Blog Archives

Hall, Justin – True Travel Tales #3


True Travel Tales #3 Now Available! $3.95

There’s only one true travel tale this time around, and it ends up possibly being the best of the bunch. A young woman named Sarah goes off on a two week tour in Mexico right around the holidays, as she wants to avoid the whole family affair and is at the lowest point in her life. She meets another woman on the bus, Helena, who has recently had her children taken from her (we’re never given the exact reason for this). They make an immediate and profound friendship, but things get complicated when Sarah discovers that Helena isn’t sleeping, and hasn’t slept for at least three days. Things get progressively crazier from there, as Helena slowly breaks down completey, falling into three distinct personalities, going so far as to act like a whore and speak Spanish fluently at times, something she had never been able to do. The struggle to keep Helena from hurting herself and/or out of a Mexican mental institution (a place, they are told, where crazy people sometimes never make it out of) is what makes this book such a beautiful thing, as these strangers give up large chunks of their vacation and sleep just to try and keep this woman going. Justin’s art has never looked better, and he explains in the afterward some of the artistic liberties he took (like telling the story from Sarah’s perspective). It’s odd to say that you should start at #3 and work your way back if you’re interested in this sort of thing, but this really is the best of the bunch. $3.95

Hall, Justin – True Travel Tales #2


True Travel Tales #2 Now Available! $2.95

These issues of True Travel Tales (#2 and 3) seem to have been forgotten about in the “online store” box for years, due mostly to the confusion of all the other comics coming in, and it’s a damned shame. One of my biggest complaints about autobio books, when I have anything to complain about, is that some people can manage to make a comic about nothing at all, having never been anywhere interesting or done much of anything worth noting. That is not an issue in this series, as these tales take place over various parts of the globe. The first story here involves some silent snorting of coke, followed quickly by a near-brawl as said coke ends up missing (they were silent because the walls were thin, it’s not a silent story). Next up is a shortie told in the rain dealing with reactions to the start of the Iraq War (this came out in 2003), and the shame which the author was already feeling back then. A familiar piece is next, or at least it’s familiar if you read the 2003 SPX anthology, dealing with masturbation and a Bible reading. Next up is A Final Goodbye, dealing with seeing a friend on what ends up being their death bed but, assuming they’d get better, never saying a proper goodbye. Finally there’s a text piece about the Fiesta de la Cruz in Bolivia, and how it can be dangerous to be a foreigner in a private, sacred event. These were all drawn by Justin but told by other people, usually with pseudonyms, unless perhaps we’re supposed to know Agustin “Tin Tin” or Sam “Le Pelona”. I can see why they remain basically anonymous (especially the woman masturbating in the dark church), and it all looks gorgeous, so what does it matter? I realize that this issue is basically an antique in comic years at this point, but fascinating stories like these never really get old. $2.95

Hall, Justin – True Travel Tales #1


True Travel Tales #1 Now Available! $2.95

My love of good autobio stuff is probably common knowledge to anybody who reads the site on a regular basis. So when I tell you that this is a collection of stories from various authors, all drawn by Justin Hall, well, it’s probably a safe bet to say that I liked it. About the only thing that could hurt a book like this is if these were all “you had to be there” type of stories. You know, the ones that are good to the people who lived them, a few close friends and not many other people. Happy to say that almost all of these are fascinating and riveting. You have someone almost falling off a cliff, a sexy grandma story, a sexy random encounter story, a lead singer on fire, a creepy masturbator, a possible alien and a visit from the Lizard God. All good stuff, which makes this well worth picking up. Great art too, it really made these stories come alive. Check out the website, I’m sure there’s contact info and samples up there…