Almost Normal Comics and Other Oddities #2
Here’s another great anthology from W.E., with stories about making minis to impress a girl, snail wrestling, jazz pianos, adventurers getting an amulet, spying on regular people, not flying, controlling women and making money doing it, a man crashing a beauty contest, a stripper, fish, being abducted by North Korea, the good old days, a whiner, and trying to balance finding a job and finding a girlfriend. That enough for you? No? Well, I left out the parts from W.E., including the real story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, an ancient talking box and an interview with Trent Haaga. Actually, that’s my only real complaint of the book: not enough W.E.! Those little one page stories make the book and there should be at least ten of them per anthology. Am I asking too much? Maybe. That’s what I’m here for! Here’s a list of the talent: Patrick Findlay, Alejandro Alvarez, Matt Levin, Ron LeBrasseur, Adrian Velazco, Phil McAndrew, Buck Weiss, Shannon Gretzon, Jeff T. Kane, Kel Crum, Peter Conrad, David Recine, Simon Mackie, Herve Largeaud, Yul Tolbert, and Anthony Hon. You can find plenty of those people on this page if you’re curious about this book, but seriously, it’s worth the price of admission to find out what really happened to those seven dwarfs, and there’s not really a weak story in the bunch, which is all you can ever ask out of an anthology. It’s $5.50 but it’s huge, contact info is up there!
This comic, while being more than a little bit creepy, is something that I would recommend to friends. There’s one story about a half-man, half-alligator thing and one about a young boy discovering death. In between there are some pin-ups and a lot of newspaper clippings. I’m guessing that these stories are real. If they are, they’re kind of like the stuff from News of the Weird, but just the really disturbing death and cannibalism type stuff. Funny but slightly macabre, and when’s the last time I’ve used that word twice on one page? I liked his Almost Normal Comics, and I probably would have liked his other stuff too if I wasn’t so squeamish. Regardless of what I think, the fact remains that the guy’s an incredibly talented artist who also knows how to tell a story. Who knows, if he keeps this up he could start to fill the hole that EC comics left a long time ago. I’ll definitely be checking out his stuff in the future, but I’ll be sticking to the Almost Normal stuff and staying away from the Tale Teller stuff. Again, check his website to see for yourself.
Almost Normal Comics and Other Oddities #1
This anthology is huge! 96 pages and only $3.50! OK, now that my gushing is out of the way, how about the book? Here’s a few names: Mike Dawson, Jamie Craw, John Miers, Yul Tolbert and koak, to name a few. The problem with that list is that about half of those folks just put old material in here. Mike Dawson has two stories, but I’d seen them both before. John Mier’s contribution came from Slab #2. If you haven’t read as many mini comics as me, well, then you’ll be happy with those entries. Like any anthology, there are strong points and weak points, although nothing sticks out in my head as particularly awful. What holds this book together though, without a doubt, is the random observations that W.E. throws in. He talks about studies done on recently severed heads, a family of cannibals in the 1400’s, Spring Heel Jack, and even throws in an interview with a midget wrestler. If you’ve already seen all the old stuff in here, there’s still a ton of new material here, especially if you count it in the time it takes you to read. It’s a bargain, it looks great, and it’s informative. I find it odd that he doesn’t want submissions to have any boobies in them when he’s so happy to talk about severed heads, but I’m not here to judge. Contact info is up there, give him a reason to make a #2!
I’m really torn with what to think of this guy, so I’m reviewing two of his books. This one was horrible. Not in a “boy, this book sucks” kind of way, just… horrible. It’s basically a detailed description of the way that witches were tortured back in the old days. The page I scanned was one of the few in the book that didn’t show a woman being graphically tortured, raped or ripped apart in some way, and I wouldn’t recommend this to most anyone. It plays as kind of an EC Comics homage, with the Tale Teller playing the role of the Crypt Keeper. The main difference, of course, is that most of the violence in EC comics was either implied or at least slightly shied away from, here it’s tackled head on. I should make clear also that if you’re into Faust and those kinds of really gross books, you’ll probably love this. The man (or woman, it didn’t say) is an incredible artist. Nothing to complain about there. Women being tortured isn’t really my thing, and this book, while informative in a macabre sort of way, was hard to read. If you like really disturbing things, order this book. Go to his website, look around. However, it’s not as easy as all that, because he sent me his other minis as well…