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
Aline the Alien/Wonder World flip book (with Lonnie Allen) Now Available! $3.50
When does a book get too experimental?Â I’d previously thought just about never, but now I’m having my doubts.Â This is a flip book where both creators play with the panel structure of comics, smash through the fourth wall and talk to the readers, and generally smash many conventions of making a comic.Â All well and good, I say, but throwing in time travel too may have just made my brain explode.Â I’ll put it this way: in both stories there’s a repeated page, front and back.Â Due to the nature of the stories I’m not entirely sure if that’s a printing error (if so, shame on them for not being extra careful with stories this complex) or just them making a statement about comics.Â So how about the comics?Â Tom’s half deals with Aline the Alien, and things get off to an excellent start with a good old fashioned pie fight.Â Then Aline starts to notice the panel boxing her in, the author is introduced, the guy who does the text boxes ponders his existence, and things end with a spectacular two page spread of Aline being trapped in a time bubble, panels and word balloons all over the place.Â Lonnie’s half smashes through the fourth wall and deals with time travel, facing the fact of their two-dimensionality, and becoming real.Â If I gave the impression here that this wasn’t a fun book, well, sorry, as it is a blast to watch these two play around with comic concepts.Â That doubled page just threw me completely off, as organized chaos like this really needs to be free of errors like that.Â Unless it was a commentary on the printing process that I missed…
Gen Eric (with Nick Mamatas & T. Motley) Now Available! $2
So who saw the Sin City movie? Complete mayhem all around, blood and guts all over the place (although not red blood), and all of the quiet moments from three Sin City books taken out for the sake of keeping up the frantic pace. Well, this parody has a lot in common with that, with the extra added bonus of being funny. Oh, if only my scanner worked and I could show you the back cover of this book, if sums the whole thing up beautifully. Anyway, if you’re looking for a plot here, you’re looking in the wrong place. It’s a mish-mash of sex and violence, which shouldn’t come as a shock to anybody, considering the subject material. The art is vaguely Frank Miller-esque, more than enough to keep the little book moving, and it was great to see a Sin City plot crammed down into mini comic form. More than enough here to keep fans (and haters) of the series happy. Contact info is up there, it’s $2 and you can also get it in my online store, if you wanna…
The Cheerleader & Other Stories Now Available! $1
Three cheers for printing errors! OK, maybe not. I’m not sure what to say about this one because the main story (surprisingly enough, about a cheerleader) is a garbled mess. I was intrigued at the start, after I had read the parts that were in order, and then pages started repeating and suddenly it was over. I’m hoping that he has reprinted this thing, or plans to, otherwise I couldn’t recommend this to anyone. Which really sucks, because I liked his other two comics quite a bit, and I liked most of the rest of the stories in here too. One tells of a childhood story of why he has a red mark on his nose today, one is a short wordless tale about a bike, and the last is an adapted poem by W. B. Yeats. Like I said, if this has been reprinted. it looked like a good main story and it’s only a buck. If it hasn’t been reprinted, unless you’re a fan of banging your head against walls, I’d skip it. Contact info is up there for his other fantastic, coherent books….
Boxer #1 Now Available! $3
This is the first issue of a new regular series by Lonnie, although “regular” in the small press comics world could be interpreted in a number of ways. Two comics in a year can be considered regular, so we’ll see what happens. And, not to give anything away or anything, but keeping the same title for the rest of the series might be a bit tough. There are three stories in here. The first is about a boxer who’s lost faith in the world, the second about a young girl whose mother has killed herself, and the last about life and death and everything after. This was a really great read, and I recommend it for anybody who happens to be going to SPX this weekend (you lucky bastards), but it also felt a bit like a punch to the gut. A bit depressing, if you will, what with all the death and futility of it all. If you’re looking for something happy I’m sure there’s something with puppies on this site somewhere, but if you’re looking for a solid comic, well, here it is. Contact info is up there, it’s $2.99.
Tell Tale Signs Now Available! $1
There aren’t many comics where I could honestly say that the author has ingeniously used street signs to tell a story. Well, I can for this one. This is the story of a man who goes out, gets drunk, hits on a woman, and then wanders off. Any more than that and it’s ruined, and this is one of the tougher books to sample because what do you pick from a book with no words and have it make sense? Oh well, who said this had to make sense? This book is only $1 (which is pretty amazing, considering how professional this book looks), and it was a great idea done to perfection. Here’s an e-mail address, or check out the website, maybe you can find more there…