Nazis! You can never go wrong if you start off with Nazis as your bad guys. OK, they’re never technically called Nazis, but the main character’s story of a harrowing escape from a prison with some guards that sound suspiciously German combined with the fact that he’s an elderly dude only leads to one conclusion. But I’m getting ahead of myself! The title itself is almost unreadable, but it’s printed on the inside front cover, so don’t fret. Things start off in an obvious Wal-Mart substitute store, which again leads me to point out that the chances of Wal-mart ever finding out about them getting mocked in a mini comic is pretty slim, so maybe artists shouldn’t worry about using the actual name (but what do I know, maybe they have that many lawyers with that much free time. They certainly have the money for it). Anyway, Baldemar (our hero) and two kids take a break out back, where the smoking of tobacco and pot (although not by our hero) occur. Baldemar says it’s because he doesn’t want to become more paranoid, which leads the kids to ask why he’s so paranoid without it, which leads to Baldemar telling a story about his youth. His mother took him around the countryside, trying to keep them safe from the patrols, until eventually their luck ran out and they were captured. Obviously he got away or he wouldn’t have a job as a greeter 60 odd years later, but there were some loose ends from his adventure that never did get tied up, and it’s looking like at least one of those loose ends may be coming back to bite him. That’s right, this is a “#1” that seems to have a clear vision of the second issue, which is always nice to see. Rusty’s art has never looked better, and this story has all kinds of potential. Their method of disabling the guards was genuinely original, even though it’s easy to assume that every variation of the “escape from Nazi guards” thing has already been played out. Check it out, because it’s going to be annoying as hell if nobody reads this and Rusty doesn’t bother to finish the story. $4
There aren’t many comic artists out there who could make a story about a man with sentient pants and have it be downright moving. The first story in this comic is called “Goo Pants,” but it’s not going where you might be thinking. These pants were given to our hero when he was eight by a hippie aunt, who claimed that they were made by elves. She choked on a “vegan chicken bone” before he was ever able to get a real explanation out of her, so our hero grew up with these pants. As they were magic pants they fit him no matter what, you see. Anyway, the pants became sentient when he (or anyone else) rubbed them, leading to more than a few awkward situations, and he tried to get rid of the pants a few times over the years but was never able to go through with it. Finally the man gets a job and is trying to make a good impression when somebody spills coffee on his pants, and things go quickly downhill from there. That ending is a thing of beauty, as it takes it into those few precious moments past the usual fade to black at the end of a story to show the toll this has taken. Next is the second part of his “Grown Ups” story, which will one day be collected into a graphic novel that makes Mike famous. I’m just putting that on the record now, so that all of the riches coming from accurately making that prediction will be mine, all mine! In this installment the teacher is still trying to connect with his students while combating relentless cynicism from other teachers about his prospects. The students are also a little wary of a teacher taking so much of an interest in them, and the teacher seems to be causing far more problems than he’s fixing so far. More to come in this story, so who knows overall, but it’s gotten off to a hell of a promising start. Finally there’s “The Biggest Banger!,” a science fiction story that deals with a civilization trying desperately to find a habitable planet as their ship slowly breaks down. Also starring humans as disobedient pets! There’s plenty of mayhem and gore in this one, just in case you were lulled into a sense of normalcy by the previous two stories. Once again Mike has put out a fantastic comic, and once again all of you people should buy it. There’s something in here for everyone to love, after all, and even if you somehow hate all of the stories in here (which could only be caused by your lack of a soul, I’m sorry to say), than nobody in the world could hate the full page drawings that bookend this comic. Spend your $5, you won’t regret it!