Blog Archives

Baylis, Jonathan & Various Artists – So Buttons: Slice of Cake


So Buttons: Slice of Cake

It’s a convention compilation! What that means is that a number of these stories appeared in previous issues. Maybe all of them, although at least a couple of the artist names were new to me. This is all just a warning to say I’ve reviewed several of these stories already, and if my opinion has changed in the meantime, it should be a good reminder that you’re reading reviews from a mush brain. I thought they would all be about food, but it about the CAKE convention in Chicago, not literally cake. Still, about 2/3 of the stories are about food. Most of the rest of it is the various stories (drawn by Marvel legend Fred Hembeck) dealing with his time as a Marvel intern, the time he met Joe Simon, and his time working for Valiant comics. The food stories deal with his struggles with pork (I definitely reviewed that story very recently), his OCD M & M habits, the grey roast beef, the secret to the brisket, and finding the perfect coffee blend. But wait, there are still two more stories! One deals with Jonathan coming up with the perfect comeback after it’s too late to matter, and the other is his vague connection to the greeting card work of Robert Crumb. So if you have all of his comics already, maybe these are all in other comics? Unclear. But if you’re looking to get all your Hembeck stories in one place, or all of his food stories, this is a really solid collection of tales. $10

Baylis, Jonathan – So Buttons #8


So Buttons #8

To those of you who read these reviews in order, yes, I did review a collection of the first 8 issues of this series already. And I wrote a review of #9. But he was also nice enough to send along a copy of #8 for review, and roughly half of the stories in here weren’t included in the collection, so it’s kind of like new! To those of you who don’t care at all about such minutiae, my apologies. I’ll treat it like a regular old comic and won’t even mention which of these stories were in the collection, how about that? Partially because my memory is garbage and I’m not completely sure without looking back at the book. Stories in this collection include (after the American Splendor homage cover by Noah Van Sciver) his struggle with pork (he’s Jewish) and the best dumplings in New York, his early years experimenting with gory special effects (and the time he got into a fender bender while wearing gory face makeup), what almost turned out to be the perfect day, and the story of his history with pets, up to an including the tragic story of the first dog he adopted. So if you were curious if just getting the collection would cover you for the first 8 issues worth of stories, sorry! That was merely a “best of” collection. Plenty of great stories still around in these individual issues! $5

Mucha, Corinne – Get Over It



Get Over It

It seems incredibly reductive to call this a break-up comic but, well, it is a graphic novel that goes through Corinne’s break-up with a serious boyfriend in detail. If you hate such things I guess you should avoid this, but that can only be the case if you’ve solved the mysteries of all relationships and have no use for such things any more. And if you’ve done that, please share your wisdom with the rest of us! Ahem. This one starts off with Corinne setting the stage, explaining how she moved across the country to be with her boyfriend and how there’s nothing neat about a break-up and that the very term should probably be changed. From there we see her pinpoint the exact moment when things started going bad, and it’s a doozy. She asked him where he saw the relationship going (this was after three years of dating) and he made it perfectly clear that he could never see them getting married, and that even though he definitely wanted kids he could not see them having kids together. Unsolicited relationship advice for the youngsters: this right here is the moment that you run. Three years is a long time to be dating, and if this is still the perspective of your significant other while you think this is the person that you’re going to be spending the rest of your life with, run for it! He/she can’t lay it out for you any clearer than her boyfriend did here. Still, that would be a very short comic, and she already explained that break-ups are never as neat as the term implies, so after breaking up a few months later she spent the next few years pining over him, pestering her friends with stories about it, and trying to break things down so that the whole relationship made some kind of sense. This is where the comic really shines, as she goes to great lengths to show that reason is often not to be found in a situation like this, no matter how hard she tried. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but she seems like a much more grounded person these days, and that’s one of the few benefits of getting your heart broken. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this, cringing at a few bits that struck too close to home while laughing at others for the very same reason. If you know someone who has recently been dumped and they’re going through something like this, buy them a copy (or go to a local library, you cheap bastard) and they will thank you for it. Reading this might not make the pain go away, but it will make a break-up easier to live through. $15


Mucha, Corinne – Is It The Future Yet?


Website for Quimby’s

Is It The Future Yet?

If you’ve never been to Chicago, or have and are a philistine, you may have never heard of Quimby’s.  That would be a shame, as it’s one of the best places to get small press comics in the country, or at least it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen.  Those Chicago folks also have Chicago Comics, which makes an embarrassment of small press riches for one town.  Anyway, I’m bringing this up because Quimby’s is publishing comics now, and this comic is one of them.  Just looking around their website I’m not sure what else they publish. They have all kinds of comics available for you to buy, but I’m not clear on whether or not they publish any or all of them.  Either way it’s another great resource to get small press comics, as you can order all kinds of stuff through the mail even if you don’t live anywhere near Chicago.  Um, after you finish shopping here, of course.  So how about this comic?  The theme, as you may have guessed, is the future.  That’s a nebulous enough concept but Corinne clarifies it with stories about deja vu (and how she, as s child, thought that she had super powers because of it and how it “told her” for years that she was on the right or wrong track), her having a vague phone conversation with her future self, a term paper she did on Nostradamus she did in 8th grade (conclusion: he was full of shit), and her long curiosity with palm readers (as she thinks that she has exceptionally wrinkled hands at a young age).  Now Corinne is very clear about the fact that she sees most of this as nonsense, and it’s also clear that “psychics” are mostly there to tell people what they want to hear.  Still, she got her palm quickly read on the last day of her job at a restaurant and by a “professional” who worked out of her undecorated apartment (no sense of theater).  I’ll leave the conclusions to be discovered by the reader, but it did seem to at least improve her mood both times, so these “psychics” were doing their jobs.  And hey publishers, I noticed that you mixed up the pages after the second page of “I Am Constantly Imagining the Future”.  Just in case I got some sort of special advance review copy and it’s still possible to fix it before it gets out to the rest of the world…  $3

Mucha, Corinne – I Hate My Mom’s Cat and Other Tails


I Hate My Mom’s Cat And Other Tails

Spoiler alert: if you can draw convincing (or at least amusing) cats, you automatically get a good review from me. It’s just that easy! This is all about Corinne’s hatred of her Mom’s cat, which was picked up right around when she left for college. It’s a fat beast of a thing, which is explained away by saying that it’s “fluffy”, which is also the excuse I use for my fat beast of a cat, so she lost my sympathy right away. The “other tails” mentioned on the cover deal with previous (and now deceased) cats, all of course much better than the current cat, all for different reasons. It’s a great read for people who love cats, or really, for people who hate cats, as the bulk of this book is dedicated to hatred. There’s also has a wonderfully mean-spirited ending that I won’t give away here, because why ruin something like that? $2

Moorman, Ed Choy (editor) – Ghost Comics



Ghost Comics (edited by Ed Choy Moorman)

Sometimes I make these reviews overly complicated, and I probably will with this one too, so I wanted to sum it up simply: this is a collection of different takes on ghost stories from some of the best small press cartoonists around.  Ta-da!  What more do you need to know?  There are all kinds of highlights to choose from, and somehow there’s not a stinker in the bunch.  That’s a rare thing with anthologies, but Ed has put together quite a cast here.  Things start off strong with Hob’s tale of a dinosaur ghost witnessing everything that follows its death and the eventual destruction of the earth.  From there Jeffrey Brown talks about making a fool of himself to a member of a band he likes, Corinne Mucha implies that the “ghosts” in her dorm were really just an excuse to get people to sleep together for protection, Maris Wicks goes into detail about the creepy and non-creepy aspects of living with a ghost as a kid, Madleine Queripel relates the reality of trying to scatter ashes, Toby Jones (professional boyfriend) goes into how useless he is when confronted with death, Lucy Knisley visits an old school she attended briefly and is shocked by the sheer number of ghosts still around, Allison Cole finds a practical way to rid herself of ghosts, Evan Palmer tells the tale of a knight misguidedly trying to win love, and Jessica McLeod warns of the dangers of ghost tomatoes.  Then there’s my favorite (among many “favorite”) story: Kevin Cannon’s tale of all the major landmarks of the world joining together into a Voltron-like creation to fight evil, how one member of that band is destroyed  and, as a ghost, sees a plot to destroy the world.  Any more detail than that would ruin it, but trust me, it’s a purely awesome thing.  If that still hasn’t convinced you, here’s everybody else involved: Ed Choy Moorman (duh), Aidan Koch, Mike Lowery, Sean Lynch, Sarah Morean, Jillian Schroeder, Zak Sally, Abby Mullen, Eileen Shaughnessy, Tuesday Bassen, Sarah Louise Wahrhaftig, Jenny Tondera, John Hankiewicz, Will Dinski, Mark Scott, Monica Anderson, Warren Craghead III and John Porcellino.  Topping off that pile of talent is the fact that this is a benefit anthology, with proceeds going to the RS Eden, which started off as a chemical dependency center and evolved into helping community members at need in all sorts of areas.  So it’s for a good cause, it’s packed with talent and it’s only $10.  Sounds like a no-brainer to me.  $10