Sequential #7: Stand on a Mountain. Look Back.
Wow. One thing I noticed about the first book of his that I got was the amazing amount of work that he put into the packaging, and this one absolutely blows that one away. This one is $7 (how the hell does he keep it so cheap?), is over 100 pages long and has some of the more experimental strips that you are likely to see. I didn’t like everything in here, but I don’t want to say one discouraging word about this guy. Everything in here might not work, but an awful lot of it does, and the amount of detail put into every inch of this book boggles the mind. The one criticism I might have is that he seems incredibly pretentious at times, but he takes it all so seriously that it’s hard to even think of that as a bad thing. Whether or not he’s going to be one of the better comics around in five years has yet to be decided, but very few people have the dedication to their craft that this man does. Buy this book, nitpick if you want to, but support him in his efforts to experiment. I’m leaving the contents of the book as a surprise because that’s how I enjoyed it: by watching every little experiment unfold.
Finally, a regular mini comics issue from this guy. I’m sure he’s done at least 6, I’ve just seen the souped up collected edition and the fancy pants #7. Black and white, folded and stapled, that’s this one. I was afraid too that because the one I read was the best of #1-3, an issue by itself wouldn’t have that much to offer, or it would be at least half crap. Wrong again. The wordless story didn’t do much for me (maybe I missed the point of the bear with the strap-on) but everything else was at least worth reading. He’s fixed it since, but writing things that are too tiny for the human eye to read was a problem of his too. The last story, Lovers Lane, walks a very fine line between cheesy and heartbreaking, but I have to give it to him because it choked me up a little. I have yet to see anything from this guy that wasn’t at least worth reading, and what more can you ask for? Add this to my list of stuff that I’m going to get once I have a few dollars (back issues, that is). I’d recommend that you start with this one. $1.50 and wordy, just how I like ’em. The contact info (including the great website) are above…
Sequential: The Best of #1-3
The first thing I noticed about this book was that it looked damn good. Turns out that this guy has been doing this book for 5 issues and he says that the print run for #5 is 2000, which is huge for a small press comic like this. It’s not exactly mini, in fact it’s a little bigger than a normal sized comic. What about the inside? Well, the early parts are a bit raw, which he readily admits. But I saw the book getting better and better as it went on, which bodes well for #4 and 5. It’s all short stories, the highlights of which are “Bye Bye Elsie 5” (about the main character in a bar trying to get the nerve up to talk to a girl and imagining their life together) and “Seizure!” (a man has a seizure and a mysterious stranger comes by and saves the day). Those were also the longer pieces in the book. The one page strips were pretty hit or miss, but most of them were good. “I’d Do Ya!” probably being my favorite, but I also liked “First, Worst” (about the end of a first date) and Hip and Trip (about a hippy and an indie kid arguing about the nature of life), among others. Look, this is a pretty fat book with a lot of stories for $3.50. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that you should probably order #4 or 5 first and then go back and get this if you like the other stuff, but this stuff does hold up pretty well on its own. It’s just that it might be even better when compared to his later and (in theory) better work. Don’t forget the website…