OK, this is a really clever comic. It’s another one from the Lutefisk Sushi E box, and as such it’s damned short, but it didn’t need to be long to make its point. You know all of those stories involving some lone hero on a quest of some sort, how all we usually get to see is a straight line from A to B? This line can be long (like the Lord of the Rings trilogy), but it’s still going clearly from A to B. This comic takes the hero from one of those quests and shows what happens when he goes off track a little bit. He’s still completely self-assured, but his asking a question about “the one I am looking for” to a random stranger makes him seem a little crazy, as it so obviously would. There may or may not be a larger story attached to this and, oddly, for once I don’t care. This is a perfect little moment all by itself, and another fine example of the kind of comic that fits perfectly into a large grab bag of mini comics like this.
Hide & Sheik
Here’s an odd technical question: does somebody share the billing for producing a comic when they came up with the concept but didn’t do any actual work on the book? Matt is more than willing to share the credit here, both on the cover and in the bios on the front cover, but I would think that you’d have to contribute something to the making of a book besides offering an idea to officially get credit. But hey, they’re listed together, so they both get listed here together. None of that should take away from what is a delightful story, and yes, that punny title plays a big role in things. The comic starts off with two warring nations finally making peace, with the leader of Pachypersepolis (yes, a land of elephants) and the sheik pictured on the cover sharing a moment to commemorate the occasion. The leader of the elephants shows him their prized “Founding Nut,” explains the penalty for anybody who messes with said nut, and continues on their tour. The sheik, however, is a little alarmed with what he’s just heard and spends an extra minute in the room, which is when a squirrel comes down from the ceiling, Mission Impossible style, and steals the nut. The leader comes back into the room, the sheik is dumb enough to be eating some other crunchy form of food when he tries to tell the elephant about the squirrel, and the chase is on. It has a pretty great ending and there’s the promise that it’s going to be continued somewhere else, so I’m curious to see how that goes. Another good reason to buy Lutefisk Sushi E! Oh, and I also am not at all sure if I got the spelling for Lindsay’s name right from that cover, so somebody should feel free to correct me.
If you just look at these comics in Lutefisk Sushi E as samples for bigger works from the individual artists, this comic worked great. It’s a fairly simple story about an animal that digs up a grave and is captivated by the skateboard that it finds (without knowing what a skateboard is). It’s mostly just this creature doing tricks, with some shenanigans at the end that I won’t spoil, because what’s the point of spoiling a nine page comic? The intriguing parts are that the creature doing the digging looks like a doe with one of those pod coffee makers strapped to its head, and the other creature that comes into the picture later looks vaguely like a black gargoyle. All this caused me to check out her website to see what else she’s done, while I probably wouldn’t have done that if this was just a comic about some dude doing skateboard tricks, so mission accomplished! Oh, and it turns out that she’s done plenty of comics and has something much bigger coming out early this year, and the art in this mini was fantastic, so maybe keep an eye on her, why don’t you?
The Last Hour
Quick, who out there has worked in food service? Coffee shop, fast food restaurant, cafeteria worker, that sort of thing. The last hour of the day at those places (from my experience) is often a nebulous zone where you’d like to be working on things to get you home more quickly after closing, but most of those things can’t be done until all of the customers are gone, and customers come in so infrequently for that last hour that you’re mostly just bored silly. This comic is about one of those hours, as RL waits to close the coffee shop while tending the counter. There’s the conversation with a co-worker to try and figure out anything she could do to help, the interaction with a faceless customer who can’t even be bothered with basic human courtesy, a reasonably friendly guy who was probably mostly there to hit on her (he did ask what her favorite drink was so he could order it, after all), a cheery old man who just wants regular coffee, and one woman who places a large order but ends up giving RL some solid advice on trying mini comics first if she was having trouble putting together a longer story. It’s a solid comic and it does a nice job capturing that awful, useless, potentially magical hour.
The King of Fort Road
|Three cheers for local legends! This comic tells the story of a mysterious man who was the “king” of a section of town for roughly a 50 year period. The author of this comic tries to piece together the bits of the legend to come up with a real person and has more than a little bit of trouble. I’m guessing that this isn’t a true story (although life would be better if it was), but Nate does a nice job of showing the variables involved in trying to learn about somebody only from passed down oral history. Nobody seemed to know the king’s real name (eight people came up with eight different names), exactly how he made his living (but he was always paying for meals and showering people with drinks), whether or not he had a family or where he lived. But he was beloved, and the bit about his only rival of consequence was notably short (spoiler alert: the guy wasn’t very successful at replacing the king). It’s a thoroughly engrossing story, which makes it even more impressive that this is Nate’s first comic. He should keep it up to see what else is in that brain of his. As far as constructive criticism goes, a few of the facial expressions seemed a bit forced, but that’s reaching a bit. Another worthy contribution to this giant box of mini comics.|
It’s difficult these days to keep up with all of the rules you’re expected to follow while working in an office. For example: mandatory pants. Who knew that it could be such an issue of contention? As you may have already guessed if you’ve seen the movie referenced on the cover to this comic, Ewoks have always been a pantless society. Well, that may or may not be true; I am not aware of the entire species history of Ewoks (I doubt very much that George Lucas is either). Anyway, this comic deals with the effects of not wearing pants in an office and having to conform to fit in. Really, it’s just an excuse to draw a number of usually pantless Star Wars characters wearing pants (I particularly enjoyed Chewbacca in his suspenders), but what more do you need? It’s a short pile of fun with an office lecture thrown in and a hell of a punchline.$25 for the whole box of 35+ comics (plus shipping)