Is it too late for me to move to Seattle? Because the idea of a local community group like Short Run that “celebrates and strengthens” the local small press community sounds really fantastic to me. Oh right, you’re here to read about a comic, not join me on my mid-life crisis. This one is an anthology featuring six local artists, or at least I’m assuming they’re local because they’re all in this Seattle anthology. I also wish that the stories had titles, mostly for one story in particular, but I’ll leave you guessing as to which one I’m talking about. Stories in here include a piece by Drew Miller about a lonely survivor who is surrounded by people who won’t come out of their shells (literally), Yumi Sakugawa’s take on the dream of smashing all electronics and riding off into the sunset, Jaime Coe’s frankly adorable tale of Hercules playing with a puppy Cerberus, and Scott Longo’s piece on one particular part of the disappearing water supply. I also enjoyed Suzette Smith’s piece on the possibly irrational fear of black men as a couple gets off the bus, but one panel is mostly blurred out. If this is a printing error it’s in a very unfortunate place, if it’s intentional then it’s a pretty damned smart place to show why the conversation about getting a gun can fall apart in a conversation with a couple. I also didn’t get the piece by Anna Saimalaa, but I’m guessing that’s more my fault than the fault of the artist. $7 might seem a little steep for this, but come on now, that’s still 6 stories for $7. And they use blue!
On Your Marks #1
Oh, what a crank I am. I get a pretty damned great anthology filled with small press people living in Seattle who could use a little more exposure and I can’t help thinking that I would have liked it better with a clear indication of which artists did which pages. They’re even all listed on the inside front cover, but they’re inside of a drawing, which makes some of them tough to make out. Does this take away from the quality of the content? Not one bit, no, as it’s not like it’s impossible to figure out who did certain pages with a little bit of work. Eh, I blame it on the general tone of the holiday season. All this Christmas music everywhere just bugs me. And if you ever needed more proof that I am in fact a total curmudgeon, there you have it. Anyway! This is a collection of mostly one page strips, done by all kinds of people that you either already know about or should be ashamed of yourself because you’ve never heard of them. Stories include Ben Horak having the comic he made when he was 6 read by adults (with a perfect final panel), Tom Van Deusen’s creepy piece about a head growing out of a roof and what happens when it’s removed, Bobby Madness and the sacrifice he made for the environment, Kelly Froh’s traumatic moment on an aimless afternoon, Pat Keck and his dungeon Gremlins, Aarow Mew and the result of his “spider” bite, Julia Gfrorer’s tale of a creepy ouija board experience, Rick Altergott and Pat Moriarty’s story of what cats think is going on with their litter boxes, Marc Palm’s Flannelwolf and Frankcan, Robyn Jordan’s worries about what she’ll be like in 10 years after she has kids, David Lasky’s questions about what you would do if you were a superhero, and Max Clotfelter’s mistaken assumption involving getting his older brother involved in protecting him. Like I said, it’s a damned solid anthology, full of ridiculously talented people. Maybe next time they’ll put page numbers on the pages to lessen my crankiness, or maybe it’s something I need to work on on my own and I’m sharing too much here… $4