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Various Anthologies – Paper Cuts Machine


Paper Cuts Machine

Wow, that cover is tremendously hard to see in a scan. This is an anthology of autobiographical comics, which automatically means that I like it, so I’ll try to be a bit more critical this time. There are a couple of great stories by Max Clotfelter, one about almost getting killed in grade school and one about the average events of a week. Every embarrassing detail is exposed here, which is always fun. Then there’s a story from Liz Prince about who’s stinkier, which is a short but fun strip. Aarow Mew just sort of wanders around aimlessly, and I can’t tell you why it bugged me here and not in the other strips, but there you go. Kelly Froh has a great story about a crush on an art school teacher, Rob Schultz has a one pager about wackiness in Iraq (maybe not the funniest subject matter in the world) and Kaz Strzepek has a story about trying to make out with his girlfriend back when he still lived with his parents. Max probably had the best looking art in here, with Kaz a close second, if you’re going to by that standard, even though it’s usually not a tremendously important criteria in autobio. The important thing is that everything in here is engaging and interesting (except maybe for Aaron’s story, but that’s a question of taste). I’m going out on a limb and saying it’s $2, check out the website!

Kaz – Sidetrack City and Other Tales


Sidetrack City and Other Tales

Kaz has always been, for whatever reason, somebody that I didn’t think too much of. Maybe it’s just the sheer volume of people that I read, some of them are bound to fall through the cracks. Still, it’s a shame when somebody like this doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. Not like he really needs it from me, as he’s doing a weekly strip in a lot of alternative newspapers and I’m sure he’s doing just fine for himself. He’s one of those comics visionaries that I talk so much about. Every panel of this book is packed with surreal imagery. I can guarantee that you won’t catch everything he did even on the third way through (I read this for the third time to review it and there were more than a few new things in there for me). Stories in this include Satan falling in love, a floating pig head who tells the protagonist in the title tale to do evil things, burly men with boobs, Bill Beak (a psychotic baby chicken), and too many other things to mention. It’s kind of a short book at 64 pages, but it is absolutely packed and I don’t think anybody is going to go away disappointed. I think part of my negative impression of the guy was from a few Underworld strips I’d seen that I didn’t like. Who knows, maybe I just caught him on a couple of off weeks, but I can tell you that this book is good. Anybody who wants to clue me in with the Underworld books is more than welcome to… Don’t forget to check out his website to see for yourself what you think of his stuff, as he has tons of samples up. You can kill an afternoon here pretty easily and have a good time doing it.