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Baylis, Jonathan – So Buttons #12


So Buttons #12

Jonathan has never been nominated for an Ignatz award? Seriously? That seems like an absurd oversight to me. Oh hi, did I already get distracted from my review? Sorry about that, but he mentions that fact a couple of times in here, and it’s ridiculous. But hey, maybe this issue will get nominated next year, because it’s packed to the gills (a phrase I’ve never understood, but never mind that) with winners. First up is the tale of how he settled on his facial hair, how it ties in to Ethan Hawke and what happened when they met (Rachelle Meyer). Next is his memories of sitting with Tom Spurgeon and Carol Tyler at the aftermath of an SPX, which I really have to get to next year (Lance Ward). Then there’s a page by Carol freaking Tyler herself, which is all her, as she agreed to let Jonathan publish one of roughly 100 unpublished pages she found recently. If you were wondering whether or not Kerry Washington was a mensch, does Jonathan (and Ben Passmore) have a story for you! Next up is his story about Grant Morrison, and I have to take a minute here, because it’s about an original page of art he bought from All Star Superman years ago and his debate about whether or not he should sell it, as times were tough during the pandemic. I read All Star Superman literally last week (not for the first time, but in the fancypants “Absolute” edition) and he’s right, it’s the best Superman story ever told, and the only one I’ve seen where the Clark/Superman difference was actually portrayed as big enough to fool people. He also mentioned something I’ve noticed, where I’m roughly 50/50 on Grant’s work, but the 50 on the positive side is VERY positive. But he did this over his own talking head, so now I’m thinking our lists don’t coincide. Doom Patrol in the “bad” pile? Madness (art by Tony Wolf). Josh Bayer draws a true and necessary story about Johnny Rotten, and how inexcusable it was that he ended up a Trump supporter. “The Monkees of punk” was dead on, and if anything maybe a little unfair to The Monkees. Next is the story of a real punk band, Fugazi, his meeting Ian MacKaye and Ian’s story of his time in the crowd at SNL when Belushi wouldn’t go on stage unless a punk band was the musical guest (J.T. Yost). The quality didn’t dip a bit for the last few stories (how could it when Josh Pettinger, Noah Van Sciver and Miss Lasko-Gross were involved, among others) but it’s best to leave a few surprises for y’all, right? Also, I’m going out on a limb here and saying this was my favorite issue of the series so far. Have I said that before? Maybe! But this is the latest issue, so if I have ever said it before, this is the NEW favorite. Pretty good sign when somebody can keep topping themselves like this, huh? Give it a shot, why don’t you? $8

Passmore, Ben – A Pantomime Horse #3



A Pantomime Horse #3

See folks, this is the danger of only picking up one book from an artist at SPACE. Specifically, I usually ask them to pick just one of their books that they think best represents them because, much as I would like to, I can’t afford to buy all the comics from every artist at every table. So I got this comic from Ben, and I can’t tell if this is part of an interconnected series or if it’s just a series of unrelated stories all bundled under the same title. The pace of the comic made me think there was more going on here that the reader was expected to know going in but, as alway, I could be wildly wrong on that. This one starts off with an escape plan, or really more of an escape impulse than anything else, and an internal debate about the wisdom of following that impulse. This is set in a home for “kids who can’t learn to be good, or won’t,” which goes a long way towards explaining the escape plan from earlier in the comic. I love the pace Ben takes to set all this up, as he counts on the reader to not be a dummy to keep up. Please note that I have been watching various tv shows lately where it feels like they take extra time every episode to explain things as simply and dumbly as possible, so maybe I’m just happy to have any form of media where they assume that an adult is reading/seeing it. Anyway, outside of a real sense of foreboding towards the end which I shouldn’t get into, this is mostly about freedom, and a play where many of the kids dress up like ponies and horses. One of those things more than the other, but I’ll leave it to you to figure out which is which. Ben also reprinted a letter in the back, theoretically from an ex-girlfriend, unless he made it up. But it’s compelling nonetheless and will make you think about at least one past relationship. Or it will if you’re me, anyway.