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Kish, Matt – Spudd 64 #3

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Spudd 64 #3 Now Available! $2

Have I mentioned yet that every cover has a different image or is a different color, or both? And not juts for this issue, but all three? Thought that was worth pointing out, just to show the level of detail that goes into this. So how about this issue? Well, it’s a (mostly) wordless tale, which is a great idea for Matt. Why? Because I could stare at his art for days, so why clutter it all up with all those pesky words? As with a lot of wordless tales, the story is up for a bit of interpretation, but I’ll give it a shot. Spudd goes into space and eventually lands on a planet. He runs into some Sea Monkey looking creatures, who give him some sort of power. He’s a bit freaked by this, so he runs away, right into a giant monster (who doesn’t look all that intimidating because he looks like he’s smiling), and if I keep going I’m just going to tell you the whole story, and what fun is that? Three cheers for a comic with no angst, no autobiographical stuff going on and no silly drama. This one is 100% imagination and comics like this are a lot harder to come by than they should be. Contact info is up there, this is available in the store, and he has a website that he says is going to launch on May 15 of 2005, so don’t bother to click it until then…

Kish, Matt – Spudd 64 #2

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Spudd 64 #2 Now Available! $2.50

This reference will only make sense to about two people, but this series reminds me a lot of the one I tried to do a number of years ago, but couldn’t pull off because of my lack of drawing ability. Oh, and the story didn’t resemble this one at all. Trust me, there’s a similarity there, somewhere… Anyway, this comic. It’s huge, about 40 pages, with the first half being the ongoing story and the second half being something of an origin story. I compared this to Beanworld in the last review, and that’s still the closest real thing to compare this to, but he’s quickly building his own unique niche in the comics world. Most of the drawings in here are completely unique, obviously coming from his own brain and not just a rehashing of another comic. A number of people do that, consciously or unconsciously, especially when they’re first starting out, but Matt seems to have skipped that step altogether. This series is fantastic in the most literal sense of the word, and I can see from the level of detail in each image just why there’s a long gap between issues. Great stuff and and I couldn’t recommend it more highly if you like truly bizarre stuff. Contact info is up there, it’s $2.50…

Kish, Matt – Spudd 64 #1

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Spudd 64 #1

Before I say anything here, I want you to take a look at the sample:

It’s a bit large, sure, but I think it’s absolutely gorgeous. Look at that detail! This might be Matt’s first book out too, in which case I’m thoroughly impressed. The story here is in its very early stages, as we get to see the birth of Spudd, which is apparently an offspring of a dying… um, giant thing, maybe a ship. OK, some of the finer points were obviously lost on me, but I’m sure they’ll become a lot more clear as the series moves along, and it had better move along! I threaten because I care… Anyway, e-mail him to make sure he keeps at it and to see if he has anything else around. If I had to compare this to anything I’d say it a cross between Beanworld and Neil Jam, but the latter one only because of the giant black eyes…

Kish, Matt – Spudd 64 #4

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Spudd 64 #4 Now Available! $3.50

I’m going to give you both of my opinions about this issue, just to confuse everybody. That’s right, I said both of my opinions, as I can’t decide if I should go deeply pessimistic here or totally optimistic. The pessimist in me thinks it’s a terrible sign that, on the fourth issue of a series, Matt has already called in friends to help him out with an issue, for art and for some stories. The optimist in me can also see this as a great sign, as the sheer number of people involved (Steve Black, Leighton Connor, Coly Kegley, Tim McClurg, Sean McGurr, Dara Naraghi, Kyle Wallace and Tom Williams) indicates that Spudd is taking off big time and all sorts of folks want to put their interpretation in before it turns into a huge behemoth of a series, loved by all small children and furry animals. The truth of the whole thing probably lies somewhere in the middle of all that, as usual. What about the actual comic? There are all sorts of full page spreads, mostly by Matt (but not all, by any means), but the main story in here is written by Leighton Connor and drawn by Matt, about Hafez first leaving his people and his brother starting a long search to find him. He also goes into greater detail later about some of the deities involved in the Spudd storyline, which is what’s making me lean towards my optimistic view that he has this whole huge story planned out already and this “jam” issue is a blip on his path to fame and fortune. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a fun issue and will serve as a good reference point in the future when this stuff gets (more) confusing, but, speaking purely for myself here, I’ll be happy to see a regular sized issue of Spudd 64 done totally by Matt to keep things humming along at their proper pace. If, two issues from now, we get a “best of Spudd” issue, I’ll know that the pessimist was right all along, but I have genuinely high hopes for this series…