Category Archives: Reviews

Reviews

Feazell, Matt – The Amazing Cynicalman #14

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The Amazing Cynicalman #14

I wish that Matt had an “about” section on his website, because I was curious when he started drawing his Cynicalman comics. He’s been around since I started up the website in 2001, but I got the impression at the time that he had already been doing it for years. Maybe the 80’s? Definitely the 90’s. Anyway, the man has been making comics for a LONG time, so show some respect! This time around Cynicalman starts off learning about his problematic behavior in the workplace, and from there learns that he is going to be pilot for the first spaceship in the new “Space Force” program. Why yes, this did come out in 2020, why do you ask? He mostly decides to check it out because the whole thing seems absolutely ridiculous, but the next thing he knows he’s locked into the pilot’s seat and heading away from Earth. Little does he know that he has a stowaway who has his own thoughts on who’s going to be first on the moon! Never mind the fact that we’ve already been there. I’m being cagey, but his stowaway is on the cover, if you can decipher his identity. That combover that’s helplessly floating over his head without the benefit of gravity should be a big clue, I reckon. Funny stuff from Matt, as always. Kinda sorta political, if you consider making fun of that spectacular buffoon political, but that’s more of a “you” problem at this point in human history. He has a vast back catalog of comics, most of which he keeps in print, and if you’re not sure where to start (previous characters are referenced here, but it’s OK if you’re unfamiliar with them) he has an offer for “one of everything” for $12. What a deal! Or the single comics like this one are usually $.50 (with postage)

Hager, Steven & Rosenberger, Bruce – Dutchy Digest #10

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Dutchy Digest #10

I was all set to go with a review, but when I got to the Dutchy Digest website (which might be dead, because it’s looking rough, but it was the most current thing I could fine online for them) I was greeted with a banner ad that said “what is a vampire breast lift and how much does it cost? Take a look!” and suddenly I’m filled with questions that I would have never thought to ask. No I didn’t click it to check, as it might as well have said “click here for malware!”, but boy howdy am I curious. OK, back to reviewing! I’ll stay on topic. This is the story of a small town that makes a colossal doughnut, the theft of said doughnut, and the efforts from there to both figure out who stole it and why. There was a nice little fake-out a couple of pages before the end of the comic where I thought they were just going to leave the mystery hanging, but worry not! We do eventually figure out what happens. It’s a fun little story, in which I learned two new facts about hobos (that a group of five of them are called a “tramp” of hobos and that they leave a bent nail as tribute after being fed) and had to puzzle over whether or not the eventual thief would have had his plan work out how he wanted in real life. There are plenty of these issues out there and I’d say it’s worth hunting a few of them down, but I’m not sure how confident I am about suggesting that you use the linked website. Maybe it’s fine and it’s just the banner ads that are a giant red flag. Or maybe you should look them up on Facebook or something. Or hey, just go to SPACE in Columbus next year! No malware there. $3 (roughly)

Stellanova, Nick – Here and Now

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Here and Now

I had a couple of people ask me at SPACE this year about the general state of physical comics. I’m really not one to ask, because I’m well aware of the fact that I’m outside of the usual trend lines when it comes to physical media (I only review physical comics, my pandemic obsession was buying movies from the Criterion Collection, my current nine bookshelves are soon going to need a tenth, etc.). My thinking is that there will always be an audience for physical media, and that that audience will ebb and flow over the years. But even if physical comics do end up dying out, comics themselves are going to be fine, and I’m 100% sure about that. Why? Comics like this, which was Nick’s freaking senior thesis for CCAD in Columbus. Meaning that Nick is technically very much still learning, and this comic still managed to be (so far, anyway) one of my favorite comics from SPACE 2024. This is the story of a woman who loses her wife to cancer. That whole process is covered quickly, but there’s more than enough to hurt: the hospital bed with the severely physically diminished wife, the open coffin with the deceased wife all dressed up but seeming artificial, and finally the closed casket that’s about to be lowered into the ground. The rest of the comic is all about grief and how you try to get through it, in a more physically fantastical setting than most. Flora goes through her days in a fog, trying to see the point in going on, and soon discovers that she’s transported to a colorful, ever-shifting second world when she expresses aloud that she “doesn’t want to be here anymore.” She gets lost in this world a few times before she finally gets a glimpse of a familiar face: her deceased wife Iris. It goes in a direction I wasn’t expecting, so that’s all you’re getting out of me in terms of the story. But as for the overall future of comics? Not that I’m putting this all on Nick (save comics or else!), but based on this and other recent comics I’ve seen, yeah, comics are going to be just fine.

Morris, Joseph – Cosmic Taco Zero

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Cosmic Taco Zero

Oh, SPACE. I can always count on going to the convention, getting a book from somebody who seems completely new to me, then going home and seeing that I already have a few reviews up of their older comics. In this case I reviewed three of Joseph’s comics in 2005, 2006 and 2009 respectively, so maybe I can be forgiven for thinking he was brand new in 2024. So hey, what’s this one all about? I’m guessing the “zero” is meant to indicate an origin story or issue number, but since he doesn’t have any numbered issues of the series on his website I’m only guessing. This one starts off with a right wing nutjob politician further terrifying the masses after something huge has fallen from the sky, killing millions of people. From there we pull back to see what exactly this giant item was, what was on it and how it came to crash. We get the origin story of the star of the show (who I’m leaving a mystery just in case it’s relevant for future issues), then several pages of pin-ups and unconnected images. What about the Cosmic Taco? Unclear. He definitely shows up a few times (assuming that’s him on the cover), but he doesn’t do a whole lot. It’s an intriguing issue, which is pretty much what a #0 is designed to be, so kudos on that. Here’s hoping it’s not another 15 years before I review another one of his comics, because I’m curious to see what happens next. Not to mention the fact that he has all kinds of comics available on his website, so clearly he’s been putting in the work. No price, and it’s not currently listed on his website, but I’m going to guess $5. Ask the man, if I’m wrong he’ll set you straight!

Papke, Maryanne Rose – Noumenon

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Noumenon

Maryanne describes this on her website as “an allegorical tale of the sun and the moon,” and wow is it ever tempting to leave it at that. Not for negative reasons, but because this comic takes you on a real journey with a thoroughly satisfying conclusion, and picking apart at the details is the kind of thing that lessens the joy of discovering them all for yourself. Huh, sounds like I just talked myself out of a reviewing gig. Well, before I vanish is a puff of smoke at my own irrelevance, this one starts off with an image of a whale in a boat. Yes, I said “in,” so right away the reader is off guard and a little confused. From there we’re told that a bird is inside the whale, and that bird is the moon. So three pages in, it should be clear to everybody both that this is an allegory and that you should be ready for anything. Next she takes us back to an older story, about a time when a spirit and an inkling were sailing together on a sea of stones. If you have a problem with this tale, take it up with the monkey with the silver tail. I can be as cranky and cynical as anybody, but it’s always a joy to just be carried away by a story like this. Good to see that Maryanne is still making comics (It’s at least 10 years since I first saw her stuff, maybe 15) and she’s at the top of her game with this one. $3

Mosher, Andrew – Confessions of a Craft Show Vendor

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Confessions of a Craft Show Vendor

I was all set to unload on this comic, because I bought it at a convention and there’s no contact information of any kind in it nor even the author’s name. Luckily the title was unique enough that Google was able to find it and him, but seriously people. Putting your name in your book is the bare minimum, unless you’re on the run or something. That’s a cranky way to start the review of a comic that I thoroughly enjoyed, but little things like that still bug me. This is a collection of some of Andrew’s experiences at craft shows, and aw, I just noticed that he’s wearing a King Cat shirt on the cover. Subjects include the importance of checking the weather, a new vendor learning the hard way where you get a tent, an impressive assortment of the sights and sounds of the con (which is kind of selling these stories short, as there are a whole lot of them), an honest but inevitable reaction from a couple of friends who wanted a portrait drawn of them, and the brief joy of being compared to some of your comics heroes. It’s a solid enough collection of stories that I once again wish that I had bought more of Andrew’s stuff, but that’s always a crapshoot at conventions. $5

Bliss, Pam – Kekionga Digest 2024

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Kekionga Digest 2024

What can I say, sometimes I have to guess a bit on the title, but I’ve decided to go with the unfounded assumption that Pam may make other “digest” minis in the future, so I’ll differentiate it by adding the year. Another unwanted peek behind the curtain on my few minutes of research after being baffled by the title! This is #61 in Pam’s series of mini comics; to be clear this is one branch of her comics, as she’s been making them since 1989. That’s right kids, over a decade before I started this website, and further proof that quality minis have been around for ages. This one is a collection of short pieces, mostly centered around roughly half a dozen characters. There’s Zinj (the narrator, and a creature that’s apparently also in the fossil record), Mr. Frisky (an adorable name for a terrifying shark), Mr. Rock (pretty clear Mr. Spock stand-in), and a few others I’ll leave for you to discover. Stories in here deal with encouraging the reader to try their hand at drawing, an unlikely place for a small Victorian child, the fatal flaw of a ghost, an adorable Anubis (on the same day I read a Harlan Ellison short story with regular sized Anubis in it. Synchronicity!) the woman (kind of) with the riddles, and a truly unique new set of options for the Fantastic Four. It’s another solid collection of stories from Pam, which should come as no surprise, seeing as she’s been doing this for 35 years now. If you’re just hearing about her now, check out some of her comics why don’t you? I’m not seeing an easy place to buy them online, but you can read a bunch of them at the link provided, and I’ll bet she’d be willing to sell you some comics if you contact her. $5

Hustead, Felix – Do You Think of Me?

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Do You Think of Me?

This is a thoughtful and at least slightly heartbreaking story about losing touch with a friend after moving away for college, but if you’ve ever gradually lost touch with anybody, you’re going to feel a bit of a sting reading this one. I’ve tried a few times to go through some of my older memorabilia (I barely ever throw anything away, it’s a problem!), and the bulk of it involves people I lost touch with 20 years ago, maybe even longer. At the time each of them took up a big chunk of my world, but would they even care to see some of this stuff now? Not that this comic has anything to do with me, but it got me thinking about my own issues, which is as solid of an endorsement of a story as I can think of. This one starts off with June getting home after graduating from college, and we’re introduced to her as she’s writing Daisy a letter. We quickly see that Daisy never responded to these letters and June crosses them out after she writes them, using them more for therapy than anything else. Throughout the book we flip back and forth between June’s present and her memories of better times with Daisy. As she goes through these memories it becomes clear to her that Daisy had been drifting away for awhile, but figuring that out doesn’t do much to lessen the pain of it. In the end it’s about acceptance and moving on with your life, or at least giving it your best shot. And it even has me debating joining Facebook or something else horrible to see what those old friends are up to, and if you knew how much I hated “the socials,” you’d know what a huge statement that is. I think this one was $15. Not seeing it on their website currently, but I did buy it last week, so I’m thinking there are still copies available…

Caldwell, David G. – Playboy Dan

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Playboy Dan

Has anybody out there seen the original Dolly Parton Playboy cover? If you, you might be having nightmares after seeing that crazy-eyed dude in place of her picture. Also, I’m clearly still a sucker for the autobio comics, as there were about a dozen to choose from at David’s table (SPACE 2024, future readers) and I went right for this one. Do I regret not also grabbing the wrestling comic? Reader, you know I do. This is a story from David’s time working at a used movie/music/games/comics store and the reliable event that happened every time they had a sale on VHS tapes and Playboys: Dan would come in a clear the place out, even bringing his own tubs for transport. As their checkout system was fairly antiquated, this would take quite a while to process, which gave the staff plenty of time to get to know the guy. And since “crazy” is reductive and hurtful more often than not, let’s just say that Dan’s theories about just about everything were a shade off of the norm. A conspiracist, is what I’m saying, and they had a great time getting his thoughts on anything and everything. Still, eventually he stopped coming (or the store closed down; David doesn’t say which), and the remaining staff were left with their own theories as to what happened to him and what he did with all of those VHS tapes and issues of Playboy. As “resold them” was considered too boring as a theory, they had to get creative. Hey, you try! What could somebody do with piles of VHS tapes and magazine? It’s an interesting mix of possibilities, although my guess was an enclosed cot made of VHS tapes, wallpapered with Playboy images. Hey, there are no wrong guesses! Anyway, it’s a fun little story, and even though it’s not listed on his website at the moment, I bought it from him literally two days ago, so I’m guessing he still has a few tucked away. $5 (If I’m remembering correctly)

Hetland, Beth – Tender

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Tender

Here I was, all set to rave about this as an absolutely stellar debut graphic novel (which it very much is, don’t get me wrong) only to discover that I’d reviewed one of her minis 15 years ago (The Legend of Johnny Rocker, and hey, at least this gave me the opportunity to clean up the text and the link). So it’s not like she’s brand new to comics, it’s just that this is her first hefty comic book. Yes, that’s my preferred term for graphic novels, and no, of course it never caught on. Yeesh, I’m rambling, and if any readers are wondering, yes, this is indeed why I don’t usually post reviews after a couple of drinks. But I just finished this, and I can’t put it onto my bookshelf without getting some thoughts out. This will be tricky to talk about without giving anything away, so be warned: I’ll try my best, but I unreservedly recommend it, even though you’re pretty much guaranteed to be disturbed by it. This is the story of a young woman (Carolanne) who had a crush on a guy at work and dreamed of a perfect life. Beth chose a fascinating structure for the book, starting with the ending (the tone changes completely once you’ve finished and know what’s happening in those opening images), followed by her successful relationship that preceded it, followed by her pregnancy and her taking time off of work. All relatively normal so far, even benign at times, outside of a dream(?) sequence that hints at the horrors to come. The flashbacks continue, as we see Carolanne in the utter mundanity of her life before she landed what she thought of as her dream boyfriend and eventual husband. I’m glossing over this quickly, because this is going to be on all kinds of “best of” lists by the end of the year and you’re all going to read it anyway. Right? Anyway, we eventually end up back in the happy stage of the relationship, with her pregnant and taking maternity leave from work, before something absolutely devastating happens. Is that a bad place to stop telling you what happens next? Oh well, that’s all the specifics you’re getting out of me. What happens from there was something that could have gone predictably in a number of ways under lesser hands, but there were all kinds of surprises all the way through the end, and anybody trying to predict things would have at best only guessed at the level of disintegration of her life, friends, and self. This is terrifying, deeply disturbing stuff, and I can’t wait to see what Beth does next. $19.99

Ambasna, Anu – DJ School

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DJ School

DJ school! We’ve all thought about it. OK, some of us have, at least, and maybe even in the olden times when it involved switching out actual records. Why, in my day… man, sorry about that. Narrowly avoided a serious old man rant. Anyway! In this issue our hero is bored at his day job and dreams of being a DJ. That terrible boss is wrong; a kitchen is absolutely a perfect place to pretend to be a DJ. He gets fired, more or less, and tells us his origin story, which involves hearing “Firestarter” by Prodigy at the age of 3 and having it change his life. How many DJs did that song create, do you reckon? It has to be hundreds at a minimum. He looks online and finds a course about becoming a DJ, although he finds it boring and a bit obvious, at least until he discovers… the secret trick. As we move on to his first gig, our hero is nervous, so a well-meaning (?) liason offers him what solves all problems at a rave: hard drugs. Our hero thinks he’s maybe bitten off more than he can chew, as he can no longer tell where his hands are, but in case of emergency he can always rely on… the secret trick! It’s a fun story with a happy ending (spoilers I guess), which is very much not a guarantee with the mini kus books. It’s also $7.95 by itself or $22 if you buy it with three other comics and, as always, you know which of those two options I recommend.

Forker, Nick – Eyeland #6

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Eyeland #6

I’m still moving ahead with my “let’s review a random issue of Eyeland” plan, but I’m going to have to pick up the pace on this sucker because he sent me some new comics recently to go along with the backlog. Now hiring, pay rate same as mine (losing a little money paying for the website, but at a “meh” level)! This time around is a theme that’s near and dear to most of our hearts, not that WE’RE the ones with the problem, not at all: getting lost in screens. Why yes, I am typing this and seeing it on a computer monitor, so the irony isn’t lost on me. But hey, I’m heading to the gym once I finish writing these reviews, that has to count for something, right? Things start off with a close-up of the detritus surrounding the average gamer, and yep, that was a little too on the nose. Our hero then takes a bit of a mystical journey through a swamp, learning a bit about the swamp (along with some cryptic hints from a Yoda-esque figure), before we see the horror: every gamer in the world, all gathered in one area, all in their individual boxes. It’s horrifying to think about everybody who’s playing a game right now, cut off from human contact, but to see an image of them all together, and the endlessly repeated, lame dialogue… yikes. Not something I’d ever conceived of, but it’s a sobering image. From there a rescue plan is devised for these poor souls, but do any of them have an interest in being rescued? It’s another thought-provoking issue, and will it make me self-conscious the next time I fire up a game? Almost certainly yes. I’ll also probably get over it after a few minutes, meaning I won’t end up learning any lesson from this comic. How about you? $5

Wolf, Tony – Tales From the Wolf

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Tales From the Wolf

Ah, autobio comics. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a collection as hefty as this one, and it’s a good one. It might seem complicated, but the basic ingredient of a good autobio comic is simple: do you have interesting stories to tell? If so, you’re already more than halfway there! If not, or if you run out, well, that’s a large part of why most diary strips tend to just peter out after a few months or years. But hey, let’s get to Tony! He’s been doing this for a long time (the mid 90’s), but he took a significant break and came back. This is a collection of most of the comics/illustrations that he’s done, and this is over 200 pages, so I’d say he’s done quite a bit over the years. The first chunk is made up of stories called Greenpoint of View, tales mostly taken from his immediate surrounding area in the 90’s. There’s watching his neighborhood being gradually taken over by hipsters (he’s correct, people do forget that it all started with trucker hats), stopping to listen to a band in the park and what became of them, a fascinating piece about how he was one of the main reasons why ticket quotas were stopped for New York cops (it involves the injustice of him getting ticketed early in the a.m. one day for spreading out over two seats when he had the entire car to himself), and a sadly closed pizza place. Other stories include his experience participating in the phone survey on whether or not to murder Robin back in the late 80’s (yes kids, DC comics really did encourage people to call a hotline to determine whether or not the new Robin lived or died), his experience with the Alpha Flight comic and his complicated feelings for John Byrne, a secret Italian desert called tartufo that sounds freaking delicious, squab, his fascination with the McRib, a hopeful tale of how he got through a bout of severe depression, his learning the fascinating history behind the name of one of the ferries in New York harbor, and several very short (mostly one page) stories about a variety of subjects, which I’ll leave as a surprise for y’all. He also gets political towards the end, which I still wish would happen with more cartoonists, and he has several compelling strips on recent political history. Anti-Trump stuff, obviously, in case you were worried that he had trouble taking a stand against something so obviously horrific. There are pull quotes from about a dozen names that you’ll recognize if you’re been reading comics for more than a few months; his stuff has obviously impressed a wide range of people over the years. This is a damned solid collection of almost entirely autobiographical comics, from a guy with a lot of fun and/or fascinating stories to tell. Check it out, why don’t you? $20

Graham, Alex – The Devil’s Grin #2

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The Devil’s Grin #2

I’m going to type a lot of words now, as is my way, but to be very clear about this comic right off the bat: I’m fully on board for this journey. Any quibbles (and I honestly can’t think of any at the moment), any doubts, I’m still fully invested in seeing where Alex takes this thing. To anybody who’s jumping into my ramblings with the review for #2, that’s ridiculous, but things ended up previously with the flushed fetus Robert (talking from birth, mind you) surviving his experience in the sewer and wandering out into the world. This one picks up in 1974, about 26 years after the first issue, and Robert is a full grown dude. What was his life like? How did he make it this far? Maybe that’ll get dealt with later in the series, or maybe it’s irrelevant and I shouldn’t worry about it. Alex has a fantastic (and surprisingly thorough, considering how complex the story has been so far) synopsis on the inside front cover, for new readers and anybody who might have forgotten bits of it, which is something I’m always happy to see. We’re reintroduced to Robert, who’s a broke poet, and the audience at this particular poetry reading is pretty sick of him always bringing things back to the sewer. Which is a succinct, hilarious way to let the reader know that he’s scarred for life from an experience that would definitely do that to a person. We meet Robert’s neighbor Dandelion, who is also haunted by that grinning devil, not that either of them know that about the other person. We spend a good chunk of the issue with her, so I’m guessing that’ll be something else that comes in to play more later. We see that his mother is still around, and the oddball cartoonist neighbor is still doing his thing, but in a more sinister fashion, which the back cover (actually the end of the story; Alex used ALL the pages for this 66 page behemoth of a tale) lays out explicitly. Oh, and there’s the killer, or maybe it’s a killer. And Robert’s girlfriend, and Dandelion’s therapist and abandoned car, and that wandering cop… lots of ingredients bubbling around. It’s a thoroughly engaging story, and the only thing that has me even slightly hesitating before buying the next available issues is the eternal “do I just wait for the collected edition to come out” conundrum. If you see a review for #3 shortly, I guess that answers that… $14

Colin, Gary – Link

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Link

What a gorgeous, precise little comic this is. Not that most comics are sloppy or anything, but this one was clearly made with intention in each image/line. Think of this as a meditation session but with you being represented as a video game image and you’ll come close to the feel of it, although this is definitely one of those comics you need to experience for yourself to have a chance to fully understand it. As such, does this mean that mini kus has done it to me again, as this comic is basically unreviewable? They surely did! Let’s see what I can say about it. Things start off with a login for the session, followed by subtle changes to the character, followed by changes of the scenery. The character (or you, if you’re meditating along with the comic) merge with the scenery, get invaded by all sorts of images and ideas, but maintain serenity throughout. This could be a harrowing experience if you weren’t meditating already, so it’s probably best to calm yourself and enjoy the ride. Could this comic alone drive you to madness otherwise? I mean, probably not, unless letting the fluidity flow through or blending into the background would be problems for you. It’s somehow a riveting and relaxing story all at once, so yeah, I’d definitely say it’s worth checking out. $8 for the comic or $22 for this one with three others, and you know by now which deal I recommend…

Yeater, Adam – World of Knonx

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World of Knonx

So I have this vague, half-formed idea that there can be too many pages in some wordless stories. Wordless minis are fine, wordless comics are usually at least understandable, but once you get into wordless graphic novel territory, you pretty much need to be a master of the craft to come away with anything coherent. The other option, of course, is that I’m a dummy who can’t understand longer works unless they’re spelled out for me. You may be right about that! But I can only write reviews with the brain that I’ve got, and this poor old sucker basically tapped out halfway through (but I did read it to the end; I am a professional, after all!). Positives: this is a wildly imaginative world, and while I know there’s no way it was financially possible, a lot could have been glossed over if he had the resources to color this sucker like he did the cover. The only synopsis we get are brief descriptions of the two types of creatures: Norks and Mogz. Norks are basically teletubbie looking things with worms in place of their stomachs and faces. Mogz are roughly the same thing, but with robot bodies instead. Or I could have just said that Norks are on the cover image and a Mogz is on the sample page. Anyway, they’re both fighting over the tree of life, and when Norks take fruit from the tree and put in in their heads in place of their giant eyeball, they get super powers. Basically. This is where words would have come in helpful, because how do they stay alive without an eyeball? Sometimes their worms get removed and they’re fine, sometimes they die. Why? This volume also contains at least three stories, but in an entirely wordless book you at least need to clearly delineate when that happens. My only clue was that “the end” showed up a few times, but then the book launched right back into the world. I get the impression, and this could be completely wrong, that this book was produced over the course of years online, probably with a lot of feedback from his readers, and they most likely spent some time talking about who was who, what was happening, motivations, etc. But for somebody like me coming in cold, this one failed to grab me. Maybe if I spent more time with it, maybe if I talked to the author and had bits explained to me, as there are a number of genuinely interesting sections. But as it stands I can only recommend this to people who are looking for a puzzle to be solved, or something that leaves a lot of room to talk about in your book club. And if you do pick this for your book club, please invite me, because I’d love to see that conversation. It’s listed at $22 on Amazon, which is the only place I see it these days…

Jackson, Rob – Hollywood on the Croal

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Hollywood on the Croal

It’s best to start this one off with a confession/explanation. Rob put out a comic in 2007 (or at least that’s when I reviewed it) called On the Banks of the Mighty Croal. That comic, like this one, was a narrated walking tour through the town of Bolton, a lot of which being adjacent to the Croal river. Now, that review was 16 years ago and, as you may have guessed, my memory of it is somewhere between hazy and nonexistent. So is this book a sequel to that comic, a continuation, or an expansion? It’s listed as having a new map in the synopsis on his website, so I’m guessing expansion/new edition. Look, since it’s been 16 years, chances are that it will seem new to you regardless. As for the comic itself, there’s not much to say that wouldn’t be me just repeating facts that I learned here, which would get boring for both of us in a hurry. Picture a walking tour accompanied by a guide who was funny and clever and also had both a lifetime of familiarity with the area and had done a ridiculous amount of research to dig up obscure facts and info. All that and it’s “narrated” by Telly Savalas, or at least it us until Rob is no longer able to afford him. It’s a fascinating journey, and if I was suddenly plopped into Bolton right now I feel like I’d have a fighting chance thanks to this comic. Now, if it was 16 years from now, probably not so much. Once again we play the conversion dance to try and guess pricing, and if I’m right it’s around $7 (but there’s a good chance I’m wrong).

Horvat, Nuka – Transgender Homebody

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Transgender Homebody

Again and forever, I wish I could just reprint the synopsis from the back of this comic in the place of a review and call it a day. It says everything and somehow manages to convey terror and deep eroticism at the same time. But no, I’ve given that synopsis away for free too many times, so you’ll have to buy a copy to read it yourself. Or go to the link where you can buy a copy, as the whole thing is there as well. This one is ridiculously open to interpretation, as you could go with the idea of somebody ogling their neighbor through the peephole and imagining a sexual encounter (or several), or you could go with this being a faithful retelling of some sexy times. The images are a jumble of chaotic and/or angry lines, with various sexy bits coming to the surface and being submerged again, with dialogue that shows the sexual fluidity (and sheer, rampaging horniness) of both participants. It’s mesmerizing, even with the ending that takes a serious turn into ______ (what, you thought I was going to spoil the ending? For shame). Read it and be dazzled, unless you’re one of those prudish churchy types, in which case you only clicked on a review with this title because you were titillated by it. Admit it, at least to yourself! $7.95 for the issue but, as always, I’d recommend getting the bundle of four for $22 with this one in it.

Update for 2/29/24

What, like I’m not going to do an update on Leap Day? New review today for The History of a Toss by Weng Pixin, another from the rapidly dwindling mini kus pile.

Pixin, Weng – The History of a Toss

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The History of a Toss

The idea behind this one is specific, and while it seems like it probably hasn’t affected that many people, this one will hit hard for certain folks. Have you ever been enjoying some quiet time, either alone or with others, when suddenly a large heavy object comes flying through the air and strikes you, seemingly for no reason? Like I said, that just lost a good chunk of you, but for those of you who are nodding your heads right now, you’re in luck! This one starts off with our hero the bunny trying to enjoy a cup of tea when they’re suddenly struck by a phone book. It turns out that the roommate (the frog) was just trying to throw the phone book away, but they’d misjudged both how hard they threw the book and the distance to the garbage. After a sudden clobbering like that, it’s hard not to feel a little targeted, and this might bring up memories of previous conversations with your roommate about their family members throwing things in anger. This might also bring up a defensive reaction on their part, as they see it as an unfortunate if innocent mistake. From here there are two main possibilities: either the offending party sees that what they did was at best thoughtless and apologizes, or they dig in and use the opportunity to bring up all kinds of irrelevant grudges, both real and perceived. And if the aggressor takes that second tack, well, things are probably going to get ugly. This book is an exploration of that conversation, and how “heroes” and “villains” in this situation don’t necessarily mean a thing in regards to who “wins” the argument. It’s a fascinating and more than slightly uncomfortable book, so yes, we can add another mini kus book to the “yeah buy that why don’t you?” pile. $7.95 (for this comic, it’s $22 for this and the next three in the series. I know which one sounds like a better deal to me!)