Various I Know Joe Kimpel – Future

May 25, 2010



You all know the drill on these I Know Joe Kimpel anthologies by now, right?  4 artists giving their take on whatever the title of that anthology happens to be?  OK, just checking, don’t get all offended or anything.  This one is about the nebulous concept of the future, so these four are able to take the concept and veer off into wild directions.  Jennifer Tong starts off with the highlight of the issue (i.e. the one I was sure that I was following correctly), dealing with two people who are chatting online, having holographic interactions, before finally deciding to meet in person.  I love this one because if you took away the bells and whistles (holograms, a device to let them fly) the personal side of it happens every day.  Jason Overby is up next with an illustrated poem about needing to keep moving to stave off death, or at least that’s what I took away from it.  Emily Wieja then has the most interpretive piece of the bunch, dealing with pollution, a bird eating a worm, an eagle and… aw hell, I don’t know.  I’m still trying to piece that one together.  To me it was a bunch of pretty pictures that didn’t add up to anything resembling the story title (“Mirror”), but sometimes I get stuck in my literalist ways.  Finally there’s a silent piece by Jose Luis Olivares in which a tiny man clothed only in grapes tries to give a pretty flower away after witnessing the true horror of the world and, after a series of hardships, finally meets a woman that’s about 50% boob.  Hey, I didn’t draw her, and maybe I only noticed because I’m a creep, but they were pretty hard to miss.  Also pretty harmless, as they were on a tiny adorable cutout woman.  Oh, and I should also point out that the actual cover is a bit shinier than the sampled image, in case you like shimmering gold on your comics.  All told I’d say they have better anthologies available, but there’s enough good stuff in here to make it worth a look.  $7

Jordan, Rusty (editor) – Shitbeams on the Loose #2

April 24, 2010



Shitbeams on the Loose #2 (edited by Rusty Jordan)

Hey look, an anthology!  I’ve never understood why so few of these clearly label who did which pages (some even have page listings for the artist without having the actual pages numbered).  This one at least has a chronological listing of the artists, but the nature of this book makes it difficult to tell where one story ends and another begins.  Why?  They’re mostly highly interpretive blasts of art, that’s why.  Still, I’ll give you a list of who’s in this and you’ll most likely be properly amazed and impressed.  There’s Ron Rege Jr.(looking less deliberative than I’ve seen him, and I’m a bigger fan of that than I of the mildly sloppy story in this issue (said mostly because the bits of text are hard to follow)), Jason Overby (brilliantly smacking the preconceived notion of what makes a comic strip around), Dave Nuss (with a welcome quiet moment of the Roman soldier who theoretically jabbed Jesus in the ribs), Andrew Smith (puking a tuna melt is the worst), Hector Serna Jr. (I could spend the whole review trying to unpack those images), Brent Harada (with a mildly out of place regular old story about searching for boots in thrift stores), Robyn Jordan (a quiet piece about camping), John Hankiewicz (a breath of fresh, distinctive air in a sea of chaos), Grant Reynolds (with one of his more disturbing pieces, and that’s saying something), Ayo Kuramoto & Amane Yamamoto (please place your review here, this went right over my head), Rusty Jordan (this is where it starts getting really difficult to tell where one artist ends and another begins, I believe his piece is the one with the escaping brain), Luke Ramsey (ditto, I believe his stuff is the series of full page heads), and Andy Rementer (an oddly adorable piece after all this about a man, his bike and their mutual love).  Or maybe Andy Rementer is the one who did that utterly horrific back cover?  Hard to tell, and that website doesn’t clear it up a bit.  Oh well, with that list of stars it’s a hard thing to pass up, and the quality of most of the stories makes it even more difficult.  And if you don’t love that cover, well, I’m afraid there’s no hope for you.  It is a fairly hefty $9, but it’s put together nicely.  You decide!