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Petre, Greg & Fake – Santos Sisters #5

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Santos Sisters #5

These two have come up with a pretty solid metric for how well you should know the characters by the fifth issue of a comic, although that might not have been their intention. When I saw that sticker with free LSD on it after Ambar noticed it, sure, the better story idea would be to have her lick it and see what happens. But since they’ve spent the time to establish these characters, well OF COURSE Ambar would lick that dot, and that same personality carried through the rest of the stories in this comic. Job well done, you two! So she has a wonderful adventure in that story, with a perfect final panel to wrap things up. No details, because what kind of dummy tries to describe an acid trip depicted in a comic? From there we go the conclusion of the “Dude! Where Is My Car?!” story from last issue, in which the thugs corner Todd in his car as Ambar and Dirk spend their time not worrying about Todd at all, to put it mildly. Do we get a car chase after that? You’d better believe it, including an explosion on the highway. From there we get the classifieds, which I don’t usually mention because they’re not part of the comic, but it’s a really solid collection of people making comics and/or podcasts that you should check out, along with another reminder that I should really listen to at least a few comics podcasts. Anybody have any recommendations? There are just so damned many of them. The other story in here involving the Santos Sisters also includes a spell gone wrong in a mall Cinnabun, er, Cinnaloaf. When a revenge spell is cast the energy has to go somewhere, so why not into a delicious cinnamon roll? Todd even gets to do something heroic to help make up for his rough time in the previous story. Finally there’s a brief story about Boozy Beez being a creep at a baseball game. I’d swear that these comics are getting funnier, and they were funny to begin with. They also have a 48 page Halloween special coming out right around the corner, and the cover alone tells one heck of a story. So yeah, obviously I’m still recommending these comics, and at the pace they’re putting these books out you’re going to get left behind in a hurry if you don’t hop on this ride soon. $5

Petre, Greg & Fake – Santos Sisters #4

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Santos Sisters #4

I confess, although I think Greg and Fake have this business figured out by now, the pessimist in me wonders with every issue whether or not they can keep up this pace. Funny, innovative, and never the same thing twice, all while using the same characters? With every issue? Well, this issue is probably the best one yet, so maybe I should cut it out with the doubts, huh? Once again, the big picture stuff (the stories) are engrossing and hilarious, and once again there are enough little touches that make it feel like these comics would get even better with repeat readings (“Robert Liefeldteeth” got a legit chuckle out of me). There are a few stories again this time around, and while overall we maybe get less of the actual Santos Sisters than ever before, the bits we see of them shed a whole lot of light on their lives outside of the costumes. First up is the story of a gang of car thieves, meaning we get several scenes of innovative ways to steal cars before the Santos Sisters finally get involved. That one is “to be continued,” but since the next issue is coming out literally a few weeks after this review, it seems like a safe bet that they’ll wrap things up. Next is the story of Antz-Man, which is appropriately horrific, considering the subject matter. Odd how Marvel never digs into this aspect of ants for their movies! Finally the ladies are just trying to get a burger (and working through an early morning hangover) when they find out that the president is visiting their preferred burger joint. Does everything go smoothly for our heroes, and can they just get a burger in peace? Well, there wouldn’t be much of a story if that happened, now would there? I feel like I should frame an issue of this series to point to for the few remaining humans who still judge books by their covers. Sure, this might seem like a standard super hero comic to a casual observer of covers, but there are at least a few hints on this cover that should make anybody question that assumption. Like I said, the next issue is coming out very soon, and they have a Halloween special coming out shortly after that. I’m assuming these two still find time to sleep, but three cheers for keeping up this pace. The world needs more Santos Sisters! $5

Petre, Greg & Fake – Santos Sisters #3

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Santos Sisters #3

It’s more fun with those lovable Santos Sisters, who are in serious danger of becoming bit characters in their own comic. Not that that’s always a bad thing; in this case it’s mostly because the background characters are clearly demanding more time on the page. This one has a few different stories in it. First up is one about Crazy Eightball dealing with an ex in a less than rational manner. Hey, her name has “crazy” in it! Todd (everybody remembers Todd from past issues) had apparently complimented her outfit, which led her to believe that he was complimenting her, which all ends up in a brawl at the local Oliver Garden. Then there’s the tale of the football players who were kicked off the team for steroids, their plan for revenge, and a real life demonstration on how the Santos Sisters use their swords for weapons without ending up just murdering everybody. There’s also silent (and all-ages!) piece about getting outskated and then getting even, and finally a trip to the zoo that ends in a massive animal breakout and a brief fracas with that dude on the cover who’s holding a sword and barely wearing any clothes. Another funny issue with, like I said, a cast of characters who’s rapidly taking things over. Issue #4 just came out (which prompted this review; keeping up with all of the comics in the world is a tough business), and #5 is also coming soon, so now’s the perfect time to get yourself a pile of their comics. $5

Petre, Fake and Greg – Santos Sisters #2

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Santos Sisters #2

Huzzah, the “#1” on the first issue not being a cruel trick! #3 is also here waiting for review, and #4 is coming out in June. They’re unstoppable! If you didn’t read my review for the first issue, get to it; that’ll clue you in on the basic concept here. Now that you’re all caught up, there’s just so damned much to like about this series that I hardly know where to start. It’s all printed on newsprint, and it’s the size of “regular” comic books, which really contributes to the feel of the book. This issue also has more than a few ads, and while it would fit right in with the aesthetic to have fake funny ads throughout, that wasn’t the deal here. All of the ads are legit (unless they snuck a few in on the page full of tiny ads), and they’re all for other small press comics, publishers, shops or other things that might actually be useful to the type of person reading this. Just excellent work on the overall look of this comic. Oh, and they were also nice enough to send me a small poster of the centerfold, featuring all of the characters and a few that haven’t been introduced yet. Yep, I am easily bribed! So the comic looks great, which is nice I guess, but what about the stories? Oh no, it’s more excellent work! The first story deals with Weird A.I. Ankhovic (congrats to the people who get it) sending a couple of his minions (Spit and Shine, and I am very curious to see their origin story) out to infect as many people as possible. This will enable him to take over the town, and the people are infected by being shot by the villains and turned into what are basically purple zombies. No munching on brains in this one, just steadily increasing infections. An excellent touch is that Spit and Shine used to date but have since broken up, so they’re both being very mature in their interactions with each other. Their dynamic gradually falling apart was one of the highlights of the book, as was the use of poor Todd by our heroes. The other story deals with a baby dragon suddenly appearing in front of an old lady, which eventually terrorizes an anthropomorphic duck (think Howard, basically) and his pal. Our heroes have to fly to the rescue while being very drunk, which is the type of thing that should happen in more comics. I’m completely sold on this series (this is one of those reviews where I’m barely scratching the surface on all the small details that make it great) and might even review the next issue next week, even though they’re designed to be stand-alone issues. We’ll see! $4.20, but it seems to be selling out fast, so don’t dawdle!

Petre, Fake and Greg – Santos Sisters #1

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Santos Sisters #1

You’d really think that I’d have learned not to judge a book by its cover by now, right? 20+ years into rambling about comics, and I just assumed that this one was going to be one of those “funny animal” books. And they’re wearing karate gear, so I also assumed it could be a parody comic, meaning I passed it up for review a few times. Well, sometimes I’m a stupid head, and this was one of those times. Yes, those characters do appear in the comic, but as this is a hefty comic, they’re just in the one story, and they’re not even particularly obnoxious in it. So what’s the story here? This is a full color series of stories about these sisters; they get a cursory origin story but it’s not particularly important. The art style will almost certainly remind you of Archie comics, if those comics had swearing and occasionally spectacular violence. So what’s in these stories, you ask? Subjects include trying to give her sister advice about guys while murdering mercenaries, a story about a modern day Don Quixote (which is maybe the highlight of the book, but it’s a stiff competition), a glimpse into the cartoon “Boozy Bees”, a gunfight on jet skis (and an overly loquacious dolphin), a Halloween party with two Psylocke costumes and a murderous pair that come through the mirror, going camping with the gang (which is when a villain and those karate animals show up), a huge furry penis who’s terrorizing some skiers, a terrible dream about one of the Boozy Bees, and (in what is apparently their first story) an appearance by a werewolf cheerleader. Is that too many parenthetical asides for one sentence? Is there such a thing? So as a whole, this comic is always clever and occasionally hilarious, with the best possible asset if you find yourself not liking one of the stories: they’re all pretty short. Really, I didn’t find a stinker in the bunch, which is quite an achievement with something this size. The art is deceptively simple, but maybe that’s my preconceived notions because this looks like an Archie comic. It’s great stuff, and I’m really hoping this isn’t one of those joke “#1s” but instead leads to a proper series. $5