I should really start putting the “vol.” indicator up there, as the numbers from this series and the original Krunk series are starting to blur together. There’s also the small fact that this second series is called “Introduction,” but let’s not get bogged down in stuff like that. Anyway, last time around I was slightly confused by the lack of a recap after not reading the book for so many years, but this time it really didn’t matter at all. Why? Because damned near this entire issue takes place on a bus, and it’s all about the conversations that occur. That being said, I’m only going to give you the highlights, because this comic just flows all on its own, and it should be experienced by you folks who enjoy such things. There’s the slight shifting of your walk that you do when approaching somebody who you think is homeless to prevent any loose change from jangling (what, you never learned that trick?), the gold chains from the 70’s that laid worms into your chests to help with hair growth, the possibility of a ghost pen (followed by the best strategy for saving or not saving the pen for its rightful owner), sitting down against the rights of a person in a wheelchair, Hollywood’s continued quest for a perfect gruel of entertainment that nobody likes (but which also doesn’t offend anybody), getting married at 13, the “sin” of eating a eucharist when you don’t believe in that nonsense and the inevitable condemnation from the churchie on the bus. And that’s only the first half of the book! I particularly loved how that religious conversation ended which, once again, you’re going to have to read for yourself. Lots more good stuff in the second half of the book, including a fight scene if you demand such a thing, and why wouldn’t you? This is a hefty issue, so it’s $4, but it’s so packed with goodness that you’re still getting a deal. $4
Ah, my master plan of reviewing comics is still working. In this case, I read the past issues of Krunk (both volumes) until George stopped sending them for review in maybe 2006. Then I waited patiently for him to remember to send me more comics, and nearly six years later my patience has paid off! OK, it’s possible that this wasn’t the plan at all, but Krunk comics in my mailbox are always a welcome sign. Luckily me in the past republished the recap from #5 directly into the review for that issue, as otherwise I wouldn’t have had the slightest idea of what was going on in this issue. So for those of you who haven’t read any of these, or, like me, haven’t read them in many years, I don’t know what to tell you. Read that recap in the review for #5, that should help a bit. Otherwise George drops the reader right into the action with nary a recap to be found. Still, don’t be too alarmed, as this comic still works pretty well on its own. In this issue we get our blind hero in his quest for a cane (which he does while walking around and looking at canes), a mysterious disappearance by his homeless guru, another character details the process involved in getting hired and trained by a telemarketing company (including both the genesis behind the idea of the company and how long he lasted on the job), our blind hero taking a metal detector instead of a cane (at least until he was mocked for using it), an awkward religious conversation occurs, a guy spraying graffiti on a wall has his spelling corrected, and there’s even a fight scene. Most of my comics are already sadly packed up or I would have read the past issues of this series to get all caught up, and as such I must confess that I’m not quite yet totally back in the Krunk frame of mind. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a lot to love in this issue, not the least of which is the final panel from that fight scene. I’m absolutely thrilled that George has kept up the comics over the years, as he’s way too talented to leave all this glamour behind for a regular job. Which I’m assuming he has anyway, but you know what I mean. $2
The Bizmar Experiment
“Bizmar” stands for Bunny Insect Zombie Monkey Alien Robot, and the idea here seems to be to cram in all six things into a two page comic, making this the best idea for an anthology in the history of anthologies. Some names you might recognize from this site: Ben Snakepit, Tod Parkhill, Tom Manning, Stan Yan, George Tautkus, and Brian Morante. There are more people here (check out the website for ordering info and the complete list), but I want to talk about the comics! There’s a wide and completely absurd collection of stories, including all six things working in a pizza shop, a zombie becoming president, Ben going to see Gwar (yes, he does manage to fit everything in), A giant robot that is made up of 5 smaller pieces ala Voltron, renting movies for Halloween, bizarre sex confessions, a surprise party for a zombie, and even more stuff that I’m not going to ruin for you. Look, this is a brilliant idea that’s pulled off to perfection. What more do you want? $3!
Krunk Volume 2 #5
I’m pretty sure this isn’t kosher, but I’m going to reprint the entire “the story so far” at the start of this issue to give fans of his work some idea what’s going on here. For those people who aren’t fans, I have to think you’re a little bit stupid, or possibly you just haven’t read any Krunk yet. Anyway: “Terrence Krunk decides to travel and meets his friend Jimy and a new friend Jogn on the way to his first destination. Upon arriving, Terrence finds a place to stay and accidentally meets up with Jogn again. Terrence is, then, abducted by pirates. Jimy and Jogn save him. Terrence does not want them to turn the pirates over to the police. This makes Jimy yell at Terrence. In response, Terrence leaves his friends.” Everybody up to speed? Of course, this description is just the bare bones and leaves out all the wonderful, wonderful details going on in these issues. Terrence is down on his luck here (hence that image of him sitting on the street on the cover) but is lucky enough to meet a homeless man who takes him under his wing. Jimy attends a family dinner and fights to keep his mouth shut.We get to see the real history of cigarettes, and why people have to drinkexactly at noon. And I seem to have unconsciously mimicked the speaking style from the recap. Whoops! Oh, and there are some fantastic letters on the back of this comic, which is something that comics should do more often, assuming that anybody writes to comic creators these days. $2
Krunk Volume 2 #4
No idea if this is actually considered Volume 2 or if he just decided to start over again at #1, but that’s what I’m calling it until I hear different. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a Krunk, so i was happy to see these in my mailbox. This one is apparently part of a larger story, at least if that title is to be believed. In here you have homophobic pirates, a possible blind man, gambling, drinking, gunplay, and a brawl, so if that sounds like it might offend you it’s probably best to stay away. If you’re like most of the world and enjoy things that are funny, you’ll love this. Actually, this is probably the most “normal” of his books that I’ve seen, whatever that means. $1.50, here’s a website too…
Krunk #1 Now Available! $1
As someone who hates most four panel newspaper comics, I have to say that this was fantastic. I’ll let George take it from there, as he has a few words. This (along with Krunk #3 and #5) are all available for $1 each, either now or once I get the distro officially started. Here’s George: :The very beginning of the Krunk story. The beginning of a series that will continue until George Tautkus dies.”
A Short Procedure
Just so you know, that cover is the actual size of the book. This book, unlike all of his other work that I’ve seen, certainly can’t be called short, unless you’re referring to stature. It’s got to be around 100 pages (sorry, I’m not going to count them), tiny though they may be. I don’t know how many of these he made, as I think he had to do all the stitching by hand, but it’s definitely something you should try to find. It’s the story of a man who goes through a hernia operation, with all the uncomfortable parts thrown in. Also a long bit at the beginning about pizza involving some unrelated (unless I missed something) characters. I’d guess this is at least $3 for the sheer effort involved in making this, contact info is above. This is the longest story he has available by far, so if you’re just looking to check the guy out, this is the one to check. Unless he only made a few of them, in which case I’m sorry to have wasted your time…
Looks like I’ve finally come to the end of my SPX ’03 Krunk pile. Oh well, I’m sure there’s either more out there or more to come. This one falls into the so-so pile, but that could just be because I expect so much out of these little comics. There are two stories in here. The first is about a woman who gets a job doing parking lot security for a Madonna gig. It doesn’t go anywhere and ends rather abruptly, but there’s still room for a good line or two. Then there’s the story of a man who’s embarrassed of his performance in front of a class and wants to go back in time to make it better. This one had a lot more going for it, and that last panel was one of the best last panels ever. Did I mention that I like understated? Anyway, my sadness over not having any more of these to read should convince some of you fence-straddlers to give at least one of these minis a shot, although I’d still recommend getting a few because they’re mostly short. And they’re mostly only $1! Contact info is easily found by those who seek it…
In case you’re wondering, yes, that cover really is made out of cardboard. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find Jesus anywhere in it, but I guess you can’t have everything. This one is about Jep Menso, who was also in the giant book (sort of) reviewed below. Hey, maybe he’s using recurring characters. Anyway, Jep has a rant about how the beauty of architecture can sometimes rival the beauty of nature, then he runs into an artist who’s missing his shirt. Another short one but that rant is priceless, worth the price of admission. It’s $1, even with the hefty cover, and I still think the best way to read his comics is in a bunch. Contact info is way up yonder…
Krunk #5 Now Available! $1
Another short one from George, although I should point out that I got a much, much larger issue from him at SPX this year and should have a review up of that within the next few weeks. For anybody reading this in 2008, today is 12/4/03. Was I telling the truth about that review thing? Anyway, he won me back with this one. Not that I ever left, I just wasn’t sure after #4. This is about a man who, like many men, graduates with all the possibilities in the world awaiting him. He starts feelings years and years older every month, and decides that, as people value solid chocolate bunnies more than hollow ones, he’ll fill up his house to make it more valuable. I’ll say no more so you can discover a few things for yourself, but it’s brilliant. Contact info appears to be holding solid, scroll on up there…
Eh, I didn’t like this one so much. These things are way too tiny to say much about without giving the whole story away, but this one is about an old woman who goes to get copies as a favor for a sick friend. Then something happens that you can see in the sample, and hilarity ensues. Or not, it depends on your point of view. Here’s hoping that George makes these things longer than 8 pages at some point, because at least then if you had parts that you didn’t like so much they could be balanced out by other parts that you did like. Contact info is above, I liked the other issues at least…
Krunk #3 Now Available! $1
Three cheers for somebody putting their contact info all over the cover! It looks kind of gaudy, sure, but it sure is easy to find. Two main stories in this one. The first, It’s Your Fault, is about a man as he yells to some people on a bench about how much he hates their clothes. Then God comes down and another man has a powdered milk sandwich… I have mentioned that George is very much in his own world and that’s one of the nicest things that you can say about people in comics? Good. The second story is about a man who’s lamenting the fact that his town doesn’t have a football team and that the factory is the highest that anyone can hope to go. Insightful, entertaining stuff, and it’s definitely the start of the career of a unique voice in comics, assuming that he keeps going. Check him out, it’s $1 for the issues and there are four that I know of out so far. Contact info is above, or read the cover.
I’ve never been a big fan of people putting quotes on the cover of their book, but I can see why he’d want to quote James Kochalka on here. Anybody who looks at comics is going to have some kind of reaction to the name, positive or negative, so chances are they’re at least going to pick it up to see what it’s all about. I really wanted to scan the back cover of this. I don’t laugh out loud at comics very often, and this one made me laugh out loud. The scan sucked and I couldn’t do anything about it though, so I guess you’re going to have to buy it to see what I’m talking about. The comic is about a floating bag and the effect that it has on the neighborhood watch. Kind of obvious, I guess, but still a good short story. The one story on his website (about how people can’t commit to anything) is great too. I like the art, but I especially like his mindset. If he keeps putting stuff out I’ll keep buying it. What’s a better recommendation than that?