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English, Austin – The Tenth Frame #12



Making a mini comic by Austin English

The Tenth Frame #12

Hm, I seem to have a bit of a Tenth Frame gap in the issue numbers. In the meantime Austin has decided to go with continuing stories, which is great in my book. First up is Parts of Christina’s Heart, a text-heavy piece about a girl reminiscing about her time as a child, but not the usual sappy memories about how great everything was when we were kids. This one is more about staying with friends out of habit rather then affection and overhearing them starting to lose interest in you. Then there’s the tale of Abby getting married when Austin was 6 to a security guard who was also a painter, and the efforts of the family to get him a working studio. Both of these are continuing stories and, on a completely unrelated note, Austin is only 21, so he has plenty of time to really develop into something special, at least based on what I’ve seen of his early work. No pressure or anything. This issue is hand colored, like some of his older issues, and is a pretty good deal at $3, considering all the work he puts into each issue.Contact info is up there and I think I’ve been pretty clear about how much I like his stuff…

English, Austin – The Tenth Frame #9


The Tenth Frame #9

I don’t know of anybody else who could have pulled off this concept, but Austin managed it. This comic comes with a CD with “In Walked Bud” on it, a Thelonious Monk song. You’re supposed to play it and read along in the comic, and there are boxes with the corresponding time of the song to keep you on the right track. There’s a tremendous amount of work put into this (as you can probably tell by the cover), and every issue is hand-colored, so they’re not cheap at $5. Still, this is a unique comic experience, blending music and pictures almost seamlessly, and I think he did a fantastic job. Oh, and he also made little figures of the band, and he included pegs so you can stand them up while you’re reading the book and listening to the CD. Contact info is above, if you order this you might have to wait a week to let him color an issue, but it’s worth the wait. Seriously. If you’re looking for something new in comics, check this out.

English, Austin – The Tenth Frame #8


The Tenth Frame #8

This man is redefining minimalism in comics. I’m sure there are people out there who’d disagree with me, and I’m not saying he’s the best thing going out there or anything, I’m just saying that he does more with less than a whole lot of people doing comics today. This book is probably more than 50 pages and you can read it in about 4 minutes, and it only takes that long because you stop to think about things that he’s said along the way. He has a few stories in here. The first is about how he was born, a meandering and vague tale that seems perfect for the subject once you’re done with it. Then there’s one about Charlie Parker, although the music is more implied than shown in this one. You also have kind of a remake of a story from the last issue, “The Story of Adele H”, as well as musings about work, his personal life and more music. There doesn’t seem to be much here at first glance, it takes a few minutes for everything in here to sink in. It’s well worth seeking out and taking a look at, and it’s pretty cheap at $2. Contact info is up there…

English, Austin – The Tenth Frame #7


The Tenth Frame #7

Oh crap, not another thoughtful, introspective book! For those of you who may be confused, well, obviously I’m joking. Even the worst of the books like this are still about people honestly examining their feelings and their surroundings, and there’s just not enough of that going around in the world. This book absolutely defies scanning, as you can see from the sample I have down there. There are a couple of wordless comics in here. One is about a list of everyday things, with a sad disembodied head floating through the motions of a day. I liked it; it rang true for me. Then there’s another bit about a jazz player and he Austin has a great way of communicating music through comics. Then of course there’s poetry and observations here and there, mostly in the middle of the book, with various pictures, hence “comics”. I liked it. His art has a casual, doodly charm that’s hard to resist. It’s $2 if you’re interested, (plus $1 for shipping, which I haven’t been mentioning on too many pages, but most people would appreciate it, and you already know that, so I’ll stop now). Send money to: 2892 Cesar Chavez San Francisco, CA 94110. Or e-mail him for info, as I think he’s moving soon…