Blog Archives

Maku, Sakura – Dark Tomato #1



Dark Tomato

I know the rules of the small press publishing world by now (more or less), and I know that it’s impossible to publish most of these comics in color. Still, this one is crying out for color, and stuffing this into a black and white world hurt it more than a little bit. Of course, for all I know this is how it was meant to be seen and I’m an idiot, but this story is more (for lack of a better or more accurate word) colorful than all this. Not to mention the fact that the text sometimes gets lost in the various shades of grays, but that’s a technical problem. This is the story of Prince Tamlin Tomato, a woman who runs a subway train. It deals with the people she sees and various aspects of her life, which seems like too simplistic of a way to put it, as there’s a lot going on in every page. There’s her rather one-sided chats with her grandmother about the various odd things that she sees, and of course the things in the dark that she can’t quite make out. This is one of those cases where I bail out in the middle of the review, as I honestly don’t know what to say about it. It’s an utterly unique tale, more of an illustrated poem than anything, but it also defies any sort of conventional analysis. Check through her art on her website to see if it appeals to you, and if the answer is anywhere near yes, then this is very much worth a look. Provided that you can see past the “what might have been” aspect of this potentially existing in full color, that is. $5


English, Austin – Windy Corner Magazine #3



Windy Corner Magazine #3 edited by Austin English Now available! $10

It’s good to be reminded on  a regular basis of just how wrong I can be.  I’ve been bitching lately about the lack of readable contents pages for anthologies and how I just want to know who did which strip.  This issue starts with a remarkable series of images by Lille Carre and goes seamlessly into a table of contents drawn by Molly Colleen O’Connell.  There are no page numbers, the actual information is strewn about the page… and I went away from the pages knowing exactly who did what and where.  Kudos.  Granted, once you get past those first few pages there are fewer contributors this time around to keep track of, but it’s nice work all the same.  Austin gets most of the, um, page time in this issue, as well he should.  First up is part 3 of the Francis story (and I am going to go back and review the first issue soon), which deals this time only with Francis’ mother and her life.  After this Austin has a couple of short pieces dealing with Austin’s formative years drawing and a trip to the museum between a father and his daughter (mostly dealing with their relationship).  Sakura Maku is up next with a series of vibrant pieces about a brassiere museum, dying and being turned into a tree and a guy who was briefly married to Janet Jackson.  In other words, you’ll need to read it for yourself.  Jason T. Miles then draws a letter to the magazine from Jesse McManus, which is mildly odd because Jesse could certainly draw it himself, but Jason has a unique way of interpreting it.  Finally there are the text pieces, as Austin talks about Garth Williams (an illustrator who influenced him greatly growing up), Frank Santoro has a review of Garage Band by Gipi (reminding me once again that what I do here is a poor substitute for actual, in-depth reviews), and Vanessa Davis interviews Carol Tyler.  I’d probably pick up #2 before #3 if I just had $10 to spend, but there’s plenty in both of these issues for all comics fans. Unless you just hate Austin English for some reason, but I don’t see how that would be possible.  $10