Blog Archives

Lehmann, Brandon – Dog Restaurant

Website

Dog Restaurant

Quick, before you read any further: what do you think that title means? I came up with three possibilities pretty much right after seeing that cover, and I’m happy to report that Brandon has them all covered. This one starts off with a married couple trying to figure out where they should go for dinner, which leads to the husband recommending a new place he’s “heard about” called Dog Restaurant. He’s also inexplicably pretending that he’s never been there, but that’s an adventure for the reader. It’s a formal restaurant, so they both get dressed up and head out, speculating all the way about what exactly they’ll be in for. They arrive, settle in… and start to get the sense that something is off. Where are the dogs? Their wondering is interrupted by the server bringing them their dinner, under the fancypants tradition of a covered silver platter, of two servings of “the usual.” It’s at this point (the halfway point of the comic) that Brandon stops the action for a brief warning to the reader. You’re given two options as to how you can continue at this point. You can either read on for the inevitable conclusion to where this has all been leading, or you can skip ahead to the blue colored page for the happy ending. Am I going to talk about either ending? Unless you’re new around here, you know the answer is always absolutely not. I will say that both have bits that got those rare out loud laughs from me (which Brandon seems to be very good at eliciting). I have no clue how the husband thought this was going to go well for him in the “dark” ending, and the questions raised by shoehorning in a “good” ending did an excellent job of showing the dangers of giving the reader what they thought they wanted. Oh, and a quick glance at the publisher’s website shows a small but choice selection, as I’d recommend everything on there that I’ve read (it’s mostly Nick Mandaag and Brandon’s stuff), and it’s yet another reminder that I really need to stop talking about it and just buy a pile of Brandon’s older comics. The fact that I’ve never read his “The Werewolf Expert” feels like a hole in my general reading experience. $10

Lehmann, Brandon – Womp Womp #3

Website

Womp Womp #3

If you’re wondering why so few comics are laugh-out-loud funny these days, I’d suggest that maybe Brandon has stolen all of the laughs and placed them into his comics. My usual plan of putting the funniest/most representative page in the review as the sample image took a real beating this week, as I could have chosen several of the single page strips. Hell, the three panel gag on the back cover might have gotten the biggest laugh out of me of the whole book. You probably have to be of a certain age for the sampled strip to hit, but for those lucky few (or most, I have no idea of the demographics of people who read this website), enjoy. So now I’ll get to the part of the review where I try not to spoil the jokes while still giving you little hints about what to expect in here. If you’re already a fan of Brandon’s work, this is maybe my favorite comic of his yet, so just leave this review entirely and get yourself a copy. If you need a bit more convincing, read on! Subjects in this issue include a spectacularly suspicious time traveler from the future, the inevitable narcissism of the Caterpillar Man, parents being a little too prescient in their warnings to their child against having parties while they’re gone, coming a long way for a joke, nobody knows the weather they’ve seen, an innocent question leading to a justified fit of rage, coming a long way up a mountain to meet a wise man, and the turtle room. There’s more, but if you’re not convinced I don’t know what to tell you. Actually, flipping through this again I’m leaving out two of my favorite stories (about the vampire and the house of the future, if you’re reading this after reading the book), but doing so just makes it easier for them to become YOUR favorite stories. I’m helping! $10

Lehmann, Brandon – Zombie’s First Time

Website (Instagram)

Zombie’s First Time

There are times when the title tells you everything you need to know, and this is another one of those times. Brandon actually sent along a couple of new comics for review, but since I recently watched the fancypants Criterion edition of Night of the Living Dead, reading this sucker first seemed like a no-brainer. Oh dear god, I had no intention of making a zombie pun there, so let’s all agree to ignore it. This is the story of a new zombie running across a terrified and cornered human for the first time, and he knows what comes next. He does, however, have a few questions, so it’s a lucky thing for him that he’s next to an old timer zombie who can guide him. This is the part where I refuse to walk you through that conversation, as several parts of it were things I had wondered myself, and the older zombie came armed with a few surprising facts. It also had several funny lines that I have no interest in spoiling. Looking over Brandon’s shop I was once again reminded that this man is prolific, and that one of these days I should really check out some of this older stuff, as it pretty much universally looks like the kind of thing I’d like. And since I have liked everything else I’ve seen, very much including this one, it seems like another no-brainer. Oh no, not again! $6

Lehmann, Brandon – G-G-G-Ghost Stories

Website

G-G-G-Ghost Stories

It’s a big old collection of Brandon’s comics! If you’ve read any of my past reviews of his work you’ll know that I find the man to be full of funny, and that fine tradition certainly continues in this collection. Looking over his website I think some of these stories were previously in mini comics. Maybe some are brand new to this collection? I don’t know, as for once I’m so timely with my review that he hasn’t even posted this book as being for sale yet (give it a week or so, I’m sure it’ll show up). These all have some sort of generally spooky theme (more or less), and there’s even an epilogue section with a brief follow-up to two of the previous stories that’s delightful. But I’m getting way ahead of myself if I’m already talking about the epilogue, huh? Stories in this one deal with getting some cash for spending the night in a haunted house, how one Lyft driver is getting awfully tired of ghosts requesting rides, a cursed book where the severity of the curse is mostly in the eye of the beholder, a haunted house for cats (which is where the sample image comes from; without that context it’s one baffling sample image), daily phone calls announcing the impending arrival of the Viper (with one of the dumbest endings ever, but hey, Brandon calls that fact out in real time), and the Okiku ghost and her very specific rules for how many plates you need in your house before triggering the curse. There’s also the meaty center of the book, in which a man who recently became a werewolf goes to the local Barnes and Noble for some advice on how to cure his curse. So many wonderful little details in that one, and the fact that it constantly escalates without really going anywhere has to be seen to be believed. And if you think that means I didn’t like that one, incorrect! It’s probably second only to the haunted house for cats, and that’s because I’m hopelessly biased towards cats being weirdos. So yeah, this one is an all around winner. The man is awfully prolific (again, going off his website) so I’ll most likely be checking out some of his other comics soon. I was already pretty well sold after the last two comics, but this one has me convinced that more people should be singing the praises of this guy. $15

Romano Diehl, Sarah & Lehmann, Brandon – I Like Totally Know What You Did Last Summer

Sarah’s Website

Brandon’s Website

I Like Totally Know What You Did Last Summer

Is this still a movie that can be parodied in 2019? I’m genuinely curious if the kids today remember a movie that came out in, what, 1995? It just occurred to me that I’m connected to the internet, so it turns out it was 1997, with one sequel. Eh, who knows. I thought it was terrible when I saw it (full disclosure: in the theaters; yes, I’m ancient), but it’s not like that’s enough to stop a movie from becoming a cult classic. Anyway, you’ll get more out of this comic if you’ve seen the movie, but either way it’s a fun little romp of teenage panic, unsupported assumptions and mistaken identity. I can’t say much more about that without giving the whole plot away, but I will say it’s not just a retelling of the film, this comic has its own thing to say. I laughed a few times, I didn’t see the ending coming, what more can you ask for? I am curious about what exactly happened to Tom, but it’s irrelevant really, and me finding out would have ruined the surprise a bit earlier. Give it a shot, especially if you’re as amazed as I am to find out that that movie has any kind of staying power. $6.90

Lehmann, Brandon – Womp Womp

Website

Womp Womp

Comics that are actually funny are more rare than you might think, and I say that as a guy who reads all kinds of comics for his “job.” And for fun. And this doesn’t pay anything, so it’s hard to call it a job with a straight face. Ahem. Anyway, this comic is genuinely funny, and that’s always a joy. This is a collection of short pieces, some of which seem like they might have come from his earlier mini comics (based on the titles of those books), and some of which seem new. So if you’ve been reading Brandon’s work for years, I guess you might have seen some of this before. But those were in tiny comic form and this is a giant oversized comic. Also, as a general rule, if you like the work of an artist (in just about any field), pay that artist for their work. Otherwise they might get bored and wander off, meaning you don’t get to enjoy their work any more. This is a lot of rambling before even getting to the comic; my apologies, I’ve been off for a few weeks and have yet to rediscover brevity. Stories in this comic include a conversation between two baddies in the Double Dragon game (who also have the self awareness to realize that they wouldn’t even make it to the level of a mini boss), an admonishment to eat food that turns into a discussion of the real father (and one of the funniest things I’ve read in ages), a bad veterinarian who would prefer to deal with healthy dogs that all those other potentially sick animals, a cat discovering that pooping in the sand seems to be the socially acceptable thing to do, an abstract nihilistic misery hole and what happens when you fall down it, how all of the cool people are going back to flip phones, and the story of a dandy fop who was once forced to wash dishes to pay for his meal. The art style sometimes reminds me of the old clip art David Rees used back in the day (for a few of you that will seriously age me, for the rest of you… look him up. His tv show was also delightful. He spent a whole episode searching for the perfect ice cube. But I digress…), and the stories themselves, as I may have mentioned, are genuinely funny. Reward him with your purchasing dollars! $8