Young American Comics Anthologies – The Bizmar Experiment
The Bizmar Experiment
“Bizmar” stands for Bunny Insect Zombie Monkey Alien Robot, and the idea here seems to be to cram in all six things into a two page comic, making this the best idea for an anthology in the history of anthologies. Some names you might recognize from this site: Ben Snakepit, Tod Parkhill, Tom Manning, Stan Yan, George Tautkus, and Brian Morante. There are more people here (check out the website for ordering info and the complete list), but I want to talk about the comics! There’s a wide and completely absurd collection of stories, including all six things working in a pizza shop, a zombie becoming president, Ben going to see Gwar (yes, he does manage to fit everything in), A giant robot that is made up of 5 smaller pieces ala Voltron, renting movies for Halloween, bizarre sex confessions, a surprise party for a zombie, and even more stuff that I’m not going to ruin for you. Look, this is a brilliant idea that’s pulled off to perfection. What more do you want? $3!
Manning, Tom – Runoff #5
Watch out, the Sub-Mariner is on the loose! OK, not really, but man, are they similar. In this issue Mr. Teeth is back, but this time he’s hanging out with the cute floating alien guy, and they’re leaving a bloody trail of bodies behind them. This issue is the first one that’s really all action from start to finish, as the FBI gets to town and it’s Halloween night, meaning that there are a ton of potential victims wandering the streets. I can see where the format might possibly turn people off, as it’s giant and smudgy a hell, but check this series out. You could get the first five issues for a measly $10 right now and you’d have a hell of a story to read if you did. Why won’t you believe me? Haven’t I always been there for you? Sure, I’m generally positive towards things that I review, but how many times do I beg you to check a book out? Look, I’ll even put the website here so you don’t have to scroll up. Look how easy it is!
Manning, Tom – Runoff #4
I finally managed to find the rest of the issues of this series and if anybody out there is wondering, they are really worth seeking out. Other things that are established in the series (without giving anything away, as usual) is that people can enter town and nobody can leave, nobody can figure out what exactly was killed by that truck, and a man called Mort Carver is the best hope the town has of figuring out what’s going on. If I’m vagueing this up a bit too much, well, read it yourself. I’m hooked. Oh, and it looks like (judging from the last time the website was updated, anyway) that he’s having trouble putting the book out and he’s looking for a publisher. If my recommendation is worth anything, somebody who publishes this type of thing at least read the book and see if it’s worth your while. I think it would be and you have one subscriber in me, if that’s enough to sell you. Contact info is above, check it out, if I haven’t mentioned that enough already.
Manning, Tom – Runoff #1
I mean this in the best possible sense, but what a clusterfuck. Here’s what I know for sure about his issue. It has the cutest alien (I’m guessing at that) ever and many people are killed in a brutal yet mysterious way, Yep, that just about covers it. Does that mean that I hated it? Hell no! For one thing, Tom said right on the back that he just didn’t want to explain it because it would give things away. In other words, this is his story and we can follow along and figure it out or not. That took guts and it made me even more curious to see the rest of the story than I already was. One thing I was worried about was whether or not there were more issues, as this was done in 2000 and people have a habit of abandoning stories in the independent comics scene. No worries there though, as his website clearly shows that 3 more issues are done with another one on the way this month. About the only complaint I had about this was that it was a bit hard keeping the character straight, but that’s probably something that’ll get easier as the series goes on. Oh, and the many different panel styles, along with the 4 panel newspaper strip thrown in a few times, was kind of jarring. Again, he says he has a master plan, and who am I to doubt? Check it out if you haven’t heard of already, it looks like a really unique project.