Now Available! $5
I love that cover. Absolutely perfect for the title, and if you ask me to explain that belief I will run away from you at top speed. This is an anthology put together by Eric Watkins, or at least published by Eric Watkins, and it features all sorts of folks that I’ll get into more in a minute. You could maybe say that talking was the unifying theme, but you would most likely be wrong, as these stories are all over the place. J.T. Yost is up first with a funny short piece on the daily lives of pigeons. Next is Sung Yoon Choi with a piece about how she never knew her parents and was raised by her Aunt (or at least the character in her story was, I have no idea if this is autobiographical). That one seemed to end very suddenly, so maybe there’s more out there, or maybe it was just meant to end suddenly and I didn’t get it. This will take forever to review at this rate, and it’ll be a mess anyway because of a lack of a table of contents (although at least the artists were listed in order of their appearance), so how about I mention my highlights? There’s Paul Hoppe with a reverse ventriloquism strip, Adam Kidder with Fundar the Funbarian (it’s just as fantastic as it sounds), James Turek with a piece about crashing into a car that’s already on the way to the hospital, Andres Vera Martinex with his introduction to Chicago life and Chris Butzer with a story on the fog of doom. There are plenty of other interesting bits and pieces in here, and one thing that immediately stood out was the sheer diversity of the artists. If you buy anthologies looking for a pile of new and potentially interesting artists, this is an excellent showcase. Naturally, I didn’t love everything about it (those anthologies are few and far between), but there’s more than enough good stuff in here to make it worth checking out. $5
Is the world ready for an anthology based on allotment gardening?Â Well, considering the fact that the world doesn’t seem to be ready for small press comics in general and it seems like a bit of a moot point, doesn’t it?Â Still, those of you reading this are probably inclined to give it a try, so don’t run away based on what seems like boring subject matter. The great thing about these anthologies is the wide range of colors, styles and cultural backgrounds, so at the very least you’re bound to find at least parts of this book gorgeous.Â That being said, honestly, to me the subject matter was often a little dull.Â Granted, this is a wildly creative group of people who took the subject into unexpected areas, but chunks of it didn’t do a lot for me.Â Highlights include Ruta Briede’s painted piece about a growing garden gnome, Sabine Moore’s hungry carrot, Malin Biller’s heartbreaking tale of family life contrasted with the happiness of vacations, Yoshi’s Garden Gnome Liberation Front, Irkus Zeberio and Hitler’s doubles, James Turek with some useful advice for long-distance murdering, and Lai Tat Tat Wing’s cautionary tale of the future. The highlight of the comic was again the manga portion by Hironori Kikucki, as he drifted off while contemplating the subject matter and came up with something completely different and fantastic.Â I’m guessing the translating errors are unintentional, but they add an extra layer of funny to the whole thing.Â According to his bio he mostly does stories for teenagers, but he should really consider branching out into the small press world where he can get creative.Â All told it’s far from an awful anthology, but I wouldn’t list it as one of the greats either.Â If you’re looking to explore the international world of comics this is a great place to get a number of names and contact information, if you’re already a regular reader of this series this is the one I’ve seen so far that you could maybe get away with skipping.Â Then again, it’s only $8 for 111 colorful pages, so it’s up to you.
Link to some of his comics (scroll down)
Spectre Presents The 5:00 Shadow
What the hell did I just read? My roommate went to a zine convention this weekend and picked up a few of the comics there and this was one of them. I honestly have no idea what to tell you about this, because I don’t have a clue what happened. It follows a bunch of random people doing a bunch of random things: a boy burning ants, a man with his pants down outside watching somebody, a crazy woman shooting her lover, a prostitute with sparklers, a hornet leaving in a paper bag tied to a balloon… If this all sounds interesting, maybe I didn’t describe it right. These are all odd things, sure. But we don’t know who any of the people are, and even when he goes back to some of the people he used earlier in the comic, the art is so poor that you can’t tell for sure if it’s the same people or not. It’s “To Be Continued” at the end, so maybe this is all going to make sense in a few issues. As for right now, well, it’s only $1, but I can’t recommend it.
Jim Turek 113 SE 10th St. Gainesville, FL 32601