Hey wait a minute, I thought that title looked familiar! MK wrote and drew this story years ago, probably with a few changes, under a series of mini comics called Pale Fire. Now it’s drawn by Farel Dalrymple and called Palefire. In case you hang out at the oddest/best bar in the world, there’s a trivia question answered for you. I looked back at a few pages I posted in older reviews and the dialogue is almost identical. So if this is basically a remake of a comic that’s already out there (if out of print), is it worth checking out? Assuming you’re one of the dozens (or hundreds; I’m just going with the average mini comic audience size) of people who have the entire original story, yes it is. Because Farel Dalrymple is the artist, and he can do amazing things with facial expressions. And MK writes some of the most realistic dialogue in comics. Put those two things together and you have a hell of a powerful comic. Oh right, I haven’t even told you what it’s about yet. It’s about a high school girl named Alison who has a crush on a kid who is known around school as a firebug, as a kid who blew up the hand of his own brother with fireworks. Naturally, her mom doesn’t care for this idea, but instead of stating that fact as a stereotypical parent who finally gives an ultimatum before being ignored completely, MK is able to write all of these people as humans with recognizable motivations. That doesn’t sound like a strange thing, but as somebody who reads a whole bunch of comics/books, the teenage kid/parent/sibling dynamic is difficult to get sounding natural, and MK nails it. Anyway, Alison meets up with this firebug at a party (along with three other potential suitors who each underwhelm her in different ways), we get to see various interactions with these people, and finally we get to the image from the cover: Alison in a secluded spot with the firebug, with him going off into the woods with a can of gasoline. That’s about as close to a spoiler as I care to get, but this is one of those comics that just makes me happy. Mostly because it’s a great comic by itself and needs no other qualifications, but also because I’ve been reading minis from MK for over a decade now and this reads like a natural evolution of her talents, and the high point of her work. For now, I should add, because I only see bigger and better things in her future. Especially if she’s sticking to just writing these days, as that’s bound to cut down on production time. That’s how all that works, right? Never any issues with artists not getting the pages in on time? Yep, that’s what I thought. $12
What is it with college kids putting out good comics anthologies? Shouldn’t they be too busy drinking to do anything constructive? Damned useful members of society! Anyway, where #1 of this series was pretty good, this one was fantastic. I don’t think there was a bad story in the bunch. You have the story of Alexander (a parasite who lived inside of a human body for thirty years before finally coming out), an evil salt monster, a long finger, one giant snaky monster (and one multi-headed bird monster), the son of Don Juan, nostalgia… in space!, the happiest afterlife I’ve seen, trying to get the high score on Pac Man, and The Night Amigo. I know I often say that I don’t want to give anything else away because you need to discover it for yourself, but I mean it this time. The Night Amigo should probably be in prison, Don Juan is drawn to perfection… everything in here is good. There are a couple of stories that are only a page, but the rest of them get plenty of room to develop, as there are only 10 stories in a 64 page comic. Who’s in here? Well, MK Reed and Robin Enrico are people I’ve heard of, but I hope all of these people are still doing comics. Contact info is up there, seriously, if they still have copies, you should check this out!
Well, at the very least they have a great name. This is a student collection with one person (MK Reed) who’s already on my page. Everything else is from people who do daily strips for a paper called The Daily Orange, but I have no idea where that’s from. There’s a pretty wide range of stuff in here. Hilarious drunk driving, the horrors of school, a tea party, Ride More Fatty, horrific date rape, wacky prison comedy and rabbits on the ark. A pretty solid collection, especially considering they’re all students (not that I have anything against students, it’s just that they seem to have their collective shit together pretty early on). MK Reed has gotten a lot better in the year or so since this issue came out, that’s for sure. There are probably still some copies floating around, as I managed to get my hands on this one, although the price of it is a mystery. $3? $5? Whatever the case, here’s an e-mail address so you can find out yourself.