Debacle #6 Now Available! $1
Just sat down to write this review when I realized that I didn’t remember much about the comic. No bad impression, no good impression, just indifference. No drugs involved either, I guess it just didn’t do much for me one way or another. It’s a short book and the main story in here is the character on the cover trying to find some pancakes. Not much there, although I did like the art. The rest of the book is mostly a series of one page strips about such topics as incorrectly wearing bunny ears, black people as wacky comedy foils, cereal (it made no sense at all, seriously), and some pick-up lines. The parts that did the most for me were the surreal pages, like the one with a mirror and fire hydrant having a conversation, or the one with a wildly writhing man getting attacked by bees. A lot of the comedy stuff looks like it was taken from the Sam Henderson school of drawing, which is fine, but he left the funny out in most cases. This is probably $2 or $3 (what is it with nobody putting a price on their books these days?), and kudos to him for at least doing six issues of a series. He has some work to do sure, but there is potential here. E-mail!
I think this may be the first thing I’ve seen from Barry that was just plain bad.Â Don’t get me wrong, it still had a moment or two, but this is the first issue of the Debacle pile that I wouldn’t recommend getting all by itself.Â As part of the 6 issue set, well, fine.Â There’s one big story this issue that wanders all over the place.Â A young man is bored, so he’s given robot seeds.Â His seeds, however, are defective, as the robot that springs up sees hats everywhere.Â The lack of actual hats causes an explosion, which leads to a fight, which leads to more wandering around.Â The story, meandering though it may be, wasn’t the problem.Â The art was terrible.Â Barry does occasionally walk the minimalist line, but this time around it looked for the entire issue like he was rushing to get someplace he’d rather be.Â Good chunks of the text still had pencil outlines underneath them, there’s never much of a background besides clouds, and the linework on damned near everything looked like he did this while riding a very bumpy train.Â The recurring joke still almost makes this worth a look but, like I said, as part of the set.Â Get this all by itself and you’ll probably be disappointed. $1
Just picked one of these randomly to review (as Barry sent me all six issues to sell on the site), but I liked this one. Three stories here. The first is about a very, vary random story about a flying horse named Happy Horse Waxy. He flies around, captures a mouse, and… well, I don’t want to give away the ending or anything, not like it made any logical sense that I could see. Then you have the story I sampled, so no more needs to be said of that, assuming you can read the sample (how’s that new scanner working out for you guys anyway? Better or worse than the old one? Let me know!). Finally you have a story about a man who gets a robot that can do literally anything he asks it to do. Interesting story, my only problem was that there were way too many panels at times (the cover is the exact size of the comic, in case you were wondering). It added to the chaos of the story, sure, but it’s too tiny of a book for that many panels, unless you’re Shane Simmons or something. Obscure comics reference! Hah! Oh, at least I amuse myself. Contact info is down there, these books are pretty random but they also have a lot of different stories in them, and Barry isn’t afraid at all to radically change his artistic style throughout the series. Worth a look, especially with the cheap price…
Of all the six issues of Debacle, this one most closely lives up to the title.Â What I’m trying to say is that it’s a mess.Â Fine, it being a Barry Rodges work and all, there are some good points.Â Those would be Nonpedal (a short story about kids making fun of a boy with stumps for feet) and the strip about how great winter is because everybody wears socks.Â Fonetik Funnees, however, has officially worn me down.Â Â The strip about the three-eyed boy with a stick for a body being abducted by aliens was mildly intriguing, but Barry got tired of it towards the end and stopped it abruptly.Â Ditto for the story about the man who wakes up as a bunny rabbit and has to challenge Death to a game to become human.Â The rest of it was just sort of present, not doing much for me one way or the other.Â Â It has to be pointed out that feel more than a little bit ridiculous for criticizing the man for work that is 8 years old when he’s done far better comics since, but hey, as they’re still available to buy, I do have an obligation to be honest about it, right?Â There’s plenty of other stuff on this page that is well worth your time, including other issues of this series, and this issue isn’t bad enough to “ruin” your purchase of the whole set.Â I just wouldn’t pick it up all by itself and hope to get an accurate representation of what this man is capable of.Â $1
It’s been “time capsule” month around the old Sloth, as I’m killing time until SPACE by filling in holes in the online store.Â It turns out that this has been a good thing, as there are plenty more holes than I thought when I started all this.Â Barry sent this collection of books along probably in 2005 (it’s 2009 now, future readers), and I only managed to review two books in this series?Â Shameful.Â There are three comics in this one, and two of them, if I were a lazier man, could be summed up with “I don’t get it”.Â First up is Pencil & Me, the story of a pencil and an, um, round-headed thing, as they decide to dress up and pretend to be beating each other up in various places.Â They do this until a bystander gets the drop on them and teaches them a valuable lesson.Â I’m telling the whole story here (or at least most of it) because things breaks down a bit after that.Â Fonetik Funnees is just what it sounds like, a strip told phonetically, and I hate to admit this but I JUST got the punchline as I looked at it again.Â OK, it’s funny, and it was amusing to see everything spelled out phonetically for a one page strip.Â Any longer than that and I probably would have gotten a headache.Â Last up is Gunter and Tad, as we follow two creatures shopping and using what seems like random words in odd places to carry on their conversation.Â I like to think I know a variety of big words, but Barry stumped me on this one.Â I’m probably just missing this point, and that certainly wouldn’t be the first time.Â So all in all this issue is just OK.Â Lucky for Barry and the rest of the comics reading world that he got significantly better after this, as you can tell from checking out reviews for his other, more recent work.Â This whole series is still worth checking out if you like his stuff, but if you just need an introduction you might want to start further down the page and work your way up.Â $1
It’s way past time that I finish filling in the holes on this page, so #1 finally gets a review.Â Yes, I am aware that I’m the only person who even notices these sorts of things.Â This issue is, as you might have imagined, pretty raw.Â You can see some of Barry’s unique skills, but he clearly hadn’t put it all together yet.Â First up is a conversation between two armless things, but if I say anything about it I ruin the punchline.Â Which makes no sense, but hey, I’m firmly against ruining things whenever possible.Â Next up is floss, a story about two lonely musicians and what they can do when they get together.Â From here it gets downright autobiographical, as Barry describes a man who always makes fun of his (Barry’s) beard and then has the sampled strip about Renee French.Â A bit dated at this point, but he’s probably still right.Â Finally there’s a short two page strip with a very large head and a very tiny gun, of which I will say no more.Â Like I’ve said, his best stuff is yet to come at this stage, but there are still enough nuggets in these minis to make them worth checking out.Â $1