Posts Tagged William Cardini
Huzzah for a second issue of this series! What can I say, at this point I’ve been conditioned to never fully expect a second issue of a series, even when it’s a “to be continued” situation. This one starts off with a nice recap of the previous issue (which is always welcome and, in a series like this, mandatory), then we get to see what a bad idea it was for our hero Miizzard to have swallowed that guy’s head in the last issue. Things remain surprisingly peaceful after that, even if it seems to me like having a swallowed head rip through your stomach and form an entire creature would put you in a bit of a mood. Miizzard follows the guy to his leader, who explains why they lured him to the planet in the first place, and we get some very solid descriptions of what we’re dealing with. And then something very alarming happens and the comic is over. Actually, this comic may have had more words in it than all of the previous comics I’ve read from this man combined, which is necessary when you’re trying to establish the rules for your universe. Once again the art is amazing, as there are all kinds of creatures and objects floating around that are just begging for a more detailed description, and the story is picking up steam nicely. I’m curious to see what happens next, as it was left in a very interesting spot. On to #3! $6
Glade & Mark in: “Rocky Mountain Chomp”
You know what I didn’t think through in my request for online comics to review yesterday? The fact that I still wouldn’t have sample images for the reviews, as images for online comics are gigantic and I lack the means here to shrink them. Oh sure, there’s probably some easy way to do it for people who are less stupid than me, but this is the brain you folks are stuck with on this site. Anyway, Mark was nice enough to send along a few online comics, and I didn’t even click on the second one after seeing this. This was the comic that Mark put out for his wedding (Glade is apparently now his wife, or he picked a fake name for his wife in his wedding comic, which makes no sense), and it’s very different from his usual stuff in that, well, people can read it. I don’t mean that in a bad way, although that’s probably how it’s going to sound, as this is still as delightfully fucked up as most of Mark’s comics. It just has a clear narrative arc for all to see, while some of his other comics may take a little more work to decipher. This is the story of Glade and Mark’s battle with a giant monster that’s trying to eat the Rocky Mountains. As you might have guessed from that title, or maybe your natural instinct isn’t to see that title and automatically jump to “oh, it’s clearly about a giant monster eating the Rockies.” Anyway, they get a call from the President and set off to save the day, and even a big old monster can’t stand up against a serious shrinking. From there it gets downright cute, as a wedding comic should, but this is one case where you can click on that link and read the whole thing for yourself. It’s relatively short and you’re probably just killing time at work anyway, so go for it. And congrats to the happy couple!
You know, generally speaking pseudonyms make more sense when your real name is a secret, not when you list both names in every publication. Hey, whatever works for him is fine with me. Mark’s work has occasionally baffled me in the past (and long time readers know that I usually mean that in a good way), but this one made perfect sense to me. Whether that should be worrying or a good sign I’ll leave up to you. Things start off with a big old cosmic figure who is searching for a “tranz force” and notices a signal coming from an uninhabited planet. He/she/it goes down to the surface and meets a life form. This life form slowly (over the course of pages) reveals that this was a trap set for the original life form, as they knew that it would come to investigate the tranz force sooner or later. A brief battle ensues, the original entity is cut in half, and that’s when things start to get interesting. Mark has a nice intro in this comic that explains this universe a bit, but it’s best to read such a thing for yourself instead of having me summarize it. The battle of these two creatures was suitably majestic , which also gave the reader the sense that we were seeing a fraction of everything that was happening. I also liked his choice to take as many pages as he did showing this battle, as something between two cosmic beings like this should be big and dramatic. I always hated how some Marvel comics would have some big cosmic entity like Galactus getting punched out, as if that was the extent of something that could happen in a battle with a guy who ate planets. Ah, I’m wandering now, but if you liked any of Mark’s previous comics then you’re sure to love this, and if you never gave them a chance then this is as coherent a starting point as you’re likely to find. $5
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.
Shaman Thunder (with Josh Burggraf)
You know what I’ve always hated about any sort of wizard on wizard battle in the movies?Â Or shamans, or any sort of people who were supposed to have all sorts of bizarre and unknowable mystical powers?Â How stupid it always ends up being.Â More often than not it turns into a typical physical slugfest, either due to a lack of imagination or a lack of budget, and it always drags me out of whatever willing suspension of disbelief I was going through.Â Yes, in case you were wondering, there is a a point to all this: those two floating heads you see on the cover belong to two shaman, and their battle in this issue is exactly like this sort of thing should be.Â Meaning that it only has the barest appearance of a conventional fight to us normal folk, but there’s clearly all sorts of things going on beneath the surface.Â This issue starts off simply enough, as one shaman returns home and discovers that his thunder-root is missing.Â He tracks down the thief (using magic, of course), but this leads him to believe another shaman (a disillusioned shaman who’s standing near the actual thief) is the thief, which leads to an absolutely awesome battle.Â Go ahead, embiggen that sample below.Â If you’re not impressed with that you’ve clearly never spent even a second of your life imagining what an actual shaman fight would look like.Â The rest of the issue deals with the two shamans teaming up to fight the actual thief, but shamans never get along for long.Â As for the art, William/Mark and Josh mostly draw alternating pages, and it’s seamless.Â Sometimes it’s tough to say who would enjoy a particular mini and who wouldn’t, but this one is easy.Â If you’re enough of a dork to want to see a thoroughly ridiculous though oddly realistic fight between two shamans, it’s never been done better to my knowledge.Â If you consider yourself above such things, lucky for you there are many other mini comics in the world for you to choose from.Â No price again, so I’m going with $2.50.
If anybody out there has a better guess at the title than that, let me know.Â I’m just guessing based on the first word, and then it starts melting, so who knows?Â This is a mini by William Cardini aka Mark Hensel, but the website listed (which is not actually his website but will connect you with his wide array of blogs) has a comic done by both William Cardini AND Mark Hensel and no, I have no idea what that means.Â I’m stalling the actual review here because, in fitting with the general theme of confusion going on here, I have no idea what to make of it.Â This is a series of one page strips with various creatures and items melting, meditating, growing or blooming, with a three page extravaganza dedicated to an utterly indescribable creature replicating.Â In each of these stories the creature/item starts off normally enough, then progressively devolves as the short strip goes on.Â Everything looks great and William/Mark is certainly not short on imagination, I guess I’m just more old fashioned in my comics reading, what with my general preference for linear stories and all.Â Still, there’s a lot to be said with the “where the hell is this going to go from here?” school of making comics, and I’m all kinds of intrigued to see what he does next and what he’s already done that might or might not be more accessible than this to the common folk.Â If you have a decent sense of artistic adventure this is worth checking out, but I’d recommend checking around that website and getting a look around first.Â $2.50
UPDATE: The title is Tranz.Â Yeah, I can kind of see that…
Quick, what’s going on in that cover?Â If you don’t have it sitting in front of you you’re out of luck, as it continues on the back cover.Â Froghead is sitting in front of an empty bottle of booze, and an old man (who you may remember from the last issue) is passed out nearby.Â It’s a nice cover; I’d sample it but the size would either screw up the page or, if I shrunk it down enough, it would lose its impact anyway.Â So how about the comic?Â The old man wakes up and is surprised to see a serenely smug frog head, as he has little recollection of the previous night.Â He tosses out the frog head (and I just love how it never changes expression), freshens up and starts to remember things, like how he ran into a shaman at the bar, invited him back to his house and beat his at Dr. Mario.Â Satisfied, the old man decides to leave to get some food and finds the frog head where he tossed it… but grown to a ridiculous size.Â Anything else I say is ruining the awesome, awesome ending, and I just won’t do it.Â I’ll just say that any ambivalence I had about the last issue is gone with this one, as this is a pile of fun.Â Those frog eyes will haunt you if you’re not careful, if you read this you’ll see what I mean.Â Check it out already.Â If this is what William can do when he’s rushed for a con, I say he never has to take his time on a comic again.Â Since the last one was $2.50, let’s just say this one is the same price.