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Jackson, Rob (editor) – Gin Palace #2


Gin Palace #2

That Rob Jackson, he has to be one of the hardest working guys in comics today.  Well, small press comics anyway, as those guys with Marvel and DC have a monthly schedule to keep up, but you know what I mean.  The first Gin Palace was a success, and this one follows it up nicely.  Don’t be alarmed with the familiarity of my using first names here, and check the tags so see exactly who they are if you’re unclear. Francesca starts things off with a story about how awesome it was to go out to a bar with her dad when she was very young, Andrew has a story about a black dog rib that flew right over my head, Rob has a lovely tale involving a black hole and a robot that became a god, John/Sean has a story about living with a serious regret even though things aren’t all that bad as they are (probably the highlight of the comic), Paul has an excellent mish mish of family drama, Dave tells the story of a pumpkin competition that goes too far, Pete has a great piece about a grandson being tricked into pursuing a career in science, Sin-Cat (I’m guessing that’s the name the creator goes by too, at least judging from the back cover) has another wandering tale that hits and occasionally misses, Jarod deals with his tricky future self, Brad gives us instructions to build our own intelligent robot cubehead, and Barry has a fairly straightforward story about revenge until the ending.  What else do you want to know?  Any comic with Rob Jackson, Dave Hughes, John Robbins and Brad Foster gets my vote, and this one has more than a few great stories besides that bunch.  Buy it why don’t you?  $6ish

Robbins, John – Enter Out


Enter Out (“with” Sean Mac Roibin)

It’s lazy as hell to post the description given by the author on the back of his book for the contents of said book. I get that, and I will post my thoughts here in a moment, but this is too good for me to pass up and it sums it all up so much better than I will, so: “Mutually overlapping dreams resonate into the waking lives of two friends.  Physicality violently communicates a couple’s finance-related despair.  Remedies for loneliness and frustration are sought in odd places.  Meat.”  I could write a few thousand words on this and never hit on anything better.  First things first: this book is backwards.  Basically that means to take the title literally and start at the back cover and work your way forwards, reading the panels right to left (although the “top to bottom” formulation still applies.)  Once you get that out of the way you’ll notice that the description I listed (that I didn’t read until I was done because it was on the front, meaning the back, cover) doesn’t mention that the listed happenings bleed over into each other and it all ends up being connected.  There’s also one of those guys with the dreams who wakes up with blood on his hands, someone else wit h the ability to get words by squeezing the balls of a man with a donkey head, a floating doll head and a clown, but I suppose John didn’t want to give everything away on the back.  I’m all for innovation in the small press comics world (or pretty much anywhere) and this one fits that bill in spades.  I guess you could argue that the backwards setup is a gimmick, but you’d be wrong, or if you are right it certainly doesn’t read that way.  It accentuates the mix-up that is the lives of all these people and the increasingly strange but distinct things that are happening to all of them.  Much of John Robbins work could easily fall into the “fucking brilliant” category, and this is definitely on that list.  $3