Secret Prison #2
Here’s hoping it’s still OK to use images from the internets for the review, as it’s impossible for me to scan the newspaper sized stuff.Â And if you agree with me that Benjamin Marra is tearing shit up with that cover, you should see the back cover by Pat Aulisio.Â I’m also not entirely sure if it’s possible for any old schmuck online to get a copy of this, as I think it’s only available at cons, but that’s a damned shame for a pile of great strips like this.Â Share it with the world!Â If I’m not mistaken (and I probably am) this one is even longer than the last issue, and it’s one of those rare anthologies with no really weak pieces.Â Sure, some things are better than others, whatever that means, but everything in here has something going for it.Â Strips in here (and they are strips, nothing is longer than 2 pages) include Pat’s tale of deliciously sorrowful soul, Luke Pearson’s absolutely brilliant “How to Exist For a Day,” Ian’s silent cubed spy story, Josh Burggraf’s text message-a-rific story of need, Cody Pickrodt with some true confessions, Bob Pistilli going a long way for a great ending, Box Brown and his experience with an exotic “delicacy,” the story behind that ridiculously good cover by Benjamin Marra, Art Baxter loving the summer, Simon Gardenfors getting the most out of his page with a series of mishaps involving a round dude wearing underwear, Kelly Phillips wondering if there’s a line cardiologists should not cross, Cyn Why with a tale for the ages, Steve Teare going to heaven, Doug Slack with a pile of funnies, and Jose Mochove & Rusty Rowley using photos to destroy us with reality.Â I skipped a few to leave some surprises for people who manage to find an actual copy of this, not that I spoiled too much for the other stories, but everybody likes surprises, right?Â Seriously, show this to the world, you guys!Â A working table of contents, a huge pile of talent, this should not be kept away from the world at large.Â Unless it isn’t, and I’m wrong, in which case let me know and I’ll tell people here how to buy it.
Secret Prison #1
Ah, the wonders of the newspaper style anthology comic.Â It’s impossible for me to scan, but luckily I was able to um, “borrow for all time” (sounds so much nicer than stealing, and I’ll be happy to take them down and have this instead posted with no images if necessary) a couple of images, so you don’t have to go into this blind.Â One problem with this springs instantly to mind: I’m not sure how people are supposed to get a copy of it outside of being at one of the cons where this and the upcoming issue #2 will be presented.Â I say “presented” instead of “sold”, as this one is listed as free right there on the cover.Â At the moment Pat is trying to pull together the funds for the second issue.Â By donating to the cause you can get the first and second issues in the mail, so that’s at least one way to see them, and you have the added benefit of helping out a worthy endeavor.Â As usual with anthologies, this one is a bit of a mixed bag.Â More good than bad though, including strips by Art Baxter (dealing with a reluctance to go forward and “living” with the consequences of working up the courage), Box Brown (in which a Googling quest to find news on Audie Murphy turns into self-reflection and slumber), Cyn Why on the high price of becoming Queen on the Internet (at least I think it’s her, if that list of the contributors at the start of the book is the order in which they appear), Kelly Phillips showing the life of a grumpy mountain, Steve Teare with a brutal beating, and Jason Clarke with a problem solver.Â Actually, looking through the pieces I didn’t mention it’s not like there’s a ton of badness there either.Â There’s Pat Aulisio’sÂ strip, sampled below, and his art keeps getting tighter all the time.Â Bob Pistilli’s Skortch seems to be the start of something bigger and at least has the decency to show us lots of naked ladies while we wait for the story to develop.Â Ian Harker has the quiet, sad life of a super villain (?) on an almost inconceivable world.Â Beth Heinly has the simplest piece of the comic that I can’t talk about even a little without giving away.Â Tommy Rudmose has a man literally confined to the panel walls. Andrea Grigoropl & Dan Fitz have a piece of a man, after being hit by a bus, making his own decision about going on with life.Â That’s everything, and there’s not much bad there at all.Â Some things need to be fleshed out a bit more, which will have a chance to happen if they can afford to make the next issue, but most everything in there works as a single page story.Â I’ll update this page if I get a clear idea of where exactly you could get a copy of this and future issues, but in the meantime keep an eye out at cons.