OK, answer this honestly now: do you have a pair of shoes that you wear all the time that, by any honest standard, should have been thrown out ages ago? I’d be willing to bet that even if you don’t have one now, you have at one point in your life. This comic is, as Susie confesses on the cover, ” a sappy autobiographical story about Susie Cagle’s shoes”. She takes us from the day she got her shoes (a gift from her grandma) all the way to… well, today. Not to ruin it or anything, but there is no great moment in here about how she finally realizes that the shoes have to go. She does have a rule about then the shoes have to go (my rule was always “once the soles become detached”), namely, “once you can see a whole toe”, but she manages to get out of that one by using duct tape. In between we get a tour of what exactly the shoes have been through and why exactly they probably should have been tossed ages ago. Even if you’re one of those odd people who throws their shoes out every 6 months or so, there are still more than enough quiet, personal moments in here to make it worth taking a look. It’s $2, or you can get this along with her other minis (which will be up here shortly) for $5.
This Is What Concerns Me
If there was a “truth in advertising” award in mini comics. I’d nominate Susie Cagle.Â This mini is a collection, of, well, things that concern her.Â Yes, it is more interesting than just making a list, as I’m just now starting to get an appreciation for her use of facial expressions, for one thing.Â Some things that concern her (without giving too much away) are: smelling like San Francisco, high heels for babies, Obamania, and crackling knees.Â Those are from her short lists.Â The longer pieces in here include the ordeal vegans must go through to get groceries, Susie slipping on what I’m sure she hoped was a banana peel, surveillance cameras in her neighborhood, and a possible undercover police station.Â So let’s see, in this comic you have your funny, your excellent art (OK, some of the poses looked a little odd, but the facial expressions more than make up for it), and your few things that you didn’t know about before opening the comic.Â What more could you ask for for $2?
Nine Gallons #1
Technically Susie didn’t put a “#1” on this issue, but she did mention in the letter that this was part of a larger product, so I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume future issues.Â This is one of those cases where I probably should have gone ahead and scanned the wraparound cover, as it makes the front part a lot clearer.Â She also draws some excellent hands, which I know is one of the tougher things to draw.Â So how about the comic?Â This is the first part of the story of Susie’s time with Food Not Bombs, a group that goes by the theory that with so much money being spent on wars and with the fact that a fraction of that money could feed the world, how do we justify spending any more money on wars?Â In this issue she meets other members of the group, starts interacting with homeless people and just generally gets the lay of the land.Â There are all the various personalities to consider (the people getting food and the ones she’s working with) and the slight fact that the city officials seem to hate them.Â This was a really strong effort on a subject where she could have easily gone preachy and lost her audience.Â Everybody in here seems real (she does say she tried to stay as true as possible, just changing a few names), from her awkwardness getting started to the vast array of characters she meets.Â It’s a subject that gets just about zero attention and she handles it wonderfully, what more could you want?Â $5
This is What Concerns Me Presents Remainders
So what, this is the stuff that wasn’t considered funny enough for the other collection?Â Or was this just all the awkward (to those of us who have to scan these things anyway) sideways strips?Â Either way it’s a solid enough issue all by itself.Â Read the review above this for a primer on the concept, this issue deals with such topics as surveillance cameras, the local food chain, dopey (but still dangerous) FBI agents, chastity pants (apparently they do exist), a list of actual school foods and their horrific names, an homage to corn, a handy vegetable recipe, a handier hard cider recipe, and a special Sarah Palin edition of Susie’s recipe column.Â Granted, targets don’t get much easier than Sarah Palin, but it always tickles me when small press cartoonists even touch politics.Â Not sure why so many of them pay not attention to it all, unless it’s because they’re, well, not paying attention to it at all.Â Anyway, this is another mini pile of fun, and I’m not sure where to advise you on how to check out her work.Â First the “regular” edition of this series, then this mini for a companion and then Favorites to round it out.Â Or you could always be frugal and send $5 for all three… $2