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Various International Anthologies – Blackguard #2


Blackguard #2

When they say this is 18+, they are not fucking around. Just a warning to all you sensitive souls out there. This is a collection of stories about Dads, featuring that list of names on the cover (seriously, click on it to check it out if you want, I’m not going to type them all here). As you might expect, very few of these stories are positive, and most of them aren’t true, but they are funny stories.  Highlights include Neal Blanden’s story about not being able to visit his mother for the last two months of her life because his Dad was seeing another woman, Dexter Cockburn (a hilariously fake name) and his story about a Dad helping out with an “adventure club” and his noticing how one of the girl members has blossomed, Glenn Smith and his litany of Dads throughout history, Julie Doye and her Dad’s new teeth, Anton Emdin with his “Deadbeat Dad” strips (which, if there were any justice in the world, would be in newspapers across the globe), Mike Diana playing with the concept of a Dad and his two-way mirror, Ryan Vella with the shortest “Tales From the Crypt” story ever, Chris Mikul with one of the few seemingly true stories in the book, and Lark with a brilliant bit of father/son bonding. There’s also an accurate table of contents (I bitch when it isn’t present, so I should praise when it is, right?), a series of reviews on other minis, and plenty of other fair to great stories in here that I haven’t mentioned to save you some surprises.  No idea on the price of this thing, as the website doesn’t have a listing, but I’d have to say at least $7 for the fancy front and back cover and the sheer size of the thing. Contact the website, why don’t you, and you should also go there because the guy apparently spends a lot of time reviewing comics and such, which I clearly think is a good use of free time.

Hellman, Danny – Legal Action Comics Volume 2


Legal Action Comics Volume 2 Now Available! $18.95

It’s always a copout of some degree to just list the contributors involved in an anthology as proof of it’s greatness. Why not go into greater detail about the (in this case) 73 cartoonists and their individual contributions? Well, to me, the joy of a good anthology is discovering things as they come, finding new artists that you like, taking a chance on all sorts of people you’ve never heard of, that sort of thing. So nailing all this down specifically (outside of it being, in that case, by far the longest review I’ve ever written) kills a lot of that sense of discovery. But none of that is really the point of this book anyway. It’s about trying to help Danny Hellman pay some huge legal bills in a lawsuit that is still apparently ongoing (the only update I managed to find about it (as of 8/15/07) is that only one count is left in the lawsuit and that it still hasn’t gone to trial) and, on a selfish level, getting to see a bunch of the best cartoonists working today all gathered into one book. So how about that list? OK, here’s a few names: Sam Henderson, Carol Lay, Doug Allen, Art Spiegelman, Kim Dietch, Kaz, Johnny Ryan, Tony Millionaire, Ted May, Hans Rickheit, Dave McKenna, Michael Kupperman, Miss Lasko-Gross, Pshaw, Lauren Weinstein, Patrick Dean, Mike Diana, Rick Altergott, and Dean LeCrone, to name a fraction of the people that I had already heard of. There seems to be a bit less personal animosity towards Ted Rall this time around (although there’s still plenty here), with the stories being all over the place. It’s a great anthology whether or not you agree with Danny’s legal case (and what’s not to agree with?), and something that everybody who enjoys this genre at all needs on their bookshelf. $18.95