Dingus and Dum-Dum
Note: his main website (which you can reach through his Instagram page) is still listed as high risk for viruses for me, which may be a problem on his end or a problem on my end. You can still contact him through Instagram, so just do that if you want his comics. Oh, also I’m reviewing his comic. This is the third of three minis he sent me recently, but you’ll have to wait for review of the other one. Why? Because I grabbed this one randomly to review, obviously. Is this mini the most straightforward of Robb’s comics that I’ve seen so far? Good golly, it absolutely is. You could plop most of these four panel strips into any Sunday comics from a newspaper (I’m just assuming that’s still a thing) and they wouldn’t seem that out of place. That being said, they’re still funny, and maybe it’s just me but the humor seems to have an edge to it, like Dingus could legit snap at any moment. But yes, this is a comic you could leave lying around on a living room table without freaking out if a child saw it. The gist of this comic is that Dingus has a terrible gambling problem, with a few solid punchlines along the way to illustrate that fact. This also has the same physical layout as his previous mini that I reviewed, meaning that if you fold it open you’re treated to a full page (and full color) Sunday style comic that serves as a delightful epilogue to the comic itself. Give it a look, if only so you can determine if you’re more like a Dingus or more like a Dum-Dum.
Instagram (website setting off antiviral alarm bells)
Since this is the second website in a row to set off my antiviral software, maybe something’s wrong with that and not these websites. Either way, you can get to his regular website through his Instagram if it is just me. Oh hi, you caught me in the middle of a thought that’s unrelated to the review. This is a delightful mini comic by Robb, the first in a series of three that he sent my way. Sure, that means no Sludgy for the moment, but it’s also good to see him branching out. This is full color mayhem with two stories, and one bonus story if you can find it. The main stories follow the same theme: disaffected youths. Or lemons. First up is a cop hassling two kids for no good reason at all, which leads to an inevitable reaction from the youth. Next up is the excitement of a new mall opening up in town meeting up with the reality of a new mall opening up in town. Finally… maybe I should keep the last story a secret. You won’t see it on the regular pages of the comic, so give a little tug around the edges to see what I’m talking about. If you get there, you’ll get to a wordless tale that raises more questions than answers about the biological makeup of these creatures, with a solid punchline to boot. Good clean lemony fun all around here, so give it a shot why don’t you? $3.50
It’s everybody’s favorite constantly melting creature who’s just trying to have a good time, Sludgy! Which, in case you’re new to this, is actually more than one creature, and they can make more Sludgys through various bodily excretions. Vomit, specifically, at least as far as this issue is concerned. This one has three stories in it, each showing off a different aspect of life as a Sludgy. First up are two Sludgy friends as they travel through the forest. They get hungry and end up eating some mushrooms that have pretty extreme hallucinogenic side effects. Remember, these creatures can make conscious, sentient duplicates out of themselves, which is problematic enough when you’re not tripping in the forest. As it is, there’s some serious questions about which Sludgy is which and what aspects of what they’re seeing are actually happening. Next up in the story of a Sludgy whose home is in danger of being flooded, and since water can dissolve a Sludgy things get tense in a hurry. Finally there’s the Sludgy who just wants to introduce himself to a pair of young lovers. He stops himself, realizing that his appearance might cause a panic, and thinks he’s come up with a better way to say hello. I’ll leave it to the reader to discover whether or not he was correct. These comics are a hoot, and seemingly every story raises more questions about what exactly is going on with these creatures, so I’m curious to see what happens next. Bring on the Sludgys! $6
How much can you really do with several stories written about bricks? Quite a bit more than you’d imagine, I’d say. This is a collection of several stories featuring this brick (or is it a different brick every time? Bricks are short on identifying features) having adventures. Sometimes they’re single page stories, sometimes they go a few pages or even longer. The whole book is silent outside of his crossover with Robb Mirsky and his Dingus and Dum-Dum characters, as their chattiness clearly could not be contained. This is yet another review where I try not to spoil too much from a mostly wordless comic, because if I did that you’d have no incentive to see what’s in here for yourself. His website also has several samples, because that’s how websites work. So, let’s see… in here you have bricks rocking out, bricks doing chores, bricks skateboarding, bricks pooping, bricks playing sports, bricks taking an eye exam, bricks carving a pumpkin, etc. There are a whole lot more stories in here, but even describing the premise tends to give away a huge chunk of the concept. I’ll just say that David is able to get more out of the three holes and square shape of a brick than I would have thought possible, and he has a few other comics available as well, so he’s not new to the concept. I read this one before the other comic he sent me, which apparently has the origin story of the brick, so maybe I’ll eventually find out how this brick got sentience? Eh, I’m just guessing here, but I doubt it. Some stories don’t need explanations. He put the price listing under Canadian monies, but it looks like it’s roughly $12 for any American types out there.
Well, this comic certainly lives up that tagline. Robb had a recap on the inside front cover dealing with what exactly a “Sludgy” is, which was a big help to somebody like me who was jumping in cold. The storyline itself didn’t seem like it needed much of a recap; this feels more like a series of adventures starring Sludgy, not some grand adventure where Sludgy saves the world at the end of it. Of course, if that does end up happening I’m going to end up feeling like a real idiot. This one starts off in fairly serious fashion, as two guys are digging a grave out in the swamp for a guy who’s currently in their trunk. When one of them goes back to retrieve the body he hears a voice from the woods and sees a shadowy figure. The man, what with him currently committing a crime at all, shoots at this shadow, which brings his partner to him. Then they both see the shadow, come to the same conclusion and shoot him a whole bunch of times. After that they split off to chase him, and mayhem ensues (yep, this is the point where I figure I’m getting to close to spoiler land). That covers a little more than half of the comic, but wait, there’s more! There’s an ongoing series of stories dealing with a mosquito who’s sucked up some toxic waste and the trail of destruction he leaves behind him, the natural result of a Sludgy sliding down a hill (and the hilarious conclusion), and the end result of a Sludgy trying to fly. As these creatures can split off from each other to make new Sludgys, there’s certainly a conversation here to be had about the nature of consciousness, whether or not the same consciousness in a different body is a new person or the same person, etc. But I’m not going to get into any of that, as it’s so clearly against the nature of this book, which is simply to have fun. That’s what ends up getting Sludgy into trouble every time, and it’s frankly refreshing to see in a comic about a toxic sludge monster. So yes, if you’re in the mood for some adorable horror (and you can keep those two ideas in your head without your brain exploding), this one is definitely worth a look. $6