Earth Minds Are Weak #8 Now Available! $3
First, a translation: Kaiju are the giant monsters in Japanese movies, and a Jugoruma is a giant bullfrog monster. That being said, this particular issue doesn’t have much to do with either of those things, but hey, it’ll probably be useful information down the line. Why? Justin has decided to do another continuing story, and he threw the first four chapters together in here. He’s never been afraid to take his mini comics (although this “mini” is 43 pages) in wildly different directions, and this issue is no exception. Some influences, listed from his afterward and in no particular order: Moebius, 2000AD reprints, Veronica Mars, old Warner Bros. cartoons, ABC Warriors, The Cosby Show, and Blue Velvet. If you’re not curious after that listing, there’s no hope for you. This is set in a futuristic world and we’re still, to this point, only seeing glimpses. The bulk of the story follows a man (in his flying car) trying to run errands, but his plans are thrown off by a moustached man, following a mid-air gunfight, landing on his hood and putting a gun to his head. We get to see the huge differences in lifestyles for people from different sectors of town and the obvious resentment that would come from the people who weren’t able to get a flying car. I have no idea if this is turning into a giant, sprawling epic or if this is going to fizz out in a few issues, but for now it’s great to see Justin taking some serious chances and trying something completely different. Futuristic sprawling epics are fine by me, so here’s hoping he keeps this up for a while… provided he still brings the funny in various other mini comics, of course. I’ll leave you with my favorite quote from the book, as he always has at least one quote that sticks in my head: “I’m gonna whittle his textbooks into spikes and stab learning into his skull.” $3
Earth Minds Are Weak #7
In case you’re wondering about all the samples, there’s a simple explanation: Earth Minds Are Weak #7 comes in an envelope, inside of which are three distinct comics. So you get the sample of all three covers and the usual one sample from the inside, because if I sampled all of them things would get crazy around here, and this site is already hard enough to see for the people without the greatest internet connection. It’s my favorite of the series so far by a long shot, and that’s saying a lot when I already mostly liked the other issues. There are three themes here, although they all seem to rely a bit on reminiscing. First up is the story of a woman who gave up everything in her life because everything reminded her of her ex. Next is a yearly conversation at a bar between a group of old classmates, where they take turns drinking and telling personal stories. Finally there’s the bit about God, in which he is portrayed as a lonely and frightened old man, with an all-too-human reaction to the death of his son. It’s hard to pick a highlight here. There’s the dull hopelessness of the woman from the first part, or all the wonderful stories based on remembered smells from the second issue. While he could have milked this and put it out as a few separate minis, these work well combined. My biggest confusion here (as opposed to some of the older issues where I was lost at sea) is simple: how on earth is this only $2? Three distinct comics, two of which are in color, and it’s $2? Maybe the man owns a printing press. Either way, this is the perfect comic for anybody who has ever felt nostalgic or anybody who has ever had an old memory kick them square in the face due to an anonymous smell. Which, I imagine, is just about everybody… $2
Earth Minds Are Weak #6
Huzzah for full color! Sure, it costs a bundle, but it sure does make a book look pretty. Especially when the story is something like this one, involving a man shrinking down into a (temporarily) shattered head in an attempt to heal a damaged mind. Justin’s mind, to be specific. All sorts of visual doodads and gewgaws in here, and you can never go wrong with a twirly moustache. Another great issue from Justin, and it’s probably the most easily accessible of the Earth Minds series so far, so maybe you can get one for your Grandma for Christmas or something… $2.50
Earth Minds Are Weak #5: Lincoln Isn’t The Awesome
Ok, first things first: go here and check out Carl is the Awesome, because if you’re not familiar with that book you’re not going to get the point of this one even a little bit. Of course, if you’re a fan of comics at all you already know all about Carl is the Awesome and anything I say about it here will just insult your intelligence. But this isn’t about Carl! This one is all about Lincoln, a pathetic porcupine (?) who, sadly, has none of Carl’s natural charisma or charm. He lives in a pathetic place, he was born in prison, and ladies make him pay for cab rides with Carl. Honestly, if you haven’t read Carl is the Awesome, this isn’t going to make much sense to you. It’ll still be funny, but you won’t get the larger context here. Check it out either way, if you want my two cents on it…
Earth Minds Are Weak #4 Now Available! $1.50
Well, here it is, the dramatic conclusion. I should mention that this series is subtitled “The Story of Suave Prospects”, because once you know that and you read the whole thing it all makes perfect sense, but if you’ve come here expecting me to spoil it all for you you’ve come to the wrong place. There’s a backup story in here with words, which killed my theory that only the wordless stuff was incomprehensible. As for the story itself, the last character to come out has a chat with a creature who reveals the great secret to him and things get a little crazy from there. I will say that it’s a satisfying conclusion, but I won’t say any more because most of you probably haven’t read the previous three issues and whatever I say specifically about the deeper meanings of this series will just prove how little I get it. I think it’s worth a look, but I also think I should have had a lot more alcohol when I read it, or possibly picked up a psychodelic drug habit of some kind.
Earth Minds Are Weak #3 Now Available! $1.50
What is it with my relentless quest for meaning in these wordless minis anyway? What if it’s all completely meaningless, maybe the author just liked a particular sequence of events and put them together in comic form? Well, who knows, but I’m having a blast reading this series regardless, so who cares? This one deals with the last person out of the giant vagina (hey, that’s what happened) exploring the candle above the happy casket instead of the casket itself. Then another man comes out, and he seems to be a bit more playful with his surroundings than the other people, which invariably gets him into some trouble. Oh, and Jesus comes back and saves us all from the monsters. Or maybe I just made that last part up and threw it in there randomly, but I guess there’s just no way for you to know for sure, now is there?
Earth Minds Are Weak #2 Now Available! $1.50
Issue #2! This is usually the point in series where all that hard work setting up characters and events in the first issue starts to form into a coherent whole, or at least it is when you’re doing these sorts of things “by the book”. Here, eh, maybe not so much. In here you have a man trying desperately to get a hatch open (which appears to have an upside-down woman in it), a bar inside of a whale, and the birth of another of the children. Oh, and he revealed some of the great mysteries of the universe but I was too dense to catch them. An interesting series so far and I’m looking forward to seeing where it’s headed, if anywhere…
Earth Minds Are Weak #1 Now available! $1.50
Oh, I do love the wordless comics. Why? Because they give me a chance to try and analyze them in a review, of course, which must be hilarious to you guys, as I usually have no idea at all where the story is going. This is (from the looks of it, I haven’t read the whole thing yet) a four issue silent series, and I’m going to try and review an issue a week so I can keep the whole thing fresh in my brain. These are also all available in the online store, so you know what to do if these images tickle your fancy. As for the first issue, well, you can’t beat that title, so at least it has that going for it. This is the story of a giant pregnant woman who decides to have her babies outside of a temple where some worshipping is going on. We get to briefly meet a man who is trapped in her belly and sees four fetuses (one for each issue?). One of them pops out, fully clothed and regular size, and he discovers a woman in the happiest coffin I’ve ever seen, and if I say any more I’ll ruin the story, or at least the story as I see it right now, which is admittedly pretty damned murky. So… stay tuned, I guess. Damned if I know if this is going to be a good series, or if my opinion on whether or not it’s “good” should have anything to do with you checking it out. It’s unique, I can tell that much already…