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Spina, Sam – Spinadoodles #8: Mooz Boosh


Spinadoodles #8: Mooz Boosh

On the short list of things in this life that are guaranteed to bring me joy, a new Sam Spina comic is right up there with finding a sack of money in the woods. Um, spoiler alert for how the review is going to go, I guess. Yes, it’s time for a new collection of Sam’s diary strips for the year, with several pages of sketchbook doodles thrown in. Sam has been working at Cartoon Network for a few years now, meaning he has less time for his comics. And sure, he’s financially stable now, which is better for him than the alternative, but I’m right around selfish enough to wish for more comics for me and more misery for him. Not quite selfish enough to say that, mind you, but close. It does look like Sam posted his first new diary comic recently (February 2018), so at least he hasn’t given up entirely, but enjoy this one, as it might be his only comic for a year or so. Luckily, it’s a great comic! Subjects include various conversations with this girlfriend Samantha, getting stung by a bee while riding his bike, trying to keep his cats from killing themselves by walking on high railings, drunken tales from SPX 2016, accidentally putting salt in his coffee, a recap of November, only liking Harry Potter a little bit, going on a hike, and New Year’s 2016. And a whole bunch of other stories, but since half the fun is discovering them yourselves, I’m not going to ruin that for anybody. The comic also covers Sam’s rejection of a cartoon he’d been working on for years, which is a terrible thing, since this world would automatically be a better place with a Sam Spina cartoon in it. Anybody out there reading this run a television network in need of a great new animated show? Just checking. It’s another ridiculously hilarious selection of strips and images from Sam and, like all the rest of them, it’s required reading for anybody who likes anything funny. $10

Spina, Sam – Spinadoodles: The Third Year



Spinadoodles: The Third Year

Oh hi diary comics! As always, if you have some kind of personal vendetta against diary comics you should probably get a better class of enemy, but you also already know that this collection isn’t for you. But I loved this pile of strips, and you’re bound to too if you like Sam’s other work or just think it’s worth your while to laugh a few dozen times (at least) while reading comics. One thing I should get out of the way early on: Sam mentions in one of his strips that he got a bad review from The Comics Journal (and I naturally can’t find it now, which should tell you again how hefty this collection is) where they call it repetitive and something else that I didn’t agree with. I don’t understand how that’s a legitimate line of complaint, as ALL diary strips are repetitive. It’s not like any of the cartoonists doing these are documenting their time in chemo after getting cancer. These are mostly guys or ladies (actually mostly guys from what I’ve seen, but I’d be happy to be proven wrong) in their 20’s or early 30’s, usually not satisfied with their job and/or their place in life, and that situation can get either better or worse as the year goes along. There’s bound to be some repetition in that. At least Sam takes a few strips in this one to openly question the motivation for what he’s doing and if he can get anything out of it. He stopped doing the diary strip after this one, and there’s a thorough explanation as to why that happened in the end. Anyway, how about the actual strips? Right away I love the fact that he puts tiny strips about the life of a fly on the inside flaps of this book. Hey, why waste empty space? Subjects in these strips include hanging out with friends, puking and/or trying not to puke, adventures with his cat, conversations with his girlfriend, going out to see shows, getting to meet his comics hero (James Kochalka), chatting with Siri, feeling morally guilty about playing a certain video game, not having time to finish Skyrim, and the big old cliffhanger at the end. Oh, they’re about significantly more things than that, as there are 365ish strips in here, but why would you want me to describe them all to you? Sam has a knack of being effortlessly funny, and that kind of thing really shines through on a daily basis like this. Sure, there are strips where he’s obviously a bit rushed (and he often comments on that fact), and a few that feel phoned in, but who cares? A good 4/5 of this is thoroughly entertaining, and I’m probably being conservative with that number. Check out his website and read a few for yourselves if you don’t believe me, and it also looks like he’s drifting back into the daily diary territory again, or at least drawing them a few times a week. $7