Yo! Burbalino #4
The stories in this series keep wandering farther and farther from making sense which, in case this is your first time visiting this site, is a good thing in my book. The first story takes up right around the first half of the book and features the quest for equality from one squirrel. He is refused service for ice cream, so he ends up trying to reach the ice cream scoops from a branch and constructs a robot to get the ice cream for him. Constructing robots in comics rarely goes according to plan, and that pattern holds true for this story. Other bits include a recipe for homemade ice cream (although I wasn’t altogether clear on if you sealed the small bag that’s inside of the large bag, but that question will not make sense to anybody who hasn’t read the issue, so please carry on), the story of a fight from very early in Greg’s existence (although it was less a fight and more a punch and retreat), Ronnie Vanderhoeven eating bananas and poo (with a real groaner for an ending line) and a thoroughly surreal stand-up comic story. There’s also an illustrated poem with just about every image that’s currently in your head featured and I don’t have any idea what to say about it, so I’ll just mention it and leave it at that. I’m liking the turn for the weird that this series has taken, although your opinion may vary depending on how much you value “sense.” I think this book was $2, but contact Greg up there and he’ll let you know for sure if you’re interested.
Yo! Burbalino #3
What we have here is the tale of two comics all wrapped up in.Â The first half of the comic is one story, dealing with our hero the chef , his wife, and his friend the squirrel.Â Chef Don has a romantic dinner planned with his wife for Valentine’s Day, while Earl Squirrel (I know, I know) has forgotten the holiday and is scrambling to make up for it.Â Earl steals the reservation for himself, panics when he sees Don, and mild hilarity ensues.Â Very mild.Â Still, what separates this from the rest of the book is the quality of the artwork, as it looks like Greg drew this while on a long, bumpy train ride.Â The rest of the book looks great, so I don’t get why you would rush the central piece of your mini, as he’s clearly capable of better work.Â The rest of the book has a remarkably disgusting while amusing piece on nose picking, the story of true love between a plate and spaghetti (really just an excuse for a recipe), some tips for bachelors, a smoker’s poem, and the highlight of the book: an extended revenge plot just to fire one squirrel.Â It’s an uneven issue, that’s for sure, and I’d definitely go with one of the other issues if you’re just looking to check out his work.Â He also sent along a fourth issue, so here’s hoping it’s more like the first two.Â This one did have a few moments, granted, but it’s clearly not his best work.Â $3
Yo! Burbalino #2
Poetry warning!Â OK, so most people probably don’t need that warning, but with a very few rare exceptions poetry doesn’t do a thing for me, and Greg packs this sucker with poetry.Â Comic stories in here include a creepily revealing dream (involving Greg’s mother, him popping out of a giant vagina (in the same panel no less), and his insecurities about his place in comics), an awkward reunion with an old friend, some slapstick with a bunch of people trying to move a box using a bicycle, the theft of his headphones from his work, and a phone call from his mother to tell him about his old dying dog that turns into an extended rant/freestyle poem about the state of his life in general.Â Oddly, even though I didn’t think much of the other poetry, I loved this last story.Â Maybe because it wasn’t the kind that tries so hard to rhyme that it comes across as forced and awful?Â Yes, that’s entirely possible.Â His other poems are weird as hell (dealing with eating dynamite, being flaccid after sex, tips for eating a horse, acne, a past Halloween, cheetah lover’s lament, and sweeping), so that makes them more readable in my eyes, but just barely.Â Greg, assuming these stories are meant to be about Greg and not some hypothetical fictional stand-in, complains a few times about being annoyed that he’s so preoccupied with the ladies.Â There’s an obvious solution here, and something that would make those poems instantly better: start a band and turn them into songs.Â Ladies will flock to him (based on personal observance and every television show ever), and poems that might sound like doggerel become deeply meaningful when sung by a heartfelt crooner.Â You’re welcome!Â So is the poetry enough to turn me off of the comic?Â Nope.Â The comic stories were fantastic, and that last one with his mom on the phone pushed the comic firmly back into the “worth taking a look” category.Â $3
Yo!Â Burbalino #1
Hey look, another random mini comic!Â Greg was nice enough to send along the first few issues of this series, so we get to see him develop as an artist a little bit.Â Or I do at least; for all I know whoever is reading this stumbled here by accident while looking for porn.Â This is a series of random stories, mostly dealing with a chef and his friend Earl (who happens to be a squirrel).Â Their bits include Earl betting Chef Don that his lawn mower was so weak that he (Earl) could safely sit under it, Chef Don making a conceptual pizza for his wife, an actual recipe for chestnut lentil pate (or at least it looks real to me), and Don winning a monkey at a fair and seeing his plans to make money off its dancing fall apart.Â There are plenty of other bits in here unrelated to those two as well, dealing with a funny gag for hypochondriacs, why they call Greg Electro Boy (and oddly enough I know exactly what he’s talking about here), an excellent strip called Muffin McGuffin (and if you don’t know what a McGuffin is, that’s what the internet is there for), and Is This Your Leotard.Â He even manages to throw in a few funny short strips, which is no easy feat for anybody.Â As for troubles, there are a couple of egregious spelling errors (but overall it’s OK, which makes these whoppers stand out even more) and the art looks awful at the start of that lawnmower strip, but that improved pretty steadily over the course of the book.Â So, to sum it all up, it’s another first issue that shows some promise, but I won’t be able to see if he realizes that promise until I see a couple more issues.Â Odd how it turns out this way so often…Â $3