Blog Archives

Hart, Tom – She’s Not Into Poetry



She’s Not Into Poetry

Do you ever feel like you’ve wished something into existence? Well, that’s this graphic novel. I’ve been hoping for a collection of all of Tom’s early mini comics basically since a few of them went out of print in the 90’s, and here they are. All the titles are in the tags and sure, I have copies of about 2/3 of them, but that’s still 1/3 that I previously had no access to. And since I have some of the original comics, that means that I have 20 year old belly lint by Tom Hart, because he taped that to two of his minis. Um, yay? Does that mean I can clone him once the technology is perfected? I have to think through the ethical implications of that responsibility. Oh, am I not talking about the comics yet? How about this: these comics were a solid chunk of the reason why I fell in love with small press comics, and the fact that these had mostly disappeared down the memory hole in the early 00’s was a solid chunk of the reason why I started a small press comics review site where books like these could all be lumped together. So yeah, you could say that the guy influenced my life just a bit. Oh, here’s one valid question I could answer with this review: do these comics hold up as more than nostalgia? Yes. Yes, they do. Want specifics? Wodaabe Comics is the earliest (and rawest) and it still made me laugh several times. Love Looks Left, if there is any justice in this world, is being taught in all these various cartoonists schools as the perfect mini comic. Maria mixes some casual background horror with a quiet day with the ducks with an obsessed stalker seemlessly. New Hat and Ramadan are both basically prequel comics for Hutch Owens, even though I’m pretty sure Hutch Owens was done at roughly the same time. Vital supplementary comics, the both of them. This comic does make me miss the days when I could occasionally come across a new Tom Hart mini comic in Quimby’s or Chicago Comics, and it looks like those days are gone for good. But it does fill me with hope to know that a guy with this brain is helping to teach the next generation of cartoonists. Just in case you are the only person on earth who has every single comic here, this volume does contain a new introduction, afterward, and a list of his favorite things/influences/people, then and now. $14.95

Hart, Tom – The Ditch The River The Sea The Snake



The Ditch The River The Sea The Snake

The cavalcade of reviews for ancient (at least you could call it ancient in a culture with no attention span) mini comics continues, as I was appalled to notice that there were no minis at all from Tom on this site, just graphic novels.  And it looks like the man never did put all of these into one collection, because he very clearly hates the people who enjoy his work.  That’s my theory, anyway.  Another one is that as most mini comics folks seem to hate their older work, maybe he just doesn’t want any of this older stuff seeing the light of day.  Well, too bad!  This particular issue is a 24 hour comic (if memory serves, and the fact that there’s only a single date on the back cover (5/5/96)seems to back me up) and, well, it doesn’t look all that great.  Hey, that’s what 24 hour comics are!  The story is fairly simple: there’s an old man who digs a ditch for his town, as they need water.  He goes off to complete a ritual that will allow him to fill this ditch with water, but when he leaves his brother takes over the town and starts making demands.  When the old man comes back with an immensely bloated snake (as he’s full of the sea), his brother and the hungry townspeople see a giant pile of food instead and attack.  Tom manages to put a pretty decent moral at the end of the story, as one of his main skills was being able to make the reader think about any number of things.  I doubt if you can find this anywhere (my copy is from Spit and a Half, John Porcellino’s old distro), but all of his old books are worth picking up if you do see them.  $1.50