Important Comics Volume 2
What, “Important Comics Are Bad” doesn’t count as a volume? Bizarre numbering system aside, it’s always a good thing when another collection of Dina’s comics comes along. This one has a fairly compact 40 pages of comics for a fairly steep $12, but oh the colors, they are very pretty. If you’re not familiar with her work you should feel a brief moment of shame before going to her website where you can see many free samples to educate yourself. For the rest of us, yes, this comic is still full of the funny bits that we have come to demand, which is really a lot to ask of Dina or anybody else on a consistent basis, but she seems up to the task. Subjects this time around include shut up, the feeling of stupid, internet addiction, getting crud on you, the human oldening process, a possible awkward moment in the doctor’s office, gamelon, crying getting in the way of the fun, telling the brain to fuck off while listening to your guts, and breaking the news. As always, she manages to cram a few strips on most pages, so it’s not like you’re getting short-changed or anything. And have I mentioned the colors? I did? Well, I want to make sure that you understand how impressive they are this time around. Not that they were crappy before, but you know what I mean. Buy her comic and continue this inevitable process of making her rich and famous. Hey, the first volume is even available on this website, so you don’t even have to leave to buy it! Yes, that was a shameless plug. I’ll stop now. $12
Important Comics Are Bad
Hey wait a minute, no they’re not! I’m not sure if it’s a good sign that this title is designed to make you start arguing with it, or maybe that’s just me. This is a collection of comics covering the very vague time period of 2008-2011. Dina was able to get a weekly strip in the Baltimore City Paper, and she masochistically includes a letter from a reader of that paper begging them to cancel her strip on the back of her book. For you philistines who haven’t seen any of her past work, her comics are simply drawn with word bubbles bursting out of the confines of those little square panels. My only complaint about this book is that that choice makes some bits of these strips unreadable (not many, just a few), as the words straggle off the page and into the page break. You know, that part where double page spreads in comics go to get mixed up? That one. Anyway, some themes are procrastination, enjoying a good day, equally enjoying a crappy day or event, and her fantastic Tron 2 review/drawings. There’s even an index in back that lists the locations of the various strips, just in case you’re so familiar with these strips that you want to look them up by title. If you think that I’m cheating you by not going into detail on more of these strips, well screw you, chum. Go to that website listed and flip through her many samples if you haven’t seen a thing that she’s done; I’m keeping most of the strips as a surprise for people who already know her work and want to be surprised by this one. It’s a bit bigger than her last collection (90ish pages compared to 45ish), but it’s only a few dollars more expensive ($14), so that still sounds like a good deal to me. Buy some copies why don’t you? The world needs more genuinely unique comics like this one.
Philly Alternative Comic Con 2010
Well, at least I think Pat was the editor.Â He put the book together, anyway, and that’s basically the same thing.Â Sadly, it’s one of those anthologies without a coherent table of contents (although I did like the look of the one Box Brown put together), so a lot of these stories are going to be reviewed through a bit of guesswork and process of elimination.Â Stories in here include a very colorful mess from Pat, Liz Baillie keeping the tradition of record collecting alive, Hawk Krall with some disgusting but hilarious pranks, Dina Kelberman’s inimitable comics (with a drunken disclaimer tacked onto the bottom), Mike Sgier with a futuristic tale of trying to cap an uncontrollably spewing well, Ian Harker’s love of flying, L. Nichols and going along to get along, and Sally Bloodbath & Matt Wiegle with a piece on the most horrible child alive and her fitting end.Â That leaves a few pieces without a noticeable creator, so in no particular order, the other stories in here dealt with making a friend (literally), trying to make art to please a critic, and two grotesque creatures sharing an apartment and their antics.Â Chris McDonnell probably did the first two pieces and Lance Hansen probably did the last story (which was actually a series of smaller stories), and I say “probably” because that’s where my coin flip landed, and when has that ever been wrong?Â Box Brown did the covers and has a lovely group of people at the end of their lives bemoaning their lack of buying quality comics in their lives, something you should all take to heart.Â As this was from a con I have no idea if it’s still readily available to the world, but as it’s all in color, gorgeous and full of talent, you should hunt it down if at all possible.Â Pat would probably know if it was around, why not check it with him?Â Or I can post a little update here if I hear anything, how about that?Â No price, but $5 sounds nice, if possibly too low.
The Regular Man #5
This isn’t a review for a comic so much as it is a chance for me to mention that for the next three people to order comics from this site, this little thing comes along free.Â Free!Â Who doesn’t like free comics?Â This is a series that Dina is putting out on a monthly basis, a full color thing that contains two pages of comics to go along with a front and back cover.Â In a perfect world comics like this would be inserted into your Sunday paper instead of the crap that’s in them now, but we have to make due with this world.Â Comics in this issue include tears, idiots, getting accepted to grad school, and “I Like A Book”.Â If you’re thinking it’s not worth getting because it’s so tiny, well, you clearly haven’t read her graphic novel, and you clearly don’t know how much she can do with a tiny amount of space.Â Besides, this comic also contains photographic evidence of the existence of Dina, or at least that she has the money to employ a stunt double to hold up the title.Â She also offers subscriptions of 12 issues for $15, in case you don’t want to bother with the free copy and want to get a pile of whatever comics she has out there.Â No sample for you, as, like I mentioned, this is only two pages long, and those two pages are done as a spread, so I’d have to sample the whole thing, and that would be cheating.
Important Comics: A Collection of Unquestionable Merit Now Available! $12
One of the things I love about comics is that you don’t have to have a great command of anatomy or conveying reality to make a great comic. Some of the best comics out there are minimalistic in one way or another, and this looks like a welcome addition to that pile. Don’t get me wrong, it’s clear from the layout, coloring and stories that Dina has some serious artistic skills, and for all I know she can paint a mean Sistine Chapel ceiling if she were so inclined. For what she’s doing here it’s irrelevant, even if she does draw an excellent hamburger. This is a collection of strips from her website, all done in color, mostly involving the utter banality of everyday life as related through a series of creatures that mostly resemble odd shapes, but occasionally reveling in absurdity. The sample should give you some idea of what I’m talking about (although a lot of her strips are bigger than that), as it’s going to be a bit hard to explain. The strip on the page opposite the sample page, for example, has two blue creatures (man and wife? boyfriend and girlfriend? who knows), and the male one has snuck off to eat a blue hot dog. His wife/girlfriend/landlady comes across him eating the hot dog and demands to know why he’s not using a hot dog bun. That is the kind of thing, for those of you who want a peek into my very odd brain, that I absolutely love. As for the rest of the mostly glorious comics included in this collection, I still recommend checking out her website, but I’ll give explaining a few of them a shot: there’s a politician with nothing to say, why leaving the house is a bad idea, a small cowardly sandwich, no fucking way, pointy water, being a jerk, your new pal the cloud, schizophrenics having a smell, books taking too long to read, going a whole day without the internet, and a roommate leaving all their crap. Confused? Then you clearly haven’t gone to her website yet. Why won’t you listen to me? The art is simplicity itself (and perfectly suited to the stories), a number of the strips passed the all-important “did it make me laugh out loud?” test, and I even noticed at least one strip I didn’t see the first time through due to tininess. I think this woman should be rich to pursue her dream (that I just made up) of never leaving the house again and putting out these comics. Won’t you please help? $12