Veggie Dog Saturn Special
I do love the collaborative comic. There aren’t too many of them, what with so many people scrambling just to put out their own comics on any semblance of a schedule, but they’re pretty much always a ton of fun. This is a collection of stories that are written by Jason (except for the story that was written by Brian John Mitchell and illustrated by Jason) and drawn by the people that you’ll see listed in the “tags” section, or I’ll get to them as I continue rambling on about the book. Pretty much all of them have other comics listed on this site if you get curious about them, and they’re all very much worth you getting curious about if you’ve never heard of them. Things start off with a story illustrated by Kurt Dinse about a gigantic bully from grade school who would steal bits of food off all the trays of kids who didn’t eat quickly and how that affected him in later life. Well, it’s told by a very old man, so I’m guessing maybe some of these aren’t literally true. That part was a little vague in the introduction. Hey, as long as the story is entertaining, who cares, right? Next up is the story of a house party (illustrated by Jason Martin) where the bands show up and the author steps in to play a little guitar. PB Kain is next with the shame of depositing large chunks of money to the bank on a regular basis and how he’s sure that the tellers think he’s a drug dealer (when he actually works at a comic store). Chris Hoium has a story about a brief conversation of the worst things that people had done to their grandma, Carrie McNinch illustrates a piece on the dangers of having too much store credit at a tattoo parlor, Joe Grunenwald remembers a friendly neighbor who would show projected cartoons when he was a kid, and Eric Shonborn shows what happens when pranks involving a label maker go horribly wrong. There’s also the piece illustrated by Jason Young and written by Brian John Mitchell, dealing with an implausible vomit configuration that I couldn’t help but sample below. It’s a pile of fun, in other words, and if you’re a comic artist/writer out there who would like to do something like this yourself, Jason does mention in the introduction that literally every person he asked to be in this said “yes,” so maybe your hypothetical project wouldn’t be as hard to get off the ground as you may think. $3
With the pace that Brian has established in making comics, it might be tempting to take that title literally. You’d be wrong, as it’s actually about a suicidal werewolf, but it would be an easy mistake to make. Anyway, yeah: suicidal werewolf. The only way this werewolf can be killed is by being shot through the heart three times by someone who loves him, so he has to spend the time between changes getting somebody to fall in love with them while still keeping them willing to kill him when he changes into a werewolf. Naturally this is a difficult trick to accomplish, as all the “I’m a werewolf” talk in the world wouldn’t keep you from being any less terrified when the actual change occurred. This first issue is mostly setting all that up, but it also managed to include a few intriguing questions. He still seems to chat with his mother, for example, and he can only be killed by somebody he loves, so… Well, it was intriguing to me anyway, but come to think of it I still haven’t seen a finished series by the man. It’s another fine addition to his comics pile, and if you liked his previous stuff I sure don’t see a reason for you to avoid this. I poked around on his website a bit today and saw that he has a number of past issues available for free download (including this one), so why not check out a few for free and see what you think? Then at least buy a few of them, as it’s a little sleazy to just read all his stuff for free. Yes, I am in fact one of the few people left who cares about such things. $1
Cops and Crooks #1
Brian has this listed as a #1, but in this case I don’t get it.Â I suppose, if I squint my eyes just right, this could be the perfect beginning of a series.Â Or it could be the perfect example of a self-contained comic.Â Ah, who cares?Â He has a half dozen or so other series that he’s juggling, so either way works for me.Â This is the story of, well, cops and crooks.Â This has to be close to the shortest flip book around, as half of it deals with a cop and the other half deals with a man who wants to kill all cops and destroy the system.Â The cop had a rough but decent life, as his father (also a cop) was killed when he was four years old, but he was raised by a bunch of different cops on the force, with them taking him on their family vacations and generally doing all the things that a father should do.Â The other guy had a completely different experience, as his father was taken away by cops before he was even born, so he has, quite naturally, hated them ever since.Â There’s also the distinct contrast of the artwork, as Jason Young (I’m guessing the Veggie Dog Saturn Jason Young?) has a clean line with everything seeming to be sweetness and light, while on the Crooks half Eric Shonborn perfectly captures some scratchy (but still intricate) rage.Â Like I said, this could go either way in terms of it being a series.Â I could see them both eventually crashing into each other, or this just being fine all by itself as a commentary of the intrinsic nature of cops and crooks.Â Either way, as always, I’m on board, and you should be too.Â $1
The Red Fox of Kinderhook
Let me just tell you the concept here: One man controls every aspect of the world, and has for a LONG time. He destroys it every 2000 years and everybody forgets that fact, except for two people. That man? Martin VanBuren, 8th President of the United States. Come on, that’s just funny. How does it work as a story? Pretty well, actually. The memory of the two men is hazy sometimes, but one of them always manages to make it to Martin to try and convince him to let the whole thing go. This was one of six books that I got from these two at SPACE, and I picked it for review because it was the best (I’ll probably put up some of the other ones at a later date anyway). The problem with this one, as with all of them, is that the art looks scrunched. I don’t know if they had to shrink it down from regular comic size, but there are certain titles where it’s extremely difficult to tell what’s going on at all. The production of the comics, other than that, was flawless. Great color scheme for the six books, great covers and boy could those two sell! It’s probably a couple of bucks (I got all six I think for $5, but that might not be right and it might have only been a convention thing, so don’t get all offended if they don’t go for it) and it’s entertaining. Check out the website, plenty to see there if you’re curious.