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Hendricks, Robert – Sinaloa Cowboys



Sinaloa Cowboys

Huh, I can honestly say that I never thought I’d put “Bruce Springsteen” into the tags for any review. This is Robert’s adaptation of one of his songs, and he does take care to credit Bruce every step of the way in here. I’m assuming Bruce would be fine with something like this? I can’t see why not, but it’s not like I know the guy. This song is the story of two immigrant brothers who worked on farms for awhile before being given a chance to work with meth. They couldn’t pass up the money, but inevitably an accident happened that changed everything. Should I be worried about spoilers in a comic based on a song from 1995? Almost certainly not, but the habit is too ingrained in me to stop now. Robert also includes a history of the song, where it lands in Bruce’s discography and the inspiration for it. In other words, if you’ve ever had questions about this song specifically, or just how Bruce gets inspired in general, chances are that you’ll learn something from reading this. If you have no interest in either of those things, I guess you could still get something out of this as another cautionary tale about not cooking meth. Oh, and apologies to Robert for straight up lifting these images from his website, but my scanner is still broken, and aren’t reviews better with images? $4


Hendricks, Robert – The Washington Tragedy #2



The Washington Tragedy #2

Robert reminded me in the letter that came with this comic that I should probably re-read the first issue again before getting into that, which was sound advice, but clearly demonstrated that my “let the reviewed comics pile up as they may” brand of organizing is not as common as I might have thought. I’m sure that first issue is around here somewhere, but narrowing that down would take some time. Anyway, he included a synopsis at the start of the comic, so you can get the gist of the first issue there. To recap, in case you’re reading the review for the second issue of a two part series, there was a Congressman in the 1850’s named Dan Sickles. Phillip Barton Key was the district attorney of Washington D.C. and was quite the womanizer, and his list of conquests included Dan’s wife Teresa. Hilariously, Dan also had plenty of infidelities, but this happened in the 1850’s, when women were just barely regarded as people in the eyes of the law. Anyway, this issue starts with Dan just finding out about this affair and having a long and heated conversation with his wife. He eventually gets her to write out a signed confession detailing exactly what happened, and the next day (while he’s going over his options with a friend) he notices Phillip across the street from his house, trying to give the signal to Teresa to come over. This naturally sends Dan into a rage, he grabs a few pistols from his house and, well, you can probably guess what happens from there. Still, Robert does a great job of not shying away from anything, using eyewitness accounts (as the confrontation happened on a busy street) to show just how brutal it was. I’ll leave the winner of the confrontation a mystery, but the rest of the comic details the trial that happened as the result of the murder, and the unique alibi that the defense chose to try out for their client. The epilogue was also nicely done, as I wondered what happened to ____ after the last page of the comic. So overall I’d say that while I thoroughly enjoy Robert’s Stranger 2 Stranger series, he could clearly put out some quality historical comics too whenever the mood strikes him. $5


Hendricks, Robert – The Washington Tragedy #1



The Washington Tragedy #1

Just a note to clarify things before I get started: Robert has NOT given up on his “Stranger 2 Stranger” series, he’s just taking a break to work on this story. And hey, I’m all for artists trying new things, so long as my own personal preferences aren’t affected in the slightest and that they eventually go back to that thing they did that I already know that I love. Some slight exaggeration there, but I’ll bet at least a few of you agree with that completely. Anyway, this time around Robert is trying something completely different, as he tells the tale of Daniel Sickles, his wife Teresa and their life together. Daniel takes a crooked path to the top, being accused of being a shady lawyer and hanging out with prostitutes (well, one prostitute in particular, and he practically seemed monogamous with her). As is often the way, all this corruption eventually led Daniel to become a Congressman, and he moved into a house right across the street from the White House, with frequent visits from James Buchanan. Have I mentioned that this is set in the 1850’s? That’s pretty relevant information. Anyway, Daniel further scandalized this easily scandalized world by marrying a young woman of 16, with the general assumption being that she was knocked up when they got married. Teresa had the baby quickly and was often seen at social gatherings when possible, but Daniel was still perfectly happy to travel with his favorite prostitute and wasn’t particularly subtle about it. A friend of Daniel’s tragically had his wife pass away, and he gradually started spending time with Teresa (she had a lot of free time with the small children and Daniel away for work). This may have started out innocently but it did not stay that way, and rumors started swirling before eventually getting back to Daniel. I love how the cheating of the men is always just part of the deal in these old-timey stories, but if the woman is even possibly involved in anything even slightly untoward, look out. The rest of this comic details the search to determine the truth of the rumors, and Robert is going to be wrapping this story up in the next issue. He telegraphs pretty clearly where all of this is going on the first page, but I won’t ruin the surprise if you haven’t picked it up yet. I’ll withhold my judgment until this short series is done, but I thoroughly enjoyed the first issue and am looking forward to seeing what happens next. Granted, I have a pretty good idea, but that’s just a guess and I’m not going to spoil it by checking with the actual history of the event. $5


Hendricks, Robert – Stranger Two Stranger #5



Stranger Two Stranger #5

You guys are already reading this series, right? This is where my hatred of/general annoyance at social media really slows me down, because all I can do is assume that you’re already reading this. If not, this is a series by Robert Hendricks where he illustrates those creepy/hopeful/soul-crushing “missed connections” messages on Craigslist, and it’s consistently a thing of beauty. Unless you stop to think about these people as actual human beings for too long, because if that happens it might make you despair for the human race a bit. Or not! Some of these tales are purely by people who had their faith in humanity restored because of an offhand comment by a stranger. Of course, other stories involve the graphic fantasies of a guy who just wants to massage the bunions on the feet of a lady before massaging her humped back in bed, but it takes all kinds. Other stories in here include the guy who bought panties for himself (but said they were for his wife), head-banging preventing a possible connection, the race that was not a race, the riddle of the egg and a half, an offer of an umbrella saving the day, the eternal question of dancing or heart attack, giving bad directions (and then hoping to get a date out of it, perfectly illustrating why these ads are such beautiful things), a phone leading to somebody thinking that their butt was grabbed, trying to get in touch with the lady who was taking pictures of dead birds, and the long cigarette. Robert also included a small book he apparently passes out at cons called Depictions, and in this case it was a list of images of children who had been convicted of crimes and their sentences in the late 1800’s. Completely unrelated, but ask him for one of these if you see him. As for Stranger Two Stranger, of course you should still be reading it. Duh! And if you aren’t already reading it, you should be. $2


Hendricks, Robert – Stranger Two Stranger #4



Stranger Two Stranger #4

I keep thinking that Robert is going to run out of material for these comics, or at least that the whole thing is going to start to feel repetitive. Nope, that is not the case, or at least not yet (keep pessimism alive!). This issue has probably the most eclectic mix of the bunch, and I defy you not to either laugh out loud or shake your head at least a few times in rueful amazement. I don’t even want to summarize these stories, as they’re that damned good, but I will offer up tantalizing hints. There’s the poem, the picture and the lack of moral standing as to what happens with it, the end of Craigslist, advice for a new neighbor, the lady behind the plate at the baseball game, how a day can be brightened, when it’s maybe not appropriate to hit on someone in a grocery store, wordplay, the unfortunate side effect of riding a bicycle, responsibility, how did that get there, and a couple of very awkward ways to meet somebody. There, go pick up a copy of this, read it, then come back to the review and see if it makes more sense. Everybody out there has at least one story of The One Who Got Away, or The One I Didn’t Have The Guts To Talk To, or something to that effect. Compare your stories with the ones in here and you’re sure to come out feeling OK about the whole thing. $2


Hendricks, Robert – The Disappearance of Gordon Page, Jr.



The Disappearance of Gordon Page, Jr.

Hey look, Robert is getting into sequential stories! You may remember Robert from the fascinating “Stranger Two Stranger” series where he illustrates those “missed connection” ads on Craigslist, but (as he makes clear in the intro) he’s been wanting to branch out for a while and saw an opportunity to submit a story to an anthology. This story didn’t make the cut, but hey, that’s why mini comics exist! This is the story of a young man who was misdiagnosed at a young age as a schizophrenic and spent years basically living as a vegetable under the wrong medications. Eventually they figured out that he was autistic, he was placed on the correct medications and he disappeared. It’s a heartbreaking story, especially considering the fact that he was most likely trying to get back to his family (who put him in a home in Michigan before moving to Florida, which seems a little callous to me, but they’ve had to live with the guilt of it for 20 years and what do I know anyway). The truly tragic thing about missing persons stories is that if it’s older than a year or so (really, more like six months) then the chances that that person will ever be found are vanishingly small, and Gordon disappeared in 1991. Robert does list a phone number that you should use if you do know anything and hey, stranger things have happened. Judging this as his first (?) foray into sequential storytelling, he does a nice job of getting out all the facts of the story, with quotes from his family (based on an old episode of “Unsolved Mysteries”). It probably didn’t need to have roughly have of the pages as full page spreads when there are only 9 pages in the story, but that’s a minor complaint and it’s not like they were heroic posing pages; you still got snippets of information on them. It’s worth checking out, and I’m curious to see if Robert keeps these kinds of stories going or goes back to his previous series. Hey, there’s room enough for both! $1


Hendricks, Robert – Stranger Two Stranger #2


Stranger Two Stranger #2

I’m so happy that Robert decided to keep going with this. Sure, it’s a simple concept: illustrating the best/oddest Craigslist personal ads, which he started doing after being inspired by the “I Saw You…” anthology edited by Julia Wertz (which I’ve been meaning to review for ages now). Still, the guy has the judgement needed to pick out some of the best ads, which goes a long way in a book like this. Ads that he adapted include the one I sampled below (and it’s always a bit dicey to start the book with the best ad, as that gives you a lot to live up to in later pages), a tube of scabies medicine left over after a hookup (and the desire to see the person again anyway), a regretful ad about a guy who died before the poster got to say good-bye, trying to get in contact with the guy with the webbed feet from the gym shower, a helpful letter to the ladies about the power of their boobs, missed connections from being a faithful husband, a tiny bearded man, a lady in a freezer, and a flasher showing up at the wrong house. There are also a couple poems, one a little heartbreaking and one a bit of a mess. His illustrations really bring out the emotions of these ads, and three cheers to the man for keeping this up. $2