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Youngblood, David (editor) – Typewriter #6


Typewriter #6

There are some reviews that just write themselves. Look, I’ll give you the part of the lineup (that way part of it is still a mystery!) for the anthology, OK? Neil Fitzpatrick, Souther Salazar, Josh Simmons, Paul Hornschemeier, Marc Bell, Dylan Williams, and Scott Mills. The idea here is that everybody picks up after everybody else, in whatever manner they see fit. For example, Dylan Williams has a short story about a man in a bar, complaining about music, until he sees “Me and My Demon Speeder are Gonna Win This Race” written on the bathroom wall. Marc Bell picks up right there, with a character that only Marc Bell could draw, in a race, on something that looks like a demon speeder. Some of the transitions are smooth, some of them aren’t, but this book is a tremendous experiment regardless. Yes, I know it’s been done before, but this book is $10 and hefty, so it’s nice to see it being done on a larger scale. My only beef is that the pages aren’t marked, so it’s hard at times to tell what artist is drawing certain pages. Still, a minor thing, and something that could probably be remedied with a trip around my website, looking at samples from everybody in it, if only I wasn’t so damned lazy. Here’s hoping the contact info above is correct, it’s the only address I have…

Hornschemeier, Paul – Sequential #7: Stand on a Mountain. Look Back.


Sequential #7: Stand on a Mountain. Look Back.

Wow. One thing I noticed about the first book of his that I got was the amazing amount of work that he put into the packaging, and this one absolutely blows that one away. This one is $7 (how the hell does he keep it so cheap?), is over 100 pages long and has some of the more experimental strips that you are likely to see. I didn’t like everything in here, but I don’t want to say one discouraging word about this guy. Everything in here might not work, but an awful lot of it does, and the amount of detail put into every inch of this book boggles the mind. The one criticism I might have is that he seems incredibly pretentious at times, but he takes it all so seriously that it’s hard to even think of that as a bad thing. Whether or not he’s going to be one of the better comics around in five years has yet to be decided, but very few people have the dedication to their craft that this man does. Buy this book, nitpick if you want to, but support him in his efforts to experiment. I’m leaving the contents of the book as a surprise because that’s how I enjoyed it: by watching every little experiment unfold.

Hornschemeier, Paul – Sequential #4


Sequential #4

Finally, a regular mini comics issue from this guy. I’m sure he’s done at least 6, I’ve just seen the souped up collected edition and the fancy pants #7. Black and white, folded and stapled, that’s this one. I was afraid too that because the one I read was the best of #1-3, an issue by itself wouldn’t have that much to offer, or it would be at least half crap. Wrong again. The wordless story didn’t do much for me (maybe I missed the point of the bear with the strap-on) but everything else was at least worth reading. He’s fixed it since, but writing things that are too tiny for the human eye to read was a problem of his too. The last story, Lovers Lane, walks a very fine line between cheesy and heartbreaking, but I have to give it to him because it choked me up a little. I have yet to see anything from this guy that wasn’t at least worth reading, and what more can you ask for? Add this to my list of stuff that I’m going to get once I have a few dollars (back issues, that is). I’d recommend that you start with this one. $1.50 and wordy, just how I like ’em. The contact info (including the great website) are above…

Hornschemeier, Paul – Sequential: The Best of #1-3


Sequential: The Best of #1-3

The first thing I noticed about this book was that it looked damn good. Turns out that this guy has been doing this book for 5 issues and he says that the print run for #5 is 2000, which is huge for a small press comic like this. It’s not exactly mini, in fact it’s a little bigger than a normal sized comic. What about the inside? Well, the early parts are a bit raw, which he readily admits. But I saw the book getting better and better as it went on, which bodes well for #4 and 5. It’s all short stories, the highlights of which are “Bye Bye Elsie 5” (about the main character in a bar trying to get the nerve up to talk to a girl and imagining their life together) and “Seizure!” (a man has a seizure and a mysterious stranger comes by and saves the day). Those were also the longer pieces in the book. The one page strips were pretty hit or miss, but most of them were good. “I’d Do Ya!” probably being my favorite, but I also liked “First, Worst” (about the end of a first date) and Hip and Trip (about a hippy and an indie kid arguing about the nature of life), among others. Look, this is a pretty fat book with a lot of stories for $3.50. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that you should probably order #4 or 5 first and then go back and get this if you like the other stuff, but this stuff does hold up pretty well on its own. It’s just that it might be even better when compared to his later and (in theory) better work. Don’t forget the website


Hornschemeier, Paul – Forlorn Funnies #5


Forlorn Funnies #5 (preview)

This isn’t a real review, as this isn’t a real comic, just a preview edition for the 80 page, $10.95 monster that should already be out. Can’t find it anywhere online though (not that that’s saying much), but I just wanted to tell you that this looks incredible. He’s already had a few moments in the comics world where he’s convinced me that he the “next big thing”, but this solidifies all that. There were only 8 pages in here, and a full review will follow when I get the actual book, but buy this. Seriously. If I read anything in here to convince me otherwise I’ll let you know, but I laughed at 3/4 of this, and that’s saying something. Contact info is all over, but good luck finding the actual issue online. Oh, and sorry about the sample quality, but it’s actually supposed to look like shit.

OK, here’s the actual review, as I finally got around to buying this. It’s a flip book, for starters, with one half being chock full of depressing, sad stories, and the other half has constant wackiness, also tinged with a bit of a sense of the futility of it all. The bios at the back of the book are even different for each section, which is just another example of how much attention to detail Paul puts into absolutely everything. In the funny part (and this is an overly simplistic way to look at both halves, but it works, more or less), you have The Snob and the Blob, Whatever Dude, a story about as your loud, obnoxious boyfriend, a cute little thing running for no reason at all, and Vanderbilt Millions, a man who loves his horse but has some trouble with his wife. The depressing part has a crazy man with a gun (it’s a lot more complicated than that, but why ruin it for you?), a brutal killing on another planet, a doomed robot, and an orange. There are all kinds of things that impress me about Paul, but the thing that impressed me the most is his ability to master all kinds of different styles of drawing. Parts of this book look radically different, and the fact that it’s in color, while making the book expensive ($10.95), also make it gorgeous, and you should know enough about the guy by now, one way or another, to be able to make an informed decision about whether or not you think he’s worth it. He’s firmly entrenched in my list of favorites by now, that’s for sure. Contact info is around here somewhere…

Hornshchemeier, Paul – Forlorn Funnies #4


Forlorn Funnies #4

As I’m tired of making excuses for my scanner, I’ll just say that, obviously, the cover isn’t supposed to be that blurry. This wraps up the story that’s been going on since #2 (or it at least wraps up this arc of the story). If I thought it couldn’t get much more depressing, well, I was way off. No, I’m not going to tell you what I’m talking about. Thomas goes to rescue his father from the mental institution. First we get to see how well it’s all going to go through his eyes, then we get to see what actually happens. One of the strengths of this story is that it’s told through the eyes of a seven year old boy. Yes, there are moments where you really want to know exactly what’s happening, but that just wouldn’t be possible and it’s good to stick to that. Like I said, the only real complaint I had was that it was terribly depressing, but the afterward says pretty clearly that the next issue is going to be funny (or at least half of it is), so don’t worry about it. If I thought the second part of this story wasn’t that great, well, this wraps it all up beautifully. He’s one of the most important people working in comics today, and he’s doing some of the best work. He gets the benefit of the doubt from me during long stories from now on. I can’t believe I don’t already have this website up here, as it features the work of Paul, Anders Nilsen, John Hankiewicz and Jeffrey Brown, four of the best people doing comics today. New stuff up weekly, so you can read great comics for free! Hard to complain about that…

Hornschemeier, Paul – Forlorn Funnies #2


Forlorn Funnies #2

Don’t you hate those complicated books where you have to read it again when it’s all over with just so it makes sense? Yeah, me neither. One thing about Paul is that he’s going to go at his own incredible pace and just trust you to keep up. This is the first part of a longer story about a boy whose father is slowing going insane. Wait, that might be a secret. Pretend you didn’t read that. Anyway, it’s incredible, but it took until the end of the book for me to come to that conclusion. It seemed kind of all over the place as I was reading it and it only really started to come together at the end. Now I can’t wait to see what happens next. That’s one of the benefits of my erratic reading schedule: I don’t usually read things right when they come out, so there’s less time to wait until the next part of the story. There’s wisdom in that, trust me. All the contact info is still above and he still has a great website that people everywhere should look at. Oh yeah, and could somebody have pity on me and tell me how I can get a scanner that isn’t quite this crappy for a tiny amount of money?

Hornschemeier, Paul – Forlorn Funnies #1


Forlorn Funnies #1

Sorry, but apparently all color scans just suck. That aside, it’s a new series for the wonderful (and remarkably prolific, considering how detailed all of his comics are) Paul Hornschemeier! He’s probably sick to death of being compared to Chris Ware by now, but that’s the best I can give you for a quick comparison. Past that, he’s pretty much unique. This book is about a bunch of different people and televisions characters and some of their goings-on, I guess. Some of them are real and some of them aren’t, but their stories all flow together pretty seamlessly, even if the segues seemed almost nonexistent at times. I guess I’m just spoiled on segues from watching Mr. Show over and over… Anyway, I think this proves once again that he knows what he’s doing and that he’s an exciting voice to watch. My only advice to him would be to make sure that people can read some of those really tiny panels, unless that’s the effect he’s going for. Past that, his art is flawless, his writing is witty and inventive, and I’m always fascinated to see where he’s going next. Check it out before he’s all rich and famous and decides, like the rest of the famous comics creators, that there’s no reason to put out new books on a regular basis.

Hornschemeier, Paul – Forlorn Funnies #3


Forlorn Funnies #3

This issue looks like the middle of a three part story, and in this case that means that’s in between the huge events. Or maybe that’s a simplistic way to look at it, I don’t know. Anyway, the father (David) copes with his deteriorating mental state and the son (Thomas) deals with his new life with his aunt and uncle. Overall it didn’t blow me away as much as some of his other issues have, but it’s like writing a review on a few chapters of a novel. I’ll know a lot more when I know how it ends. It looks beautiful, of course, and he does such a great job with that that it’s recommended because of that, if nothing else. I wouldn’t pick it up if you’re looking to try out his work though. Wait until the collected edition of this story comes out, then you might have an amazing thing to read…