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Aushenker, Michael – Cartoon Flophouse

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Cartoon Flophouse

I’m a little worried about whether or not Michael is still active, as the last update on his website is a link to my review of his work for War on Dental almost three years ago, but hey, maybe he just doesn’t update it all that often! Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen that. There’s also the question of the title of this comic, as the website is Cartoon Flophouse too, but boy can I ever go on so I’ll shut up about stuff other than the comic now. This is a collection of strips, varying from one page to several, starring a chicken (Clucky) and a turtle (Brett) having adventures of some sort. The sampled image is the first strip, to give you some idea of the mayhem involved. Other strips deal with showing up at the very wrong party, taking a turn on the idea of buying wedding gifts, going through an informative and hilarious set of definitions for a “Saturday Night Special,” borrowing a dollar from the U.S. Mint, doing everything it takes to maintain access to the free food at a wedding, and dealing with Clucky getting a bonk on the head and thinking he’s Shakespeare. The rest of the stories are longer, dealing with a search party out looking for a house party that gets out of hand (with a really solid gag at the end of the strip), the boys getting access to the model party of their dreams and how they manage to screw it up, and the disastrous results of their impromptu competition to see who can do better on an online dating app using only their charms with no photos. There are also several pages with various images and outtakes, as the man knows how to get the most out of his pages. Pretty funny collection overall, which is all you’re really looking for out of a comic like this. The man takes orders through email or snail mail, so if you’re interested in giving this one a look, try chipmunksandsquirrels@yahoo.com. Here’s hoping the guy is still around! $4

Aushenker, Michael – Trolls

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Trolls

So as I was reading this I knew that I had seen this art somewhere before. Michael has been working for years on a variety of projects, but all I could think about was Duplex Planet. And, sure enough, in his bio he mentioned making a story for them years ago. Maybe I just have too many comics taking up space in my brain? Because if this is a skill it surely isn’t lucrative. Oh hi, I’m supposed to be talking about the comic! This is mostly a story about Edward and Wayward, two dopes who are air traffic controllers. Their boss doesn’t like them, one of them is on the run from his pot dealer and his landlord has decided that he’s going to kick him out. Throughout it all neither of them takes anything all that seriously (except for the bit where the pot dealer seems like he’s going to murder Edward), and the whole thing reminded me quite a bit of the old stoner comics of the 70’s. Which was great! Those types of books just aren’t around much anymore, and I’ve always wondered why that’s the case. The two of them end up being forced to work the entire weekend shift as air traffic controllers, and they only have one idea as to how they’re going to stay awake all weekend: throwing a big old party. The rest of their story is nonstop debauchery with more than a little bit of surreality thrown in as the sleep deprivation catches up to them. But wait, there’s more! There’s also two short stories in here, one dealing with two other characters working at a McDonald’s in the middle of nowhere (that one also turns into a party with the hobos taking over) and two other characters getting invited to a model party and assuming they got the meaning wrong when they show up to see an array of model airplanes and that sort of thing scattered about. So, naturally, they sniff glue to get away from it all… but there’s a twist! Honestly, I loved this book, and am looking forward to reading the other books he was nice enough to send along. Check it out, or just go to his website and pick out some comics. He has a whole lot to choose from! $4