Gunky from Podunky
Blech. I just didn’t like this at all, and it seems like I’ve seen other things from this guy in anthologies that I thought weren’t half bad. Look, there are a lot of comic artists that are a little cutesy in their work. James Kochalka, Larry Marder, Steven Weissman… it’s a long list. But with all those people there’s a little bit of substance there backing all that cuteness up. With this guy, at least with the stuff in this book, it’s just too cute to bear and there’s nothing evident behind it all. Don’t get me wrong, he’s talented. I like his blocky drawing style quite a bit. I just don’t like the direction of this book at all, and I’m not going to be buying anything else from this guy that has the same feel as this issue. Still, one man’s garbage is another man’s gold…
UPDATE 4/30/10: OK, there is no way in the world that I gave this guy a fair shot with this review.Â I’ve seen a few other things from him over the years that I’ve liked a lot, but clearly didn’t like this one when I read it 8 years ago or so.Â Mea culpa!
Legal Action Comics Volume 2 Now Available! $18.95
It’s always a copout of some degree to just list the contributors involved in an anthology as proof of it’s greatness. Why not go into greater detail about the (in this case) 73 cartoonists and their individual contributions? Well, to me, the joy of a good anthology is discovering things as they come, finding new artists that you like, taking a chance on all sorts of people you’ve never heard of, that sort of thing. So nailing all this down specifically (outside of it being, in that case, by far the longest review I’ve ever written) kills a lot of that sense of discovery. But none of that is really the point of this book anyway. It’s about trying to help Danny Hellman pay some huge legal bills in a lawsuit that is still apparently ongoing (the only update I managed to find about it (as of 8/15/07) is that only one count is left in the lawsuit and that it still hasn’t gone to trial) and, on a selfish level, getting to see a bunch of the best cartoonists working today all gathered into one book. So how about that list? OK, here’s a few names: Sam Henderson, Carol Lay, Doug Allen, Art Spiegelman, Kim Dietch, Kaz, Johnny Ryan, Tony Millionaire, Ted May, Hans Rickheit, Dave McKenna, Michael Kupperman, Miss Lasko-Gross, Pshaw, Lauren Weinstein, Patrick Dean, Mike Diana, Rick Altergott, and Dean LeCrone, to name a fraction of the people that I had already heard of. There seems to be a bit less personal animosity towards Ted Rall this time around (although there’s still plenty here), with the stories being all over the place. It’s a great anthology whether or not you agree with Danny’s legal case (and what’s not to agree with?), and something that everybody who enjoys this genre at all needs on their bookshelf. $18.95