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Vayda, Jamie (and Various writers) – Loud Comix #4



Loud Comix #4

Oh Loud Comix, if only all anthologies could be as entertaining as you. As always with anthologies, some stories are better than others, but even the weaker bits at least have a few good lines and/or a great closer. Five stories this time around, all of them drawn by Jamie Vayda, which I wasn’t sure of but looked it up to make sure. Thanks internet! First up is a piece by Sonny Joe Harlan about a hardworking and hard rocking man who would work and then rock (on the weekends) to the point of exhaustion, and it was such a deep sleep that not much could get him out of it. He’d occasionally go to the bathroom and eat while still sleeping. Well, this is a story about a night when that went wrong, as otherwise why would there be a story at all? Next up is a story of a punk rock detective by Jack Grisham and a case of his involving finding a missing punk girl. Lest you think this gets all grim and serious, don’t worry, it does not, and it’s probably the most thoroughly entertaining piece of the bunch. Alan King is up next with Ugly Dennis, which isn’t really about Ugly Dennis, but that does make for a great title. Mostly it deals with a bootlegging ring the author had worked as a much younger man, the ridiculous amount of money he made at it and the adventures along the way. Jeff Clayton has the shortest piece next, dealing with something getting thrown on stage during a show and the effect that said item had on the set. Finally there’s a story about Danielle (written by Alan King with art by Jamie Vayda), about young love involving the author and a crazy lady. Which, as he points out, is the best kind of affair to have when you’re that age, when you have no idea what to expect next but don’t particularly care in the pills and booze haze. The author had been living in a situation where his family could have dropped by at any time (even though they hadn’t for months), and this story is all about that happening at the worst possible time. Still, that ending was amazing, and we should all be lucky enough to live through something like that. It’s a solid mix of stories, and it sounds like they already almost have enough stories for #5, so this will keep going strong for the immediate future. If you have any interest in tales of drunken/stoned punk rockers/rockers in general, you’re going to love this. $6


Vayda, Jamie (and various writers) – Loud Comix #3



Loud Comix #3

This comic is reminding me more and more of Real Stuff, a Fantagraphics series written by Dennis Eichorn in the early 90’s and featuring art from damned near anybody who was anybody in the independent comics scene. Kids, ask your parents, but if you can find that series, do it. The big difference is that Dennis wrote everything while getting Julie Doucet, Jim Woodring, Peter Bagge and everybody else to illustrate it, while Loud Comix is all drawn by Jamie Vayda but written by various writers, but with a loose theme: they were all in bands of some kind, and they all have a damned interesting/messed up story to tell. This one starts off with “The Time I Shit My Pants at a Motorhead Show” by Alan King. Granted, that title tells you a lot of what you need to know, but the story itself digs into how it happened, what happened after, and how it played into Alan’s plan to finally ask a lady Motorhead fan (who went to all the shows like him) on a date. “Cocaine Fueled” by Eric Perfect is a delightful reminder of the dangers of paranoia combined with a loaded weapon, especially an unfamiliar weapon where you’re not completely clear on the pressure needed to pull the trigger. “Satan’s Fantastic Knockers” by Joel Rivers is all about a desperate search for proof of Satanism when the Joel made the whole thing up to get a chance to see said knockers, but I’m not ruining that one for you and it all makes sense if you read it. Other stories include a couple of short pieces called “Roxy & Molly” (dealing with hookers chatting about their pimp and black history month) and a short snippet of a story that’s going to be continued in the next issue. In this one there was only time to see what looks like quite a provocation of biker gang, so it’ll by fun to see how all that shakes out. These comics have been pretty damned entertaining so far and Jamie seems to be keeping to a fairly regular schedule. Those regular schedules are generally easier to keep if people buy his comics, so you should do that and enjoy them. Unless profanity scares you, in which case I don’t know why you’re on this website or reading small press comics, but I’m not the boss of you. $6


Vayda, Jamie (artist) – Loud Comix #2



Loud Comix #2

It’s odd to start a review with the back cover of a comic, but the back issue of this one has a hilarious image of a frazzled Jamie Vayda promising that a new issue of this anthology will come out every two months. That’s ambitious as hell and I wish him all the best, but it seems like an impossible deadline to meet. Six issues of this series in 2014? I hope that I’m wrong, but that seems impossible. As for the stories, they’re another solid bunch, all illustrated by Jamie, and I have to say that I’d like their odds better of getting six issues out next year if another artist or two illustrated a story here and there. Stories in here include one of the more unique scenarios I’ve ever seen for a zombie outbreak from Darin Martinez, Lester the Porn Fairy by Erika Lane (which is either exactly what you’re expecting or nothing like what you’re expecting, depending on what’s in your head), an attempt to one-up that guy who jumped from space back down to earth last year by Christian Maes, a song about Electric Frankenstein by Sal Conzonieri, a night at the Apollo that doesn’t go all that well by Eric Todd (but it is funny as hell), and the finale of that story from last issue by Alan King. If you don’t remember that one the big question was how the guy ended up with a fake leg, and I could not have been happier with the answer. I think people should be lining up to support this effort, as a regular anthology series with a rotating cast of writers sounds like a great thing to me, so give this and/or the first issue a shot. $6 seems a little steep to me for a mini comic, but in a time where the popular Marvel stuff is going for $4 I don’t see how anybody could be expected to ask much less than $6 for a self-produced comic. Those old timey mini comic prices that are still in my head are a thing of the past, so don’t mind my nostalgia for an age of cheap things. $6


Vayda, Jamie – Loud Comix #1



Loud Comix #1

You know that thing with anthologies (or any small press comic really) where you’re not sure whether or not the next issue is ever coming out? Or is that only for cynics like me? Anyway, this one ended on a pretty big cliffhanger, so here’s hoping they have things well in hand and that the next issue comes out on time. Which should be out by now, and the website says that it is, so never mind all this. This is just my long-winded way of saying that the last story of the bunch did a really great job with its cliffhanger ending. Anyway, four stories in this one, but it’s a little different because they were all drawn by Jamie Vayda. Which makes me nervous about it keeping up a bimonthly schedule, but I’ve already mentioned that I can be quite the cynic about such things. Anyway, stories include “Mr. Breeze” by Sonny Joe Harlan (about the dangers of being hit on in a biker bar), “The Rise of Billy Bloodlust” by Frankie Nowhere (which I really hope is a true story about your perceptions while high on mushrooms and the aftermath of what you think happened during the trip), “Johnny Funhouse” by Erika Lane (the origin story of a kid who was pulled out with forceps by his mother, how he perceives the world and his first love) and “Wooden Leg” by Alan King. That last one offers tantalizing hints into the life of this guy with the wooden leg, including how he struck terror into the heart of the author as a kid, but it looks like they’re saving most of the good stuff (like how he got that wooden leg and what exactly made him such a lunatic) for the next part of the story. It’s a pretty great pile of stories, although I should probably warn off the squeamish who can’t handle a woman delivering her own baby in graphic detail, but it’s not as bad as you’re thinking after reading that sentence. I’ve been reading these things long enough to think that $6 is a little pricey for a book that’s all black and white, but some punk legends wrote some of these stories and I should get over thinking that that’s too much for a comic. Times change! $6