Jury Rigged Comics #3: Adaptations
In case you were wondering, yes, this comic features adapted stories from other sources. Sean gets into it all in the intro, although he mostly doesn’t mention what they’re adapted from. Ah well, I guess this means I have to judge the comic all by itself and not on the source material, which is how it should be anyway. The first two pieces are drawn by David Beyer Jr., with the first dealing with the unbreakable promise of a samurai and the second dealing with Thor trying to trick a giant into giving him back his hammer. Mythical Thor in the modern day is always funny to me (yes, I know that he has his own comic, but Marvel Thor is just barely mythical Thor) and, much as it pains me not to spoil it, the setting Thor winds up in is even funnier. Trust me on this one. The samurai piece is also fun, if maybe a bit predictable. Or at least it was predictable to me, as I have read all comics and stories ever and it’s all predictable to me. Next up is Ark, done entirely by Sean, and this is what brought it all crashing down, at least briefly (it’s a very short story). There’s an asteroid, see, and it breaks entirely through a planet. It lands on another planet, and everything I say from here is sheer guesswork, as I have no idea what happens next. It looks like it either smashes through many people, killing them brutally, or the asteroid turns out to have been filled with eyes, ears, and other squiggles. If I wasn’t away from home at the moment I’d go back to the issue of Spudd that had this story drawn by another artist to make a bit more sense of it, but my instinct is saying that this story was better off left alone. Marginalia (drawn by Brent Bowman) is up next, and it’s fantastic. It’s the story of a Sean reading a used book in school and not thinking all that much of the notes in the margins until he gets to the very end and, again without spoiling, it is indeed a fantastic ending. It details the story of a brute of a dentist who would pull teeth out by hand, how he married a wealthy woman and couldn’t keep his temper in check. Finally there’s essentially the famous speech from Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet, but as told to a toddler, so there’s no cursing involved. It is an engrossing and hilarious piece of work (text, not comic), which makes this book four for five on the really excellent content. I’d say that makes it worth taking a look, wouldn’t you?$2
Jury Rigged Comics: Leftovers
That’s usually an instant warning sign, when somebody puts out a book of stories that weren’t good enough to put in the regular series. Luckily in this case they really are still good stories, so don’t worry your pretty little heads about it. First you have the first attempt by the Chinese to travel to the stars way back in the early 16th century (drawn by Adam Walmsley). The art is downright gorgeous and I’d never heard this story before. Then you have the near-war over bridges in Cleveland and Ohio City in 1837 (drawn by David Beyer Jr.). Fascinating stuff again, as how many of us know any of the history at all of our state and/or town? In other words, don’t be fooled into thinking this is a throwaway issue, nothing to see here and please move on. There are stories worth reading in this comic, and that’s all any of us can ask for. $2
Clearance Items Only
More randomness from David, as this issue is a collection of “clearance items”, invented or seen as he was walking along, who knows? Items in here include a used dildo, a dinosaur bone, cynicism, a used birthday candle, and many other fabulous items. It’s done in a loose sketchbook style, so if you like your art neat and perfect your delicate sensibilities may be offended. It’s a funny mini though, and what more can you ask for from the shorties like this? $1
Worthless Comix #6
Six years or so of doing this website, and I still love the random submissions. This one from David is a bit of a mixed bag, but there’s still more then enough good stuff in here to recommend it. It starts off slowly (and a bit awkwardly, frankly) as it goes back and forth between talking about his old girlfriend, why they broke up, and then throwing in a scene where they were still dating. It picks up in the second half of the book where he has short pieces dealing with an awful job, dangerous questions, why it’s worthwhile to go to jail, an itchy monkey, the dull adventures of the invisible man, and fish thoughts. The art varies wildly throughout the book, ranging from sloppy sketchbook stuff to clean, thick black lines, and even the darkness of the copied pages varies a bit. Still, there’s plenty of interesting thinking going on here as well as a few genuinely funny pieces, which is what still qualifies to me as a good mini comic. No price tag here, but what with the color covers and all I’d guess $3.
What goes through the head of a single guy who spends a good chunk of his day wandering around a college town?Â Isn’t it obvious?Â This is a fairly cute (although not too cute)Â example of a day in the life of such a man, from waking up thinking about sex to going to work and thinking about sex (until some fat guy orders a hamburger) to wandering around town thinking about sex to going to a bar at the end of the day and trying to find somebody to actually have sex with.Â I don’t think there’s even a four word sentence in this whole mini but really, how many words do you need to get this point across?Â His obvious crudity gets his easily rejected at the bar until he finally, drunkenly gets somebody to take him up on his offer… and gets a lot more than he bargained for.Â Mark got the idea for the story, not surprisingly, just walking around Milwaukee, but I did find it interesting that this took a year and a half to put together after he got the initial concept.Â Anyway, it was a fun little romp with a mildly disturbing ending, just about all you could ask for out of casual sex.Â No price, but… $3?
City Under Sand
One thing David managed to nail in this (supposed to be) 24 hour comic is his excuse for not getting it done in time: he was busy.Â Ta-da!Â That and he had no real plans to do a 24 hour comic; he just started drawing on the subway one day.Â Still, he managed to get it done in a week, which is no small thing for a color book.Â At times this does look like it was done on the subway, as there are heavy, scattered lines all over the place in the first few pages, requiring the reader to step back and really examine the panels.Â Or you could take the cynic’s view and say that they look rushed, but I think there’s a very clear plan behind them.Â This is the silent story of a man who walks through the desert, makes his way to an underground city and gets on the subway.Â Things don’t go very smoothly from there, but I’m certainly not going to give it away.Â As for what was going on here, what kind of world was this, who was the walking man, these are all unaddressed, which is fine for a one-shot like this.Â Sometimes it’s better to have to come up with your own reasons for why everything is happening the way it is.Â All told it’s an intriguing book, which is all you can ask for out of this sort of thing.Â No price, but due to all the color I’m going with $2.