The Bizmar Experiment
“Bizmar” stands for Bunny Insect Zombie Monkey Alien Robot, and the idea here seems to be to cram in all six things into a two page comic, making this the best idea for an anthology in the history of anthologies. Some names you might recognize from this site: Ben Snakepit, Tod Parkhill, Tom Manning, Stan Yan, George Tautkus, and Brian Morante. There are more people here (check out the website for ordering info and the complete list), but I want to talk about the comics! There’s a wide and completely absurd collection of stories, including all six things working in a pizza shop, a zombie becoming president, Ben going to see Gwar (yes, he does manage to fit everything in), A giant robot that is made up of 5 smaller pieces ala Voltron, renting movies for Halloween, bizarre sex confessions, a surprise party for a zombie, and even more stuff that I’m not going to ruin for you. Look, this is a brilliant idea that’s pulled off to perfection. What more do you want? $3!
Red Curtain #4
This series is officially hurting my brain. I’m going to stick with it until the end though, mostly because there’s only one more issue to go. Whether or not I can manage to read all five of them for the next review is in doubt, as I’m not sure that I could take it. It’d be a weekend thing, some time when I can just lounge and try to make some sense out of this. Honestly, I mostly did this review so I could post the sample below, as I think it sums up everything you need to know about this series, and whether or not it’s something that you think you should be reading. In this one more of the characters die, the flower gets a new pot and any semblance of a story has completely vanished, at least to me. It’s a buck and I continue to insist that these guys do some good work on their own and you should support their other stuff. As for this one, eh, I’ll keep you posted…
Red Curtain #3
You know, I meant to keep reading these thing weekly so I would retain some semblance of a plot, but it got away from me somehow and here I am, a couple of months later, and I once again have no idea what’s going on here. Why don’t I just tell you what you can find in this comic? If you read this you’ll see a bimbo with her hand super-glued to her hip, a two-headed dog cut in half, a fatal sneeze, a serial killer of mimes, a fish with legs, and doom. All kinds of funny nonsense going on, start to finish, but it’s hard to recommend if you want something coherent. If coherent is a second concern to funny, well, go for it. I still plan on reading them all in a row when I get to #5, so maybe it’ll all be clearer then. Contact info is up there, this is a buck…
Red Curtain #2
OK, it might be necessary to review this series in a different way than other series. On a page by page basis, it’s funny as hell. There’s all kinds of random stuff, the dialogue is great, God says “erf” instead of “earth”… all kinds of good stuff. In terms of a bigger picture, I honestly have no idea what’s going on. I mean, at all, not even a little bit. There’s also a synopsis at the end of the book (and if the folks at Young American Comics ever do this again, they should really put these at the start of the book) that really didn’t do much to clear things up. Tell you what: when I get to #5, I’ll read them all in a row and review them like that. Maybe I should have done that to begin with, but it’s too late now! Contact info up there, $1, check it out if you have a VERY short attention span…
Red Curtain #1
If there has ever been a review-proof comic, this is it. You see, this is a story by a bunch of artists from Young American Comics (Parkhill, Bush, Mason, Briedis, Morante and Hunt are listed but there could be more) that’s done in as random of a manner of possible. Different people pick up after reading a panel or two from somebody else, with no idea of where the story is going, and make up something new. It’s passed around until its done, and it’s a five issue series, so it’s hard to say if anything here is going to work out in the long term. In the short term, it’s off to a good start. In here are Miss Cleo, God, an angry flower, a shadowy figure, poo, blue almonds, war, a parrot, and a fat man. In case you were wondering, no, it doesn’t make a lot of sense yet, and it might not ever, but it’s a great idea for an experiment and I’m curious to see where it goes. Taken as one issue, it’s funny, but that’s all that I can really say about it so far. $1, contact info up there!
Wild Penny #3
Three stories in this anthology, from three different creative teams. First you have Tod Parkhill & Gabriel Hunt with the cover story, about a panda warrior. That’s probably as ridiculous as it sounds, but it’s done without a hint of irony and has one of the best endings for an action packed story that I’ve seen. The second story is from Tod Parkhill, Briedis (sorry, no first time), and Brian Morante, about a young superheroine called Electrocutie fighting a random large woman in a story that didn’t do much for me, frankly. It was adorable though, which is maybe why it bugged me. The last story is by Tod Parkhill and Rebecca Flowers, about a man who’s weeding his garden for his wife when he’s suddenly stung by a bee in a story that was oddly moving. I say odd because it kind of came out of nowhere, but kudos on that one. Anyway, it’s $2, go to the website and check out everything else they have too.
Well, there it is, one more mystery of the universe solved. Turns out that Brian is a MUCH better artist when he takes his time (even though this is a 24 hour comic, it looks better than any of the other 24 hour comics I can think of offhand). One thing I miss about 24 hour comics, if I can be an old fogey for a second here, is that people used to put how long the things took them at some point in the comic. Alex Robinson is the best example I can think of, as he also pointed out how much of a bad idea the whole thing was the further along he got, and that’s the kind of insight I miss in these things. OK, trip down memory lane over. This is the story of an unnamed man (probably Brian, but who knows?) who watches a PBS special on String Theory. No, I’m not going to tell you what it is, you’re obviously on the internet right now and can find out for yourself if you’re that curious. He decides to make a portal to visit an alternate dimension, which just so happens to work on the first try, and it takes him to a replica of his apartment with a few minor differences, and one major difference in the world that he can see right away: Michael J. Fox was never on Family Ties. The rest of the comic is a wandering tale about dimension hopping and sitting on the couch, but this had more of a plot than a lot of the 24 hour comics in the first few pages, so what more do you want? Some funny moments and it’s always good to see Michael J. in a comic. $2, contact info is up there!
How to Draw
Is the polish of 24 hour comics getting you down? Then why not try a 15 minute comic! Sure, it looks like crap (although there are a pages of this that look a lot better than they should), but it doesn’t make any difference as long as there’s a good story behind it. This one has that. It starts of as another “how to draw” (not that the title gives that away or anything) and then goes a completely different direction, going into detail about how to make glass for a frame for your picture, among other minute details. It all ends in tears, of course. Hey, I liked it a lot. No idea if the guy is much better when he takes his time, but at least the art and the story has a fun quality to it. This can’t be more than $.50 or so, check out the website and see what else they have around , as they have a ton of artists.