Tepid: A Mini Comic
Here it is, the first issue of Tepid. It was done three years before the other issue that I saw, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Then John told me (I got this at SPACE) that it sucked, and I really wasn’t sure what to expect. What’s the verdict? Well, if you’re wondering what the funk is on the cover, my cat threw up on it, so I guess that’s a bad sign right there. It’s OK, but it’s only the kind of thing that you’d probably like if you read all his other stuff and were desperate for anything you hadn’t seen yet, like me. You could tell that he had some idea of where he wanted to go, he just wasn’t sure how to get there yet. The Satan story was pretty good, and a few of the shorter pieces were good. I think I still would have thought of him as having a lot of potential if I had seen this years ago. Anyway, he still has a few of these left, so you can send him $1.50 for it if you’re interested.
Tepid Spring 2002
It’s always a happy day when I get a new issue of Tepid in the mail. John wrote to me that this is a bit of a “lame” issue, as other parts of it appear elsewhere, and it depends on what you want to compare it to. Compared to the other issues, it’s true, this one is short and doesn’t have too much going on. Compared to the rest of the comics out there, I still think this is one of the best and this issue is still great. There’s some Hanshaw Development stuff and a big story about a boy who can’t even look at his grandfather. And I was one of the lucky ones who got a drawing on the front cover! Anyway, you all know that I love his stuff, and this does nothing to change my opinion. Get the other ones first if you’re just looking to try him out, but if you already know about him you won’t be able to pass this one up.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like you to meet Mr. John Hankiewicz. These are the most unique comics that I’ve seen in a long time and I think everybody out there should own them. As far as I can tell he’s the David Lynch of comics. Those of you looking for an easy read should go elsewhere, but to those of you who don’t mind a challenge and enjoy studying the panels to see just what the hell is going on, there’s not a better series out there than this. If I had to pick one issue, I’d say get the one from 2000, even though they’re all head and shoulders above most everything else out there right now. And that’s saying a lot when you stop to think that I consider the amount of quality books out there to be pretty immense. Clicking on the titles will bring you to the usscatastrophe page. As long as you have Paypal, you can get all these titles too. Have I made it clear yet that you should do your part to make this guy rich and famous?
Tepid: The Gimmick Book
Maybe I’m just having an odd day, where I can’t think of anything insightful or important to say for any of the comics. Or maybe, like this one, they simply defy description. Are you tired of the “you really need to read this to see what I’m talking about” style of review yet? Me too. OK, I’ll give it a shot. Ostensibly, it’s about a garage sale and the memories that a wooden horse bring to the surface, along with what the children think of the whole thing. In reality, it makes a whole lot less sense than that. And if you think I’m saying that like it’s a bad thing, you’re wrong. This is kind of like Jim Woodring mixed with Twin Peaks with maybe some Gilbert Hernandez in some of his wordless stories. Like it or hate it, it’s a pretty unique book, especially for a measly dollar. I just found a great sample on Kevin Huizenga’spage, check it out. It’s not this story but it should show you what the man can do. You can get it directly from the creator or you could just send $1 asking for it (and a couple of stamps for a catalog) to Paper Radio PO Box 254 Allston, MA 02134. His home address is 18 W. Traube Avenue Westmont, IL 60559 and you can also e-mail him. I also just found something vaguely resembling a homepage…
Tepid 2003 Now Available! $4
Sorry, I still haven’t gotten any good advice for how to get rid of the rainbow effect on certain covers. I can mute it, but it just makes everything else blurry, so what’s the point? Looking back over past reviews for John’s work, I noticed that my reviews are a collection of generalities, mostly without any specific information about the actual comic. I guess it could be said that I do that a lot, but for John’s comics I do it for a couple of reasons. For one thing, everybody out there who reads this site knows how much I like his stuff, and I don’t feel like I should have to “sell” someone on this once they see a few samples. Another reason is that there are usually very few “conventional” story points in these, so giving too much away would take away from the experience. For instance, this one is about baseball, Eleanor, and an eyeball. If I told you how it was about those things, all you’re discovering on your own are the feelings you get after reading an issue of Tepid. It’s a look at the unseen world, things that you don’t usually think about. He’s in a class all his own, and that’s a fairly impressive thing to be able to say about a guy who’s only been doing comics for about 5 years. He finally got a Xeric Grant, so this book looks gorgeous. It must take him many hours for each panel, there aren’t many comics out there with this meticulous attention to detail. Send him $4, read this book, make him rich! But not too rich in case that would cause him to retire and stop doing comics…