Hillbilly Sex: Final Issue (probably #7)
Well, that’s it for Nick, he’s done with comics. And IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT! OK, maybe not really, but it looks like one of the more genuinely funny people working in comics has thrown in the towel due to what appears to be shitty happenings in his personal life and a realization that he’s never going to make a dime from this business. Which, speaking as somebody who barely makes enough money from an online store to even cover the costs of keeping this website running, makes more and more sense all the time. Quitting, that is. Why bother? People seem to appreciate/enjoy the convenience of this website, and they come from all over the world (if my stats are correct) to discover new and interesting artists, but some bottom line does have to come up eventually. I’m rambling, as you probably noticed, but this did strike a bit of a nerve with me. How about the comic, you ask? Darwin Dong comes to a bloody end, Dolph Lundgren has some delightful poetry, Pederabbit stars in Pornographic Children’s Stories, Nick tries not to puss out on suicide, homeless people end up with all the change Nick needed for the bus, Ivan Brunetti has a revealing interview in which we discover that he still kind of hates his life, Deet-Phan and Joe continue to gayly fight crime, The Angry Few are smashed by the awesomeness that is America, and we end with a horrific threesome. There are more than a few of his hilarious newspaper strip comics in here too, and a nice splash page to end things. What can I say, this is depressing. Few enough people out there make me laugh every time, and losing them because of general reader apathy is enough to make me wonder about the whole deal. Good luck Nick, here’s hoping you come back after you somehow become independently wealthy… $2
Hillbilly Sex #6
Remember, way back in the review to #5, when I told you people to buy his books now before he got all rich and famous? Well, #1-5 are now sold out, so you missed your chance! This is new though, so I imagine you can still get a copy. What’s new? Well, any hint of “longer stories” is out the window. One story is five pages long (Twisted Soul of a Sadboy), one is three pages (Christianity is Retarded), the rest are all either a page long or done by somebody else, and by “somebody else” I mean Jenny Gonzales. If you don’t find AIDS, aborted fetuses and misplaced homophobia at least slightly funny, you should probably take your business elsewhere. If you do have a sense of humor, stories in here include an introspective frat boy, Classy McSnoots, Teenage Mutant Ninja Lesbians, Booblocker 2000, Monster Needs Sex, United States of Abortion, and the hilarity that is Santorum. There are also more newspaper style strips than you can shake your angry self-righteous fist at, but he has completely won me over on this front. Oh right, he’s one of those people who’s always looking for criticism. Let’s see… um, the strip about the Merchandise Man was kind of dumb. Other than that, it looks to me like he’s worked the bugs out. I just flipped through this and couldn’t find much of anything to bitch about. He’s even fixed the lettering! It’s still only $2 and it looks like he’s getting his big break in publishing a book called Centerfield. It better be published by one of the “big” independent publishers, because he’s ready to get some actual cash for this…
Hillbilly Sex #5
Gotta love that scanner. Let’s see, how negative can I be about this. Fart jokes are boring! And, um, Robospy was only mildly funny. And where was Mick Foley at on the list of 10 best wrestlers of all time! As for everything else, well, dammit, there goes the negativity. His “interview” with Johnny Ryan was hilarious, Darwin’s Theory of Evolution was one of the stupidest things I’ve seen (it was also one of the funniest), everybody loves strips with midgets, and it’s about time Jeffrey Tambor got some recognition. If you don’t know who that is, well, yes you do, and isn’t it just going to kill you not being able to put a face to the name? Better buy this comic then. What else… Darwin Dong, in the longer stories, is starting to wear a bit thin for me. However, Darwin Dong in the shorter strips is really starting to grow on me. Paradox? Maybe. There’s also a few guest artists in this one: Mike Diana, Josh Simmons, Vincent Stall and J. Johnston-Kiesling. $2 is still pretty cheap for this much funny and his stuff keeps getting better. Buy all of these and put them in plastic bags and boards (but for the sake of all the holy babies don’t read them and ruin the value) because I think he’ll be rich and famous one day. Oh, and when I say “rich” I only mean as rich as people get in the comics world, so not very rich. And when I say “famous” I only mean as famous as people get in the comics world, which is to say not at all.
Hillbilly Sex #4
OK, this is basically a review of #2-4, although I’ll probably go into more of the details of the individual issues when I have more time/when I feel less lazy. Reading three of these in a row is, frankly, an assault on the senses and I don’t have it in me to dissect three issues at once. Tastelessness is fine, going for the gross-out is fine, it’s just… after a while, wouldn’t it be funnier to NOT do the most offensive thing you can think of in a strip? Just make it bright and shiny to freak people out or something? Just a thought, but I’d love to see a children’s book from this guy to see some range, because there’s real talent here. He’s not anywhere near as bad as Jeff Johnston seems to think (the review is reprinted in #2) where he basically says that Nick is all that’s wrong with comics today. Not that I’m saying he’s the second coming or anything, but does it make me a total moron to find some of his stuff hilarious? At times he’s like a much less polished Ivan Brunetti, which isn’t his best stuff. His best stuff is his longer work, like the story where his character, Darwin Dong, confronts God (who actually turns out to be Burt Reynolds) and gets a lesson on love. Or there’s the story of Darwin befriending and eventually falling in love with a dog. Things I don’t like so much: most (but not all) of the four panel comics are stupid, but I mostly don’t like four panel strips, so take that with a grain of salt; same with most of the one panel gag strips. I like how he put the scathing review of his work on the inside cover and his biographies of various people (Lydia Lunch, Mike Diana and Gil-Scott Heron, so far) are short and informative. I’d say that #3 is your best bet if you just want to check one of them out, and #4 is probably the weakest overall. He also has a strange obsession with wrestling, not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s $2 per issue, contact info is above.
Hillbilly Sex #1
As you can see from the cover, this book is a treatise on the subtleties of the Middle East crisis… nah, just kidding. It’s a comic about squirrels being whores, killing children, hitting on anything with “grass on the field”, a video game about 9/11, Homeless Harry, old white ladies, Darwin Dong and some really silly superhero parodies. They’re in the minority though, so there’s nothing to worry about. Is it in good taste? No, not even close, but since when does something have to be in good taste to be funny? If you don’t mind being really grossed out by some things and even probably genuinely offended (hey, I’m sure it’s possible to make fun of 9/11 but the page strip in here was pretty tacky, unless you have thicker skin than I do, then it was hilarious), then this book is for you. I’m just gratified with the sheer number of funny mini comics I’m seeing these days. Keep them coming, poor cartoonist America! E-mail the guy to see what he has, there’s no address or website in the comic…