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Sahagian, Mark – Schmuck #14 – Blue Plate Special


Schmuck #14 – Blue Plate Special

Oh makers of small press comics, will you never learn?  How do you expect to sell your comics if you don’t list them on your website?  Granted, Mark does have a nice site with all kinds of samples (including the first half of this book, if you’re curious),. but how are you supposed to get a copy of this, or anything else he’s done?  How are you even supposed to know WHAT he’s done?  It’s baffling to me.  And really, I just pulled that title from the slew of words on the cover and hope that I put them in something approximating the correct order.  I wasn’t a fan of the other comic of his I got at SPACE (listed as a #3, meaning that there are theoretically plenty of issues that are nowhere to be found), but this one had its moments.  It’s an 8 page shortie dealing with the wonders of working in a fast food restaurant.  Is “restaurant” too strong a word?  Probably.  Anyway, the experience is as bad as you think, unless you’ve worked at one yourself, in which case you already know all about it.  Highlights include Melvin getting his good mood crushed right out of him, giving the customer the receipt, the internal dialogue while talking to customers, the “joy” of the day being over, and trying to figure out what it all means.  This might have been a series of one page strips, as there’s no real linear flow of a coherent story going on, but the tenuous connection is enough.  Here’s hoping that more of his comics are like this one than #3, but judging from this and the samples on his site I’m going to have to revise my opinion of the man upward.  Now if there was only some way for you to order his comics without just sending him an e-mail and seeing what he has laying around…

Sahagian, Mark – Teen Angst Comix! #3


Teen Angst Comix! #3

Oof.  I try to start these things off with something positive or, if I know it’s going to be a positive review, to start them off with at least one thing that could have been improved from the comic.  Just a little something to try to make the comics world a better place.  But with this one… oof.  OK, I’m sure that Mark is a perfectly wonderful person, and I’m sure that he has better comics than this out there, but this one was bad.  The art is mostly decent, and that’s the end of my nice comments.  This is a tiny thing about, well, teen angst.  What’s the phrase?  No subtext, all text?  That’s the case here.  It’s a simple gag: the first page has a teen complaining about something (parents wanting the kid to get a job to pay for gas and insurance and then they’ll be willing to buy a car, wishing for more excitement at school, and being annoyed at having been handed everything she ever wanted) and the second page has the kid acting out, either shooting up the place he/she isn’t happy with or shooting themselves full of drugs.  Yep, I get it, kids today have no appreciation whatsoever.  It’s a rare comic that manages to make me feel like I’ve been lectured when it’s only 8 pages long, but this one managed.  And there’s the fact that this was the third issue.  Were the other two just like this?  Talk about overkill.  Again, I’m sure Mark takes care of orphans in his spare time and I’m an awful person for not appreciating this, but really, being bashed over the head with one of the more obvious jokes in the world is always annoying.  Here’s hoping for better things, as I had no problem with his art and just think that it would be better served in a comic with a story.  At least it’s cheap… $.75