Elm City Jams #2 by Isaac Cates, Mike Wenthe and Various artists
First, let me clarify that list of â€œvarious artistsâ€: Linnea Duvall, Tom Hart, Bill Kartalopoulos, Jon Lewis, Tom Oâ€™Donnell, and Jeff Seymour. As always with these jam books, itâ€™s all about trying new things and still making funny, interesting stories. These could easily devolve into academic exercises and it would be hard to fault anybody involved, but I laughed out loud more than a few times while reading this, and that generally doesnâ€™t happen for â€œacademicâ€ books. The rules for this one are simple and wonderful. An artist can take a title (that they didnâ€™t make up) and get to work, passing onto somebody else after a panel or two. The rejected titles are hilarious (my favorite being Meat: The Parents), so obviously the ones they did use are even better. The other method is a bit more complex, involving joining individual panels and filling in the blanks to make a coherent story. So how did they do? I donâ€™t want to spoil a damned thing here, which I suppose is part of my â€œjobâ€ as a â€œreviewerâ€. So, while keeping it as mysterious as possible, some of the concepts here include making a deal with the devil, Bert and Ernie running Halliburton, the devilâ€™s avocado, space as a mindfuck, robots in trees, a rapping chicken and knight, drowning in a submarine, and a cursed comic. So, to wrap up, what you have here is some of the best names in comics doing various experimental works that all somehow end up funny. Whatâ€™s not to love?