Skyscrapers of the Midwest #4
It’s saying something in a series as fantastical as this when my favorite parts end up being the quiet moments. This issue deals with two young boys and the rich fantasy lives they dream up to cope with living in a profoundly dull town. One boy dreams or his lost toy dinosaur and his team of friends fighting big fights while the other dreams himself to be a fake comic book hero, Nova Stealth. Joshua pulls out all the stops for that particular parody with a wonderfully accurate old Marvel style cover, even putting in an ad for a Nova Stealth video game that is really a polemic against video game cheats. There’s significantly more quiet moments that you’d think in such a book, and it’s rare that you get equal parts goodness of the chaotic bits and the more introspective moments. Not sure if this is a continuing story (as I missed #3 somehow) but if every issue is as good as this what difference does it make? Great stuff, well worth hunting down. $5
Skyscrapers of the Midwest #1
Where did this guy come from? Did I miss more hype? This book is fantastic. I love the endings, mostly because they’re so totally random in almost every case, but that’s a hard thing to talk about without giving stuff away. In here you have a boy pretending to be a robot, the end of the world, Granma dropping some pies, and a robot family with an angry father. Throw in a “cowboy” answering some fake letters and you have a solid book all around. I love it when you throw in little things like that to go with the art. Why have blank pages? The book looks great (that includes the art and the packaging), it’s $2, and Joshua looks to me like somebody people should support. Here’s an e-mail address, I have no idea what else he has available but I’d be interested to see it…
Skyscrapers of the Midwest #2 (Adhouse edition)
Just to make this perfectly clear, this is all new material, put together in a lovely comic (have you seen a bad looking Adhouse book? I didn’t think so). It’s just a bit confusing on this page because Joshua already went the mini comic route, and now he’s “big time”. As for this comic, granted, it’s been years since I’ve seen the minis, but this is a wonderful thing. Everything ties together, even the characters in the Sunday funnies. It’s all about a boy who’s getting baptized even though he doesn’t much believe in religion, a woman with migraines sent from God (who looks a lot like a Cylon, if you’re dorky enough to watch Battlestar Gallactica like me), white trash love, and a cat and a mouse (and wait’ll you see which part of that turns out to be tragic). Sad and beautiful at the same time, it’s the best self-contained comic I’ve read so far in 2007. Granted, it’s early, and this was put out in 2005, but you get the idea. Well worth the $5, and a great introduction to his work if you’re never heard of Joshua Cotter somehow…
Skyscrapers of the Midwest #2
I think this one was a bit more normal than the last one. Not that I mean that in a bad way, and I think it mostly has to do with the fact that there weren’t any robots… oh wait, there was a robot in the last story. Just talking out of my ass again then, don’t mind me. You have in here highjinx with the Optimistic Youth Summer Camp, a young boy playing around in his head to avoid going to church, a brief but very effective comic about why life isn’t fair, and the story I forgot about with the robot. Also in here are letters answered by a drunk, angry cowboy, a pamphlet about the summer camp, and a listing of all the merit badges that the kids could get, which was easily the funniest part of the book. What, you’re still wasting time reading me when you could be reading this comic? What’s wrong with you? The guy has done two incredible comics, what else is it going to take to get you to spend $2? Christ!