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Bliss, Pam – Time and Money



Time and Money

I sometimes wish that more people listed the circumstances that led to the creation of their comics. This one, for example, was made over the course of two days, live on her blog, based on an idea from Jeff Lilly. Not that that has affected the quality, but I do get curious about such things. Then again, “created over the course of two years in fits and starts, then put into a closet for six months, then taken out and reworked, then published” would get pretty old as a description. Oh hello cynicism, and a good morning to you! Anyway, this one is a fairly simple tale of Ms. Ginsberg getting prodded into a quest by a walking piggy bank. They need payment to get into a tower, she refuses to use her obvious resource., but they reach another solution and see the result of their quest. Yeah, this all has to be pretty vague, as it’s a damned short comic and I don’t want to give it all away. It plays a little with perceptions and what your brain absorbs of your surroundings, with a nice little touch of mystery about reality thrown in at the end. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it and it’s really about where that hat came from. $1


Bliss, Pam – The Steaming Pool



The Steaming Pool

Have you ever read any Edward Gorey books? No? OK, feel shame for a moment, then go read a few of his books to become a more complete human. For the rest of us, this comic is Pam’s tribute to Gorey, and it’s a beauty. It’s also damned near impossible to review without giving the whole thing away, so it’s a good thing I’m not paid by the word. Or at all, really. Hey, I’ve been doing this for free for 12 years! So hey, this comic. The page I sampled should tell you all you need to know about this style, but this thing is ridiculously perfect as a tribute. The dialogue, the fur coat, the one piece old-timey bathing suit, everything was as it should be. Send her a buck to check it out, then slip it into one of your Gorey books. I’m curious to see how much it confuses the next person to read that book, or if they think it might just be an add-on from Gorey himself. $1


Bliss, Pam & Jeff Lilly- Kekionga Mini Works #30: Fleek


Kekionga Mini Works #30: Fleek

There are times when a comic just mystifies me. Maybe if I had read some of Pam’s past issues in any kind of linear order I would have a better chance at understanding this, but as it is I’m almost completely at sea. This one starts off with a listing of the cast of characters, which is a damned useful piece of information (brain in a jar, a stuffed coelacanth, flying junkyard rats, two humans and a “Josef). Things start off with one of the humans poking around in a mysterious box with everybody else hovering around, trying to figure out what it is. They start guessing (by throwing out words that sound like nonsense), other characters make fun of them for their guesses, culminating in a page later in the book that looked like a sound effect convention gone wrong. I would have used it for the sample, but it was very late in this short book and I didn’t want to give the whole thing away. So if you’re a fan of wordplay and perhaps have a dictionary on hand that is getting a bit dusty, give this comic a shot. You’ll look up a half dozen words easy. I don’t have a dictionary around so I was mostly just befuddled. Which, again, is quite possibly my fault. $.50

Bliss, Pam – Kekionga Mini Works #24



Kekionga Mini Works #24

Sorry, but I’m way too lazy to type out that whole title.  I’m sticking with her hidden (on the back cover, anyway) numerical system for these things.  This is, as the title would suggest, a collection of pretty crappy werewolf jokes.  Hey, she comes right out and admits it on the cover, and after reading this I can’t put up much of an argument.  Check out that sample, they’re all pretty much like that, with the slight exception that I didn’t even recognize some of them as jokes.  Those are probably the ones that’ll come to me in a few minutes or hours (or days, or years…) and make me groan.  I’m not going to go over these one by one, as if you’re the type who likes pun I wouldn’t want to ruin anything.  I don’t mean this to sound like I’m trashing Pam, as the art is gorgeous as always and I have nothing but respect and admiration for all she’s done for small press comics.   It’s just that this is one awful, awful pile of jokes.  To see her at her best pick up, oh, ANY other mini comic she has lying around, or do yourself a favor and get that collection listed at the top, as that is a wonderful thing.  This one is only for fans of the pun and/or masochists.  No price, so… $2?


Bliss, Pam – Coelacanth and Friends (Kekionga Mini Works #16)



Coelacanth and Friends (Kekionga Mini Works #16)

In case you can’t read that blurb on the cover, this is a 25 hour mini comic.  I’m not sure how that’s much different than a 24 hour mini comic (other than the obvious), but in this case I can say that the extra hour helped immensely with the artwork.  24 hour books often look at least a little bit rushed, this one is gorgeous.  The time constraints didn’t slow her down a bit.  Pam started this off from a “story seed”, using a disembodied brain, an ugly fish trophy and a plane about to crash.  Things start off with the plane, well, crashing, but as we pull back we see that it’s a toy plane with an apparently sentient doll at the helm.  A group of entirely too adorable children were playing with the plane, and they take it to a salvage yard in an attempt to fix it up.  In this shop we meet the ugly fish trophy (the coelacanth, obviously) and the disembodied brain, two beings who would much rather be in the main part of the store instead of shoved in a storeroom, as they imagine the view would be better.  There’s a hefty cast of characters for a fairly simple story: 6 children, the shop owner, his dog and a stockboy.  I previously thought (after reading #19 of this series) that these minis all used the same cast of characters, after reading this I have to confess that I have no idea if that’s true.  Here’s hoping I was smart enough to get more than one mini from Pam at this SPACE.  Anyway, this was a pretty good mini.  Decent story, odd cast of characters, and artwork that was way too impressive for the time allowed.  Worth a look, and maybe one of these years I’ll just buy a whole pile of these.  $1