if you’re wondering about these two guys. They also offer a color cover for $.50 more, but there’s something decidedly odd about it. Look at them both and see if I’m crazy at Tom’s website. $1

Martin, Dale – Watusi the Talking Dog #2

Website

Watusi the Talking Dog #2

OK, this isn’t your traditional comic (whatever that is), but it’s a good enough idea that I wanted to mention it on my page. It’s your traditional 4 panel gag strip, basically, with a twist: it’s a jam comic. Meaning that Dale usually writes the first panel, sometimes the last, and lets other people fill in the rest of it. The results in this book ranged from cute to stupid, but I wanted to let all the comics people who read this site (not that there are hundreds of you or anything, but whoever happens to catch this) know that there’s a jam comic out there. Sure, a talking dog might seem like a silly concept to a lot of to work with, but make it your own! It doesn’t matter what you think of that first panel, make the rest of it your own. That’s the whole point of this type of thing. E-mail the guy or submit some work to: P.O. Box 442612 Lawrence, KS 66044.

Martin, Dale (editor) – Watusi’s Doghouse Funhouse

Website

watusi11

Watusi’s Doghouse Funhouse (edited by Dale Martin)

I’m not allowed to review this one.  Why?  Because it’s not a comic!  It’s something completely different, and something that is meant purely for children: an activity book.  Remember those from being kids, where you’d fill in the mazes, do the word puzzles, check which images were exactly the same, those sorts of things?  That’s what this is.  Oh sure, there are comic stories in here by a variety of folks, but this one is really meant for the kids, and I’m far too much of a childless curmudgeon to do it justice.  Stories in here include a family coming up with their own endings to a movie when their DVD player craps out (by Dale Martin & Tom Cherry, and remember when VHS tapes would skip until they stopped?  They didn’t?  Oh yeah.  Huzzah for modern technology!), Mark Morehouse showing different snowmen, Dale & Ivan Martin with the highlight of the comic (a short piece about the cyclical nature of time travel), Drew Boynton’s tale of some kids trying to find information on Bigfoot, Bill Hook & Mike Sullivan’s Thunderdawg, and assorted short pieces.  If you have a kid who likes this sort of thing, you should pick this up.  It’ll train them at an early age to appreciate comics (and the soon-to-be-extinct concept of paper), and there really is a ton of activities for them in here.  For us crusty old adults who just prefer a good story, it’s probably best to move on to something else.  Or I suppose lightening up is an option… humbug!  $3.50

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