Blog Archives

Wolf, Tony – Tales From the Wolf

Website (Instagram)

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

Baylis, Jonathan (with Various Artists) – So Buttons #13


So Buttons #13

What’s this? Am I attempting to sneak in another Karl Christian Krumpholz book under a different name? No, you silly things, he just did the cover and a story for Jonathan’s comic. This time around the theme is (more or less) Hollywood, his time in it, and Harvey Pekar (and his time interacting with Harvey). Mostly, anyway, as he always has room for random stories. Topics in this one deal with him discovering Alan Moore as a young comics kid and how it shaped him (it also mentions that Alan drew a strip for Harvey Pekar in 1990, which I now have to locate) (art by Tony Wolf), his time working for the Sundance Channel and how it eventually ended up with him sitting directly behind Harvey Pekar for the premiere of Harvey’s movie (art by Joe Zabel), a solid choice for a midnight movie experience (art by Bernie Mireault), his time going to school with Eli Roth and his joy at watching him shoot Hitler in Inglorious Bastards (art by Gary Dumm), an entirely too detailed depiction of his having to get his Lasik eye surgery adjusted (art by Maria and Peter Hoey), his love of a good Ennio Morricone soundtrack (art by Rick Parker), a well-earned love letter to Tallulah Bankhead (art by Michael T. Gilbert), Nolan Ryan’s disgusting trick to toughen up his fingers to pitch a baseball (art by T. J. Kirsch), and of course the story with Karl Christian Krumpholz with the odd bit of synchronicity of them talking about The Friends of Eddie Coyle when I just watched that movie a few weeks ago. Coincidence? I mean, obviously. Still, it’s an obscure enough movie that I’m tickled by it being mentioned. Obviously there are few more stories I’m leaving as a total surprise for the reader (I mean, I didn’t even mention Whit Taylor’s piece), but even compared to his already solid body of work, this issue is a shining example of what Jonathan can do with a solid cast of artists and when everybody is firing on all cylinders. What does that mean exactly? Probably a car thing. Anyway, heck yeah you should check this one out. $10