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Nichols, L. – Jumbly Junkery #9


Jumbly Junkery #9

Sometimes this whole art form just hits me all at once.  L. had a simple note at the start of this mini, mentioning that this was one of 200 copies of this issue and that there were only going to be 200 copies of this issue ever and really, she’s right.  Sure, there might be a collection some day, a “best of” kind of thing, but there are 200 copies of this issue in the universe and that’s it.  Then I take a step back and realize that I have boxes and boxes full of comics just like that, one of 100 copies ever made, one of 50 copies, sometimes even one of only a dozen or so copies ever made.  That’s what this crazy business is all about right there, the love and dedication that goes into making something with only a relative few copies floating around the world.  As for why I’m in a “what’s it all about” mood anyway, I blame L. and the latest issue of Jumbly Junkery.  There’s a sense to me that something has settled in her life, although a lot is still less than ideal, and yes, that is totally me pulling these ideas out of a few fictional stories, so feel free to laugh at me.  Just a general sense of a slowly dawning acceptance of the nonsense in the universe. As for the actual stories in here not related to my opinions, they include worries about a self-perceived lack of originality, wishing for snow but enjoying warm weather, random items and their potential, having to think about how old you are, realizing that life does not pause when you want it to, the vicious cycle of insomnia, all the skinny people, true love, a recent lack of interest in music, all the people trying not to sleep on a train, a lack of truth, trying to trust in a world of internet dating, dance moves, rain, turning it all off, and Outlaw Dog and Knuckles.  The range of artistic styles she chose was impressive as hell too, ranging from the simple to the abstract to cartoonish to certain forms that I believe she made up herself.  Her feeling of a lack of originality is baffling to me, as people who always stick with their preferred style could learn a few things here.  As for the sample, yes, it has very little to do with the rest of the book, but I could not resist that dog shooting at the shark while jumping over it.  Too awesome for words… $5

Nichols, L. – Jumbly Junkery #8



Jumbly Junkery #8

There are few people making comics that put this amount of work into their product.  Most people throw a few stories of varying lengths together and call it a comic.  L. always has a whole pile of stories in her comics, I have yet to see a weak piece and the whole package is always amazing.  I don’t know if those covers translate well through my scanner, but they’re always impressive.   She mixes a few larger pieces in this issue along with the usual short pieces, and subjects include fireflies, a schoolboy who’s obsessed with numbers, theories on how she cracked her tooth, the many stores closing and opening in her neighborhood, her fears of never making anything that lives up to her standards (utterly unfounded, but it’s often impossible to convince genuinely talented people of that fact), trying to enforce discipline on herself, contemplating the meaning of everything while having a mundane conversation with her parents, Katrina (her dad was living there when the storm hit, and I’, guessing that was her home for a long time), ennui, being unafraid to show real emotions, her amazing ability to always catch guys being assholes to women, and the heroic tale of a cat taken away against its will.  Her Katrina story was particularly awful because she was stuck at school for months and had no idea what to expect when she got back, she just knew the effect that it was having on her family.  And really, I’m a guy and I haven’t heard guys being total assholes to women nearly as often as she has.  It’s another impressive collection of stories, and as this is up to #8 I’m sure you guys already know all about this series so I won’t belabor the point.  $5 (?)


Nichols, L. – Jumbly Junkery #5


Jumbly Junkery #5

L. adds a few longer pieces this time around, and I think she may be onto something.  Granted, I already thought #4 was fantastic, but it’s always nice to see something completely different from an artist and still have it be fantastic.  Shows range, don’t you know.  There are still one page stories in here, about things like being gassy, public urination, the guard cat, and the daily grind of working.  New to this issue are brief snippets about L.’s new love interest (or at least her character in the comic), adorable as they’re only about this new person sleeping.  The longer pieces are what shines in here though, especially the biggest one in the bunch, about what to do when a person (in this case, a Muslim) overhears a stranger (in this case, an asshole) making racist comments to you.  Do you go go out of your way to tell the asshole off?  Do you, alternately, go out of your way to tell the Muslim that you don’t agree with the asshole?  Other longer stories deal with the dangers of watching tv, where women are at today, feminism in theory versus reality, a quiet piece of observation, and the persistence of some men who yell at attractive women as they walk by.  Oh, and in case anybody is wondering, it’s just a coincidence that both of the sample pages are entitled “The Sad Truth”, it’s not like that’s a constant theme of her comics or anything.  just felt compelled to point that out.  Great stuff again, if the last issue was $5 I’d say this one is the same.

Nichols, L. – Jumbly Junkery #4


Jumbly Junkery #4

Are there people reading this site who aren’t cat lovers? It’s one of the things that boggles my mind, like the idea that there are Republicans out there reading this (not that there’s anything wrong with that… oh who am I kidding, I think they’re all nuts at this point). Anyway, if that’s the case with you, while there are still delightful chunks of this book that you would enjoy, the obvious cat love may turn you off. As for me, with a hungry cat meowing at me as we speak, I loved it. This is mostly a bundle of one page stories, about such subjects as the Hello Kitty idol, Sisyphus (actually L.) in action doing various hopelessly repetitive tasks, the good and bad sides of Spring, reconciling her profession with the macho jerks she inevitably runs into, making a conscious effort to get rid of her Southern accent, her mutual disappointment in her parents and their disappointment with her, and even a very brief origin story. Oh, and there are also the tales of Guard Cat, the valiant protector of the house who keeps it safe from evil, something every cat owner can relate to. I should also mention that L. is portrayed as a sort of sexless doll with buttons for eyes, not because of any lack of artistic ability, as the book is gorgeous, it’s just one of those things that reviewers are compelled to mention. Just checked the website for price info and it turns out that this is issue #4 and it’s $5, for the curious, but #2 is mysteriously missing from the site…

Nichols, L. – Jumbly Junkery #7



Jumbly Junkery #7

Is it possible for one person to make an anthology?  I never thought so, but the sheer range of stories and artwork in this one make me wonder.  The bigger pieces of past issues are gone (I think the biggest piece is 3 pages), but variety is the theme for this issue.  The “normal” pieces in here include L. wondering if she’s ever going to have the one moment where she joins the sisterhood of women, drinking too much coffee, wondering what makes cats tick (and if they’re inherently good creatures), trying to pick out the things that separate people from animals while walking through a crowd, how Obama easily beats the lowered expectations left over from his predecessor, using cats like skates, whether or not it’s wrong that she loves one cat more than the other, and the thought process of a cat when it sees a box.  Mixed in with these pieces are the ones where she’s branching out (and I’m not going to even try to analyze them one by one), dealing with themes such as the unreliable nature of memory, machines as the imperfect perfection of man, happiness, the language of the body, a nightmare, process, and Narcissus.  The Narcissus piece was notable because she uses nothing but a collection of short lines to form the whole, it’s a deceptively simple and impressive story.  All this and I almost forgot the story at the center of the comic, a color piece about a man who became paralyzed due to his fear of death and was promptly buried alive.  It’s an eclectic bunch of stories, that’s for sure, and if you’ve been waiting to check out her work for some reason this one is the one to get.  You’ll certainly see a wide range of her talents.  And what does it say about me that of all the stories available here to sample, where she uses a wide variety of styles, I went with the cute cat page?  $5