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Various Anthologies – Monster Engine


Monster Engine

Here’s an anthology that has a monster in every story, real of implied. Pedro Boyd has a story about a dragon versus a pumpkin (I’ll bet you know who wins, too), Brian Canny and Toby Craig have one about some policemen who are out to get people who claim to have lost artifacts from famous artists, Peter Conrad has one about an existential zombie, Jim Rugg adapts the story of Jonah and the whale, Dalton Webb finds his inner demon, Todd Webb may or may not have a monster under his bed, and Tom Williams is dating Godzilla at goth karaoke. A pretty varied collection, mostly from people I’ve heard of, and you (mostly) can’t go wrong with monsters. It’s only $6, check out Toby’s website to order it.

Webb, Todd – The Goldfish and Bob


The Goldfish and Bob

The words “graphic novel” are tossed around these days like they’re going out of style, and that’s fine, as the terms for these little stories are many and varied. Some people hate calling them “comics” in any form, mostly because the vast majority of comics are so terrible. Mainstream, that is. Anyway, when I see “graphic novel”, I expect to spend more time reading it than the average comic, and they should be at least kind of large. Both of them these might also not be true at any time (is anybody out there going to argue the fact that Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron is a graphic novel, despite the fact that you could probably read it in 10 minutes?) so, once again, I don’t know what I’m talking about. This one is called a graphic novel, but I see it as a mini comic. A really expensive mini comic ($6.95), but a mini comic nonetheless. His style reminds me A LOT of James Kochalka, although I’m sure he’s sick of hearing this by now. It’s the story of a man and his goldfish. The man hates his job, the goldfish apparently doesn’t like seeing the man so unhappy, and there’s the basis for the comic. Not too complicated, but a good story. Still not a graphic novel, but that’s just my opinion. You can probably get this if you put in a request at the Top Shelf ordering page. E-mail the guy to tell him hi, or go to his website. He’s also done work in the Flummery book, in case you’re wondering where you’ve seen him before.

Kiersh, Dave – Last Cry For Help #3


Last Cry For Help #3

I should almost put this on the Various page because so many people contributed to this one, but eh. It’s mostly Dave and Souther Salazar, as always, but there are also a bunch of other people with contributions of varying size: Saelee Oh, Dan Moynihan, David Heatley, Ron Rege Jr., Todd Webb, Rachel Sumpter and Daria Tessler. It’s 38 pages and Dave and/or Souther still have something to do with 75% of it or so, but the sheer number of artists makes this book much more diverse than the other issues. It’s almost jarring when you get to the 11 page strip by Dave towards the end of the book; looking at the same art for that long doesn’t seem right. The only consistent underlying theme I could find here was the visual poetry that went into every story. The words were universally beautiful, sometimes the art wasn’t, but it was never less then pretty good and it really didn’t matter once you got the messages of the individual stories. I can’t imagine that I have to “sell” the work of these two to anybody, but if I do, this is only $2 and is a great showcase for a lot of cartoonists, with long enough stories so that you can still feel like you got your “fix” of Souther and Dave. I’m sure it’s up on the Catastrophe page, buy it already…