I have rarely been as divided in my opinion of the contents of an anthology as I am with this one. They’re mixed bags the vast majority of the time; that’s just the nature of putting a bunch of artists in the same comic together. And my problems with this one have nothing to do with the content of any of the stories, which I really enjoyed overall. But roughly half of the stories in here have no resolution, and that’s just a flatly annoying thing to read in an anthology. For example, the first story (by Matt Aucoin and Holly Foltz) is a great tale of empowerment and having a bully finally get what’s coming to him. But it ends with the introduction of a new character and is clearly going to go on in some other venue. Which would be fine if there was any indication that this was meant to be a sampling of work from different artists, or if I could figure that out because all of the stories were “to be continued.” But that’s not the case here, which makes the whole comic a maddening read, as I never know if there’s going to be any resolution until I finish the story. Maybe that was the point? I don’t know, but since I like the content of the stories a bunch I’m just going to comment on that from here on out. Other stories include David Yoder time traveling with himself (in a continuing story that tricked me because it continued later in the anthology), a great piece on Skeleton Girl by Denis St. John (or the first chapter of it), the origin story of a band with a bad name by Ryland Ianelli and Marisa Chapin (or the first chapter of it), a hilarious story on the true mission for a giant space robot that comes to the planet by Joseph Hewitt, Jarod Rosello’s fascinating story of a boy who tries to make friends with a monster and the characters that are egging him on to attack it (all while commenting on the nature of friendship and humanity), and a small piece of a Kevin Kilgore story (along with an interview with the man) that did get me intrigued about his story but couldn’t be called a complete story here. The highlight of the book was Fight Hero Fight by Matt Aucoin, which is probably a lot funnier if you’re familiar with the Zelda lore but works either way. A young adventurer gets his quest, but he has to fend for himself when it comes to gear and money and has no idea of the skill levels of the various enemies he encounters in the wild. Way too many great touches for me to point them all out, but trust me, any gamers will think it’s hilarious, as should most other people with a sense of humor. So overall it would be impossible not to recommend this anthology for that last story alone, but don’t expect everything to be self-contained. It’s not the worst thing in the world if these pieces of larger stories lead to people tracking down these artists, I just wish that had been indicated somewhere in the book. $9
You Want To Know How I Make Comics?!!?
If your answer to that question is “not really”, then I guess you can stop reading this right now and save yourself a buck or so when you see this in a comic store. It’s actually probably less than a buck, as it’s tiny and all black and white, but I’m just guessing here. It’s a pretty straight forward answer to the question he poses, with a few (self-admitted) lame jokes thrown in. This is mostly only for fan’s of David’s work, although I do love the image he uses of himself to pick up his comics. What can I say, it’s only 6 pages long and there just isn’t that much to say about it…
David Yoder’s Big Book of Non-Sequitur Funnies Volume 1
As is usually the case when I’m curious about somebody’s work, that curiousity is satisfied when they decide to send me a bunch of their comics. That’s right, there’s this and two more coming in the near future, so I get a much more well-rounded picture of the guy, which always gets a “huzzah” out of me. So how about his comic? This, as you can probably tell by the cover, is a bunch of one or two page stories, or you could probably more accurately call them “jokes”. As most of them are funny, that fits pretty well. Many questions are answered here, such as why do dogs smell each other, why do people look better when you’re drunk, why do paper cuts hurt so much, and why do some things taste like chicken. If you have no interest in these questions, well, that’s half the book right there. Other than that you have a tense trip to a teacher’s party, church, a ghost, pirates and heavy beans. A hodge podge, but mostly a good one. This is probably a buck or two, but you can check that website up at the top of the page for that information and probably a few other things as well…
Lou Season #2
Where the last issue was about Lou and his hardships at school, this one is about his new best friend the gerbil, the girl he likes getting mixed signals about just how much Lou likes the gerbil, and the bully finally getting his. The story, such as it was set up in the first issue, pretty much flies off the rails here, but who cares? There’s a savage beating, a puffy gerbil and a heartwarmning ending, apparently to the whole story. It still looks great and it’s still pretty funny, so I don’t have anything to complain about here. If there was some serious buildup in the first issue here that was ignored it would be one thing, but this was never all that serious to begin with. Still no price, so I’m going to say that this one is $87. Oh, don’t forget the linked website at the top of the page, with probably the best web address in the universe.
Lou Season #1
Ah, the wonders of elementary school. Combine that with the fact that the lead character here is a walking, talking duck, and you have all kinds of awkwardness. I don’t know much about Lou, except for the fact that he’s having a hard time getting into school, and that’s fine, it’s irrelevant to the story. This is all about Lou dealing with bullies, not noticing a girl and declaring the class gerbil as his new best friend. No way in the world is this his first comic (the art is way too polished and impressive), so I’m automatically curious about what else he’s done, as this one was just a blast all the way through. You can’t go wrong with a fun comic that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Here’s an e-mail address for more info, and oh these FLUKE people and their utter lack of cover prices. Oh well. Let’s call it $3 and call it a day.