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Mitchell, Brian John & Branstetter, David – Ultimate Lost Kisses #15



Ultimate Lost Kisses #15

Did you ever have some completely happy news on your end torn apart by the person that you’re relaying the news to? That’s the subject of this comic in a big way, as the star of the story is a young married woman in her 20’s who calls her mother to tell her that she’s having a baby. This is almost universally a cause for celebration (at least to somebody in a stable relationship and living situation), but her mother immediately tells her to get rid of it, that it will destroy her life and her figure. It’s impossible to ignore the obvious implication: her mother feels like having her 20+ years ago ruined HER life. The rest of the comic is a tour through the childhood of the pregnant woman, her feelings about that and the reaction, and how she decides to go forward from there. It’s an intriguing story, and a good reminder that relaying news to loved ones can often uncover some unpleasant truths. $1 as usual, and as usual you should go nuts and get at least a handful of these comics when you’re ordering, as they are tiny.


Branstetter, David – The Untold Tale of the Fighting Flag!


The Untold Tale of the Fighting Flag!

It helps when a book is lousy if it’s at least a 24 hour comic, as you can always ignore the mound of excellent 24 comics and blame its crappiness on the time frame. This is story of Captain Ameri…um, I mean Fighting Flag, telling his tale from his wheelchair in a retirement home to a very credulous helper. Turns out a giant figure from the heavens gave Fighting Flag the power to fight the Nazi’s, but he had to always use his powers for good. After the war this the hero slipped up on this oath a bit and had his powers taken away, until one fateful day in the retirement home… OK, so this doesn’t look that great (24 hour comics rarely do) and the story is dopey as hell, fine. This was made in 2000 when David was 20ish, so it’s not like this should be taken as a representation of his talents. He also does something called Straw Man, there’s a preview in the back of this and it looks like it could be funny. This one, however, unless you think that cover is for you, is easily skipped. You can buy his stuff on the website listed above, possibly the barest website I’ve seen, as that’s literally all you can do: buy his stuff. Or e-mail him with any questions, as I didn’t even see the e-mail listed on his website. $1

Branstetter, David – Strawman #4


Strawman #4

OK, here’s a little “inside Optical Sloth” useless trivia. When I go to conventions and see anything that remotely catches my eye (or when people stop me while I’m wandering around to chat, or when the person at a table is friendly, or basically anything other than a jerk) I’ll look at what they have to offer and, if there are a ton of books, I’ll mention what I do, give them a business card and ask them what their favorite issue is. That way, I figure, I’ll be getting the best of their work, as it’s not like I have the cash to buy out the stock of everybody at a con. So anyway, long story longer, David picked this issue out, and I got the issue reviewed below because it was a measly buck. Naturally, in the universe in my head centered completely around me, this issue should stand alone, it should tell me everything I need to know about this Strawman character, and it should be fantastic. Well, one out of three isn’t bad. I still don’t have much of an idea who or what Strawman is, and, as such, the issue wasn’t really fantastic. OK fine, it doesn’t completely stand alone either, but it comes close enough. David explains in his intro the basis for aspects of this story, and also mentions that his art improves in later and earlier issues, as he started this one early on, got stuck, and then put out #2 and 3 of the series. This issue involves Strawman trying to help a man after his store is robbed, chasing a thieving midget, riding a bus with a lot of odd characters, and getting clobbered by said midget, causing Strawman to hallucinate. So yeah, it’s pretty disjointed, the art could be better, and I still don’t know much of anything about the big picture with this guy, but I came away intrigued and interested in seeing more, so I guess it all worked out in the end. $2.95