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Various Artists – Too Blue Comix #1

Website for Brad W. Foster

Website for Simon Mackie

Website for Dexter Cockburn

Website for Macedonio

Too Blue Comix #1

Granted, I don’t usually list contact information for everybody in an anthology, but figured I could make an exception for an eight page comic. This is a series of comics with adult stories, and in this case that means boobs and penises (peni?) and such. Which has proved to be impervious to critical analysis in the past, but hey, it’s Friday, I’ll give it a shot. The bulk of this comic is Simon Mackie’s story about a man taking his son out to get laid. He brings him upstairs to a prostitute and leaves them together, at which point the young man is alarmed by the woman with very little clothes on and flees. But he does manage to get “laid.” Sort of. That’s where the comedy comes in, you see. Dexter has two single page stories next, one dealing with all the depravities listed in an adult comic (and where the line is of going too far) and one that combines making a deal for a good grade with the brief, sad life of sperm as it hits the air. Images by Brad W. Foster and Macedonio bookend this comic nicely. Dexter covers all the really graphic stuff this time around, so if that offends you you could always skip those bits (even if they are the most consistently funny bits in the comic) and read the rest of it. Then again, why would you have purchased an adult comic if comic characters having various forms of sex offended you? The point is that you get some funny mixed in with some sexy here. If that’s your thing, $1 isn’t much to ask for this, is it?

Goebert, Jerry & Foster, Brad W. – Quark #2: Dream Me A World


Quark #2: Dream Me A World

Well, so much for this being a regular Friday review. Instead I’ll just make it a regular weekly review until I regain something resembling a normal schedule. Last time around we were taken on a journey through the creation of everything, so naturally this time we go a little bit further. This all starts once the concept of “two” is introduced following patterns repeating themselves, which leads to a third variable, which… well, you get the idea. Then the concept of three dimensions gradually comes about, which leads to all of the stuff in those three dimensions, with much trial and error being done along the way. Not by the hand of a bearded man in the sky, mind you; these were basically tests to see which things/living beings worked best. Once again it’s a fascinating look at the way in which everything might have started, and this one ends on a cliffhanger of (spoilery spoilers) man building Eden. So yeah, I’m curious to see where they go next, and I’m thoroughly happy with how inventive it’s been so far. And yes, I do realize that it’s mildly ridiculous to have these reactions for mini comics that are 30 years old, but hey, it’s all new to me. $1

Goebert, Jerry & Foster, Brad W. – Quark #1: Determined to be Different

Website  (where you can buy his books)

Quark #1: Determined to be Different

Jerry and Brad have both been in this business way too long to not have any kind of contact information in this comic. Hey, if I’m going to get annoyed at the new artists for making that mistake, it’s only fair to do the same thing to the old pros. Granted, this is a reprint of a comic from 1982, but single mini comics can end up in the strangest of places and you always want the person who finds it to have easy access to the rest of your work. So, what’s it all about? No big deal, just establishing consciousness and a sense of self. This one starts off before the very concept of time itself, when all there was was nothing. Nothing was alone and it noticed potential for there to be more, which gave it another frame of reference, and things build up from there. It provokes a whole lot of thought for being crammed into eight pages, and good luck reading this and not veering off into different philosophical directions of your own. Oh crap, and I just noticed that it’s “to be continued!” In that case I’ll just make this a regular Friday review (unless I’m not around on that Friday, as my current schedule is proving to be all over the place), because I’m very curious to see where they take things from here. Or took things as, like I said, this series is from 1982. Yes, children, mini comics existed back then. $1

Foster, Brad W. – The Eternal Conflict


The Eternal Conflict Now Available!  $1.25

How much effort have you ever put into eating the last pea on your plate? At least I think the object of Brad’s frustration is a pea, it might also be a matza ball or some other perfectly round edible object. The title for this mini tells the tale, as each page is a wordless panel of Brad (actually most likely Brad’s stand-in) first trying to eat the pea in a civilized fashion, then combining utensils to try and get the food to his mouth, before things start getting ugly. That’s it, really, but I don’t want to just gloss this over as “man tries to eat pea for the entirety of a comic” to leave you with the impression that it’s worthless. His comedic timing is perfect, and if you get me to laugh a couple of times during a comic you’ve done something right. $1.25

Foster, Brad W. – Late One Night


Late One Night Now Available!  $.50

This may be a rare comics find (although I didn’t find it so much as Brad mailed it to me), as it appears to be the first 24 hour comic ever. Hell, it’s even less than five hours! When did Scott McCloud start all that anyway? This is from 1986, so probably right around the same time. Of course, this is eight very tiny pages, so I don’t know if that would fit the criteria for a true 24 hour comic. Eh, it amuses me to think about it anyway. The story for this one is that Brad had a page that was going to run through the printing press anyway for another comic, so why not split it up into eight parts and make another comic out of it? The back cover also indicates that this is #1,847 of his products, if you count all the posters and cards as one each, and he put this out a very long time ago. I don’t care how you slice it, that’s serious productivity right there. Anyway, the strips are mostly a series of images like the one sampled below, and that sort of thing gets all the joy sucked out if it from critical reviewing. I did enjoy the one four panel strip dealing with logic, so keep an eye out for that one if you have a spare $.50. Not that the rest of it was bad, just by its nature it was something of a “blink and you’ll miss it” comic. So… yeah. Make up your own damn minds! $.50

Foster, Brad W. – First There Was a Scribble


Now Available!  $1.75

First There Was The Scribble

Anybody out there with writer’s block? Is that even the right term for somebody who is creatively blocked from making new comic characters? Anyway, if you have whatever the right term for that is, you should maybe look at this book. The title sums it up pretty well: start with a scribble, and try not to have any preconceived notions about it. Make it a genuine doodle. Then take a minute to examine the doodle and see what you can some up with out of it. This comic contains Brad’s first attempt at this and the second mini comic he put out on this theme. The first shows Brad’s attempts of making art out of doodles. Some of them are more impressive than others, naturally, but there are some seriously impressive images in here. The second section includes doodles and their results by Jamie Adler, Bob Conway, John Cosgriff, John Howard, Dave Miller, Reg Platt, Roldo, Jim Ryan, Dan W. Taylor, Edd Vick and Keith Woods. Don’t be alarmed if you’ve never heard of some of those names, as this book was first released in 1994. Different perspectives added a lot to the experience, as Jim Ryan named all the characters he created and Reg Platt put together a Sherlock Holmes story from his characters. Brad points out that a few of the doodles in the second half are cheaters, but hey, why not? Nobody is keeping score and the whole point of the exercise is a new outlet to express creativity. It’s an interesting project that some of you creative types should maybe try if your current output it mostly theoretical. $1.75

Jackson, Rob (editor) – Gin Palace #2


Gin Palace #2

That Rob Jackson, he has to be one of the hardest working guys in comics today.  Well, small press comics anyway, as those guys with Marvel and DC have a monthly schedule to keep up, but you know what I mean.  The first Gin Palace was a success, and this one follows it up nicely.  Don’t be alarmed with the familiarity of my using first names here, and check the tags so see exactly who they are if you’re unclear. Francesca starts things off with a story about how awesome it was to go out to a bar with her dad when she was very young, Andrew has a story about a black dog rib that flew right over my head, Rob has a lovely tale involving a black hole and a robot that became a god, John/Sean has a story about living with a serious regret even though things aren’t all that bad as they are (probably the highlight of the comic), Paul has an excellent mish mish of family drama, Dave tells the story of a pumpkin competition that goes too far, Pete has a great piece about a grandson being tricked into pursuing a career in science, Sin-Cat (I’m guessing that’s the name the creator goes by too, at least judging from the back cover) has another wandering tale that hits and occasionally misses, Jarod deals with his tricky future self, Brad gives us instructions to build our own intelligent robot cubehead, and Barry has a fairly straightforward story about revenge until the ending.  What else do you want to know?  Any comic with Rob Jackson, Dave Hughes, John Robbins and Brad Foster gets my vote, and this one has more than a few great stories besides that bunch.  Buy it why don’t you?  $6ish

Foster, Brad W. – Folkomix #1


Folkomix #1 Now Available!  $.75

1985!  That’s when this comic came out.  The answer to this would probably depress me if I knew it, but how many of you were even alive in 1985?  Sigh.  Anyway, I picked this to review from the pile of Brad’s comics more or less at random, and he was nice enough to send in a whole bunch of mini comics from the 80’s and early 90’s.  How well do you know your comics history?  Were you aware of the recent Fantagraphics collection of minis from the 80’s?  Maybe you should look into this stuff, get in touch with some small press roots.  This comic is a response to a critic that apparently told Brad 25 years ago (christ) that he couldn’t draw a fly.  He made his style as simplistic as possible and drew a comic that is essentially a family portrait of yokels, including the farm animals, tractor and the family sitting down for supper.  He even threw in some flies on the back cover, just to show that he could, in fact, draw them.  There will be very many more of these minis gracing these pages soon enough, don’t you worry about that.  As for this one, it’s short, fairly amusing and cheap.  There are worse combinations.  $.75

Foster, Brad W. – Time Warp Comix #3


Website where you can buy this

Time Warp Comix #3 Now Available! $.75

OK, technically this is a Dan Taylor production (as this is a series of anthologies he’s working on) but, as this issue is Brad Foster only, I thought it was a good chance to get the man a page on this site and have his links be more readily available. Brad has been doing comics for as long as I can remember reading them, even if I’ve mostly missed his stuff when it was out. I do remember that he did an adults only comic many years ago (the title has gone down the memory hole) that led to me realizing that it was possible to see naked ladies in comics and not have parents or authority figures pester you about it because they were, after all, just comic books. This is a shortie and the story is mostly Brad bitching about how much better things were in the old days, when people actually had to draw their own comics and wait by the mailbox if they were trying to put together an anthology. Trust me, it’s much funnier than it sounds. It’s only a buck and this is somebody you kids today should know about, if you have any interest in the history of mini comics…

Foster, Brad W. – First There Was The Scribble


First There Was The Scribble Now Available!  $1.75

Foster, Brad W. – Cat in a Box


Cat in a Box Now Available!  $1.50

Foster, Brad W. – Welcome to Camp Skiffy


Welcome to Camp Skiffy Now Available! $.75