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Taylor, Dan W. (editor) – Symphony in Ink #4


Symphony in Ink #4

Dan has finally put his comics fancy pants on, as that there is a full color cover.  Kudos!  As is the case with a good chunk of Dan’s books, this one is an anthology, all loaded up with talent and goodness.  Dan has a funny if mildly disturbing strip about a guy in a pool; Andy Nukes has a series of images that I’ll let speak for themselves (because they’re better experienced than described, and I realize that that  accounts for a lot of what I do here, but if I think too hard about it I’ll vanish in a puff of smoke and logic); Kelsey Donald has a piece about a determined fish, a artistic baby genius and an assholish ice cream shop customer; Steve Steiner (if it’s based on a true story) has a girlfriend with some questionable sanitation habits; Josh Blair shows the true meaning of a hybrid car and Jarod Rosello has an epic about trying to find adventure but not being entirely sure how to spot it.  Whew!  Having a little bit of space has done wonders for this comic, as people were able to tell a lengthier story when they needed to while other could still stick to the shorties.  Here’s hoping Dan has this full-size mini comics (just typing that almost caused my brain to short out) thing in his blood now, because I’m very much liking the new format.  Oh sure, it’s a little pricier at $3, but you guys are still going to buy it, right?

Griffin, Erin & Warhaftig, Sarah Louise (editors) – Always Comix #4



Always Comix #4 edited by Erin Griffin & Sarah Louise Warhaftig

Once of these days I’ll settle on a universal standard for reviewing anthologies.  Is it best just to list the talent involved  and leave everything else a mystery?  Or is it best to go through every story and one page image one by one, leaving nothing for a future reader to discover? How about splitting the difference.  Here’s a list of the people involved, outside of the editors because duh: Falynn Koch, Jeremy Tinder, Will Kirkby, Josh Blair, Colin Tedford, Matt Wiegle, Alvaro Lopez, Colleen Macisaac, Amanda Kirk, L. Nichols, Ed Moorman, Box Brown, Alisa Harris, Josh P.M., and Joe Decie.  As this is the Activity issue, there’s plenty in here to do, for the active comics reader.  There’s recipes, a maze, even a mad lib.  Specifically I enjoyed the guide to getting over your cat allergies by Sarah Louise Warhaftig (because any “how to” guide that ends with acheiving Nirvana is hard not to love), the attack of the clouds by Falynn Koch (not so much an activity but still funny), Amanda Kirk’s cut and paste page, Ed Moorman’s guide to inner peace, Joe Decie’s guide to fun with matches, and Box Brown’s “wrestler or tattoo artist” quiz.  There, that still leaves plenty to the imagination, right?  It’s a fun anthology even without all the practical tips and with them, well, what more could you ask for?  $4


Blair, Josh (editor) – Candy or Medicine #5


Candy or Medicine #5

#5?  Hasn’t Josh heard of the law requiring me to monitor the progress of all mini comics, great and small, and ramble about them on this website?  Of course, it is possible that that law exists only in my brain.  Regardless, this is another solid issue, and I think Josh has the cadence of an excellent anthology comic just about down.  Cayetano Valenzuela has an adorable piece about his daughter, Shannon Smith confesses to killing rock and roll, Maggie Morrill gets the sampled piece so I don’t have to explain it, Ed Moorman has an adapted Craigslist “Missed connection” (and I’ll have to take his word for it that such a thing exists), Rob Moses has a silent piece about a spider luring people into its web using candy canes (that I’m probably misinterpreting horribly), Sarah Orchard retells an awkwardly honest conversation, Andrew Goldfarb lets us see a few more of the thousand sorrows that are still to come, Daniel Olson has a ten minute comic about the heartbreak of balloons (and it looks like he was serious about that ten minute thing) and Steve Rack has a maze on the back cover for the kids.  Seriously, a buck for a range of talent like this is all you can ask for out of an anthology.  Contact info is above, I’d be willing to bet that Josh is still looking for contributors, especially as he seems to be sticking to a schedule here and it must be tough to get a dozen or so people to get their stuff in on time for each issue…

Blair, Josh (editor) – Candy or Medicine #2


Candy or Medicine #2

Well, Josh was looking to put together a good mix of people for the second issue of his anthology, and there’s no doubt that he pulled it off. You can see it on the cover: 10 creators from 6 states and 3 countries is not bad at all for a second issue. Generally speaking, it’s a pretty decent pile of work. Rob Moses is the sampled page, as the octopus strip made me laugh out loud, so why not? Domen Finzgar has a piece of airplane art, Katie Haegele has a wonderfully absurdist piece about a mime and another about taking a request for local news too seriously, Erin Griffin has a helpful tip for how to make that favorite toothbrush last, Matt Feazell (yes, THAT Matt Feazell) has a few sketches, Richard Cabeza has some relatively awful puns, Josh Blair has a quiet piece about the moon, and Liza Miller has a silent conversation/dance/extravaganza. The only piece I didn’t enjoy was Ricky Glore’s piece about George W. Bush because really, after 7+ years of living with that asshole, there are significantly funnier jokes to be made. Oh, and Emily Puccia and Yves Albrechts did the front and back covers respectively. Keep sending the man contributions everybody, this one could be going places if Josh keeps it up. $1

Blair, Josh (editor) – Candy or Medicine #1


Candy or Medicine #1

Right off the bat, everybody should know that Josh plans on making this a quarterly anthology and he’s looking for contributors, so anybody who’s interested in taking part should click up top on that website or just send the man an e-mail. How about the actual comic, as that is theoretically what I’m supposed to be rambling about? The art is a little rough in places (still trying to puzzle out some of the images used in word balloons), but overall it’s an amusing book. The bulk of it is taken up with an artist’s interpretation of conversations with old people, and he uses different images for their favorite topics: health, weather, neighbors and gas prices. I think that one picture is of dentures but it’s hard to be sure… Also in here is the world’s worst “wanted” poster, a piece on the back cover where he pretends like he’s Donatello, and the page I sampled below, which was referenced mostly for the mullet. Josh still has some work to do, namely less use of the same images over and over and at least an attempt at a background somewhere, but far be it from me to discourage somebody who wants to put together a quarterly anthology. Check his page out, all you unmotivated artists out there! $1.50