Only the Lonely
The world has been begging for it, so here it is: an anthology about being lonely, standing in the rain and dealing with the women folk. Oh, and its collective tongue in pretty firmly in cheek for most of it. Andy Terhune has a story about potential love in the bowling alley, Thien Pham has a story called “Gummi Bears Taste Like Loneliness (don’t know what explanation that needs), Joe Sayers has the best line in the book with “I have procured a lobster, please prepare for coitus”, Josh Frankel explodes and has some “journal” stuff, Alixopulos creepily goes through his day and makes fun of the anthology, Tom Neely jerks off and pees a lot, Jesse Reklaw does a wonderful Kochalka, and Fredo misses his nighttime lover. A great parody of all of the many, many, MANY whiny autobio stories out there about losing girlfriends and staring at the rain. Which I usually like quite a bit, but parody is always a good thing. Here’s an e-mail address, it’s $3 and completely worth it.
The Bridge Project
Just so it’s clear, as of 10/07/09 that website is still “under construction”.Â Well, it does lead to a fair amount of samples from Matt and other places to learn about this book, so it’s better than most “under construction” websites, and this book is new enough that it might really be under construction.Â I’ve just become jaded from seeing that warning on countless websites only to have the construction never start.Â Anyway, how about the book?Â This is an anthology with a unique goal: team up on cartoonist living in Portland with one living in San Francisco, let them do their thing and see what comes out of it.Â Some of these stories just have one person drawing, some of them mix both artists in, but the mildly surprising thing is how well all of this works.Â Collaborations can be a tricky business, but Matt seems to have found the magic formula.Â This did take a couple of years to put together, so I guess technically he did have time to work some bugs out.Â Stories in here include The Forlorn Hope (by Shannon O’Leary & Ryan Alexander-Tanner, dealing with the infamous Donner party), The “The Bridge Project” Project (by Peter Conrad, the only solo piece in the book due to Peter’s partner crapping out on him), Nerd Prom (by Carolyn Main & Jesse Baggs about cartoonists in relationships getting along a little too well at a convention), Shanghooked (by Graham Annable & Scott Campbell), Lost Intersection (by Matt Leunig & Seamus Heffernan, the heart of the book), Jumpers (by Sina Grace & Susan Tardif, about a long distance relationship disintegrating), Future Jerks (by Jonathan Hill & Calvin Wong about, um, vegan jerks in the future), Dark Matter (by Tom Lechner & John Isaacson, dealing with an especially creepy invasion), The MVPs (by Josh Frankel & Greg Means, it’s about star basketball players yearning to make comics), and The Doppelganger (by Tessa Brunton & Vanessa Grunton, it’s all about the various evil twins we have all over the place.Â All that and there’s still room for a couple of short pieces by Rina Ayuyang & Erika Moen (an untitled piece about trying to fit in in Portland), Mari Naomi & Rachel Mendez (Inga and the Whales, a heartbreaking tale (almost certainly an urban legend) about a whale thanking its rescuers), and David Chelsea & Two Fine Chaps (that’s really what they’re called, it deals with David’s uncle having a stroke).Â It’s packed, is what I’m trying to say, and there’s really not a weak piece in the bunch.Â Graham Annable is always worth the price of admission to me and his piece on the sea serpent was brilliant, there were some damned useful tips in The Doppelganger (if you ever run into yours, that is), Peter Conrad was far too nice in not naming the slacker that promised him a script for months, and the center of the book by Matt & Seamus, dealing with a few people and their relationships over the years, was a perfect place to do some artist swapping.Â So now that I’ve mentioned how great the content was, I at least have to mention the layout.Â No table of contents, but that was made up for by the inclusion on the bottom of every page of the artists.Â Â It seems to be the norm not to mention that on the page in anthologies, and it bugs me every time it’s not included, so kudos to Matt for that.Â It’s an impressive achievement, here’s hoping this didn’t scare him off editing anthologies altogether and he can keep this concept going with other cities.Â And did I mention this is a measly $9.95?
Here’s a gorgeous silent comic about underwater creatures and something like an average day in the life of a tuna fish. Informative stuff, but not in a dull way. In the back of the book there’s a long rant about the delicate ecosystem of the ocean and how our hunting of certain types of fish have long ranging implications that we never even think about. I have one question about the whole thing. One of the things that Josh says that we can do to help the whole problem is to “vote right”. I follow politics pretty closely, all things considered, and I can’t say that I’ve ever heard any of them talk about the plight of the tuna fish, so I just don’t get that comment. Still, a intricate, fascinating comic that’ll do quite a bit to make you think about things that (at least for me) you probably haven’t thought much about. Here’s a website, this one is $4.
And this behemoth of a page just keeps getting bigger and bigger. One of these days I’ll pare it down, etc. etc. excuses excuses. So, once again, you can see that cover, right? You already read the first two issues of this series and chances are that you’ve been waiting for more for quite a while, and here it is! A few of the artists involved: Stan Yan, Josh Frankel, Lonnie Allen, Peter S. Conrad, Fredo, Jenny Gonzalez, Kate Allen, Adam Suerte, and Dave McKenna, among many others. What sorts of tragedies at sea are they talking about exactly? You have snapping sea turtles, a giant eel, various shark attacks, a whale trying to jump over a boat, horrible storms, and at least one swordfish living up to its name. Great fun to be had here as always, although I was less than impressed with the stories that were told in poetry form. I’m here for the mayhem dammit, not iambic pentameter! $4.50, please keep buying these so they keep making them, next up is “Mauled by Machines”… Website