Is it too late for me to move to Seattle? Because the idea of a local community group like Short Run that “celebrates and strengthens” the local small press community sounds really fantastic to me. Oh right, you’re here to read about a comic, not join me on my mid-life crisis. This one is an anthology featuring six local artists, or at least I’m assuming they’re local because they’re all in this Seattle anthology. I also wish that the stories had titles, mostly for one story in particular, but I’ll leave you guessing as to which one I’m talking about. Stories in here include a piece by Drew Miller about a lonely survivor who is surrounded by people who won’t come out of their shells (literally), Yumi Sakugawa’s take on the dream of smashing all electronics and riding off into the sunset, Jaime Coe’s frankly adorable tale of Hercules playing with a puppy Cerberus, and Scott Longo’s piece on one particular part of the disappearing water supply. I also enjoyed Suzette Smith’s piece on the possibly irrational fear of black men as a couple gets off the bus, but one panel is mostly blurred out. If this is a printing error it’s in a very unfortunate place, if it’s intentional then it’s a pretty damned smart place to show why the conversation about getting a gun can fall apart in a conversation with a couple. I also didn’t get the piece by Anna Saimalaa, but I’m guessing that’s more my fault than the fault of the artist. $7 might seem a little steep for this, but come on now, that’s still 6 stories for $7. And they use blue!
In the Name of Love (R. Kelly Comics)
There are times when I just don’t get it.Â This is, of course, a useless opinion when it comes to writing a review, because then why would you even bother?Â Well, Scott has done some work with Chris Anderson (and all of you should immediately buy and enjoy his comics, or at least all of his comics that I’ve seen), so I thought he needed his own page here, a way for people to contact him directly.Â Scott has done here what it probably looks like from the cover: he has illustrated various R. Kelly lyrics.Â The trouble is that the images seem to have little or no connection to the lyrics.Â Don’t get me wrong, the man can draw and some of the images by themselves are powerful/funny/impressive.Â But the two things never seem to line up, and it’s hard to wonder why this exists in the first place.Â If he was looking to shine a light on the sheer ridiculousness of some of R. Kelly’s lyrics, well, kudos, although how these lyrics are any dumber than any of the other utterly interchangeable R & B singers is beyond me.Â Maybe it’s all a bizarre meta experiment in making reviewers look stupid?Â Hey, I don’t need any help.Â At the end of the day it’s nice to have at least some small clue of why a comic exists, and this one just baffles me.Â Check out his work with Chris Anderson, as it’s brilliant, but this one is easily skipped.Â Unless you can spot something in that sample that I’m missing…Â $3 (?)
The 12 Hour Man #1 (art by Scott Longo)
Go ahead, take a guess on what this comic is about.Â I’m sure there’s a list of possibilities racing through your mind after seeing that title.Â And the winner is… a one man wrecking crew working for a shadowy arm of the government!Â Yep, in this case the 12 hour man is someone who drops into an area, clears out all the bad guys in it and goes home in under 12 hours.Â Basically it’s an excuse for Chris & Scott to draw some serious gore and mayhem, and I’m here to tell them that they don’t need an excuse for such a thing.Â As there’s not much of a story to speak of, it leaves me, as a reviewer, with a bit of a blank spot in terms of things to talk about.Â The art is wonderful, with some brutal (but never horrific, somehow) violence.Â The writing, well, all Chris has to do is throw in a few instructions from the mysterious man guiding the 12 hour man and the occasional shouted threat, but he does this admirably.Â My appreciation for the work of this man should be obvious if you scroll down this page a bit, and this comic does nothing to lessen that.Â Start with the “Everything” series (as it does, after all, contain everything), then work your way over to this one.Â No price, as usual, but I’ll guess $2