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Carroll, Michael – Formula of the Living Dead


Formula of the Living Dead

Yep, zombies. Stick figure zombies no less. Over three years have passed since I last reviewed one of his books, and the art is pretty much the same, but when your main characters are stick figures the art probably isn’t going to change much. Listen, it’s brutal zombie violence, so it gets the seal of approval from me. A character named Burn decides that math is too hard for him, so he’s going to make up a new form of math. To do this he grabs the nearest book, the Necronomicon. Zombies, of course, ensue. I thought it was a fun book, fairly tiny but entertaining. Oh, and Necronymous is a great name. $1.50

Carroll, Michael – X-Mass


X-Mass (with Michael Doak, Tim Corrigan & Willard Petry)

Could it be? Am I only in a good mood because of the holidays, as I didn’t particularly love his other work? Well, whatever the case, I thought this book was cute. The story is that Santa gets his butt kicked by a group of Christmas super villains: Dr. Fruitcake, Ornament Lad, Light String and Figgy Pudding. They’re out to ruin the 12 days of Christmas one day at a time, so Santa has to call on some friends (hey, it’s no mystery, just look at the cover) to help him. Everything is done in rhyme and, while that might be annoying to some, there’s not much bad you can say about somebody who uses “forsooth” for a rhyme. It’s entirely possible that this would only be entertaining about three days out of the year, but today (12/24/02) I loved every bit of it. Contact info is above, send him $1.75 and relive the holiday!

Carroll, Michael – Unplugged (with Derek Currant)


Unplugged (written by Derek Currant)

It’s many, many months after SPACE now, and this one only shook itself loose with my recent move.  This is a series of four panel strips of household appliances chatting with each other, usually ending in a punchline.  Yep, they’re “gag” strips, something that generally doesn’t do a thing for me, and it’s at this point that I should point out that plenty of people in the world like this format just fine (as the continued existence of countless unfunny newspaper comics would argue) and, if you’re one of those people, or even if you don’t have my exact brain, you may like this just fine.  As for me, I smiled a couple of times but there was never an actual chuckle.  I should also point out that there are only 6 strips in this tiny thing, so it’s not like there was a huge opportunity to win me over.  Gags in here include a stinky fridge, a staring contest between a toaster and a can opener, a toaster that always ruins the good stuff, and an inexplicable strip with a vacuum hacking up something that was important to the can opener.  It was a nice touch for the back cover to have the names of all the characters though, and it might have upped the funny a bit if I have seen that before reading this.  Eh, this is funny enough, I’m probably just cranky.  If you like the sample, as always, you’ll probably like the book, and it’s certainly cheap enough…  $.50

Carroll, Michael – The Kernal #8


The Kernal #8

I’ll say one thing for Michael: he’s prolific. He had a ton of books available, all the ones I did end up getting were way past #1 (this one is #8, although I can’t imagine how he filled up 7 other minis with this), and he’s been cranking them out since at least 1990. This does not necessarily mean, however, that I liked much of what he had to offer. I’m bunching up the reviews I would have written for most of his minis under this one title simply because there isn’t much to differentiate them. This is one of those mini comics guys who read way too many superhero books growing up, never really stopped thinking that way, and then found out about Matt Feazell. “Hey” (the thinking seems to go), “I can’t draw, but I sure do have a lot of puns about superheroes and doing heroic things in me. Why not make a bunch of comics?” Sometimes I’d like to punch Matt. All that being said, these aren’t terrible books. There’s just nothing to distinguish them from the mountain of minis in the world. One of the books, Robostick, had the entire story lifted almost directly from Robocop, with a few bad puns thrown in. This one is the “true” story of a bad experience with Kinko’s. This is the kind of stuff you pick up (I’m guessing here) if you’re a parent and want something inoffensive that an eight year old might laugh at. One thing though, all these books are less than a dollar. You could probably get a wide selection if you sent him $5 or so, if you’re curious. E-mail him for a list of what he has available or send him money at: 4753-H Olentangy River Rd. Columbus, OH 43214-1963.