On Your Marks #1
Oh, what a crank I am. I get a pretty damned great anthology filled with small press people living in Seattle who could use a little more exposure and I can’t help thinking that I would have liked it better with a clear indication of which artists did which pages. They’re even all listed on the inside front cover, but they’re inside of a drawing, which makes some of them tough to make out. Does this take away from the quality of the content? Not one bit, no, as it’s not like it’s impossible to figure out who did certain pages with a little bit of work. Eh, I blame it on the general tone of the holiday season. All this Christmas music everywhere just bugs me. And if you ever needed more proof that I am in fact a total curmudgeon, there you have it. Anyway! This is a collection of mostly one page strips, done by all kinds of people that you either already know about or should be ashamed of yourself because you’ve never heard of them. Stories include Ben Horak having the comic he made when he was 6 read by adults (with a perfect final panel), Tom Van Deusen’s creepy piece about a head growing out of a roof and what happens when it’s removed, Bobby Madness and the sacrifice he made for the environment, Kelly Froh’s traumatic moment on an aimless afternoon, Pat Keck and his dungeon Gremlins, Aarow Mew and the result of his “spider” bite, Julia Gfrorer’s tale of a creepy ouija board experience, Rick Altergott and Pat Moriarty’s story of what cats think is going on with their litter boxes, Marc Palm’s Flannelwolf and Frankcan, Robyn Jordan’s worries about what she’ll be like in 10 years after she has kids, David Lasky’s questions about what you would do if you were a superhero, and Max Clotfelter’s mistaken assumption involving getting his older brother involved in protecting him. Like I said, it’s a damned solid anthology, full of ridiculously talented people. Maybe next time they’ll put page numbers on the pages to lessen my crankiness, or maybe it’s something I need to work on on my own and I’m sharing too much here… $4
Garish Zow Comics #1
You know, not to pick on this anthology unfairly or anything, but it seems kind of silly to me to number anthologies until you put a second issue out. If that happens, fine, the first one is automatically assumed to be #1, no big deal. How’s that for an utterly insignificant mini-rant? Anyway, this one isn’t bad, but it’s not great either. There are comics from Amy Allen and Samuel Kienbaum (I’m mentioning them because they’re already on the page and I like their work), and a really great one about friends drifting apart from Thien Pham. Other than that it was a mish-mash, ranging from good to not-so-good. Parts of it were worth a look, if nothing else to see Amy Allen do a comic that wasn’t about Zecord, and it looks good, with a full color section in the middle. Here’s a list of the rest of the contributors: Michael Allen, Tim Goodyear, Ian Ameling, Katherine Wien, Carlos Baltodano, Lou, T.J. Winslow & Nikolita, John Orloff, and Mark Thompson. It’s $3, send an e-mail to order.