Friday, August 31, 2007
1/4 letter; 40 pages; $1.00
written after his mother died, mark dealt with at least some of his feelings through the stories in this zine. sad at times and full of people in transition, this zine can be tough at times to read. mark's phenomenal writing definitely keeps you reading, though.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
This is from the books: "The Participatory Book Series began in January 2007. I decided I wanted to make some books and in my head I could see them, but I didn't have any content to actually make them. Life had been complicated for really long time and I didn't want to use any of my own stories. The truth is, I was sort of tired of myself and figured other people might have stories way more interesting than my own.
So I started a blog that asked questions. Have you ever had a smell trigger a memory? Do you believe in an interventionist God? Has the mental health of other people had an influence in your life? Do you remember your first love? Can you tell me the story of a breakup?
And then I asked some friends to participate."
I loved these books and I recommend them to everyone. The stories are a page turner, you can't wait to see what happens next. The art is simple but fits the stories nicely and helps tie all the books together in a nice series. I even sent in some of my stories! (5 stars out of 5) See more about Marianne HERE, and order the books at: http://www.mariannepetit.com/books/
1/4 letter; 16 pages
i loved this art zine ... great photos and drawings, plus a great short history of skywriting. small in stature but mighty in content, it's definitely a great zine to pick up.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
40 Pages, pocket size, $3
I have mixed feelings. On the up side, this delightfully produced momzine is completely hand written and illustrated. It's friendly, wry, witty, and unpretentious. Stories include the kids' buzz-cuts and piercings, the author's touristy excursions into the local scene, and daily family stuff. On the down side, I don't like the writing as much as I want to. Ayun's chatty style and clever phraseology are great in small doses, but harder to stay focused on for the longer narratives. I actually enjoyed reading her bio on her website and the blurbs about her various works more. Still, it's a bargain at $3.
the east village INKY
PO Box 22754
Brooklyn NY 11202
6 Pages, Newsletter Format
This is a quirky, eclectic mix. There’s a little bit of everything in here; editorial, letters, fiction, essay/article, poetry, perspective, humor and classifieds. It’s not stated overtly, but there’s a noticeable inmate presence going on here; more than one writer alludes to time being served. Dawson also appears to be involved in a number of other semi-fringe projects. While the writing here is decidedly amateurish, it’s not bad, and there is cohesion to the package as a whole. I get the impression that Dawson knows exactly what he’s trying to do, even if I don’t quite get it.
James N Dawson
PO Box 613
Redwood Valley CA 95470
Monday, August 27, 2007
1/2 letter; 52 pages; $4.00
this great eighth issue covers the ins and outs of indie business, with articles on everything from indie craft fairs to crafting with kids to crafty resolutions. as always, there are tons of great projects and recipes throughout. if you're crafty, this is the zine for you.
Friday, August 24, 2007
1/2 letter; 32 pages; no price listed
elise's tremendous zine is a work of art. hand-written with stapled-in additions like feathers and notes, the meat of the zine is a detailed description of the contents of her kitchen and of chinese markets. i honestly thought this would be the most boring zine ever, bu tit was actually super cute - each item has a memory and a story and is a little window into elise's world, and chinese culture in general (in some cases).
1/4 letter; 48 pages
inspired at the beginnings and the ends of love affairs, this zine's inspiration comes from the latter. super heavy and deep, this is a zine that'll take a few reads to get through but it's worth it. i loved her list of firsts, and found myself inspired to write my own! i'm not sure if/where you can pick this up, since it was written two years ago, but hunt it down!
1/4 letter; 44 pages; no cost listed
after over a year of waiting, anke finally gifts us with another issue of her zine. full of words and her drawings (gorgeous, amazing drawings), anke talks about how her life has changed since the last zine. from Germany, anke moves to London and most o the zine is about that transition: to college, to a new culture, to new friends. it's captivating and definitely worth picking up.
Story by Jay W. Davis, Pencils and Ink by Curtis Rhodes.
This story pulls you in and carries you along for the ride. The art is dramatic and gives you all the information you need to follow the story. If Curtis keeps working on his comic art I'm sure he will be an artist to watch out for. His figure work is OK but could be better. He already has a knack for nice layouts and pacing the story well. His use of shading is also very experimental yet it works well with the story. The writing is great for the most part with only a small moments that didn't totally 'ring true' for me here and there. But the main thing is he keeps the reader wanting more! A true gift when it comes to comic writing.
The story is set in a small town where a series of murders have been taking place. We don't know who is responsible but have some people we suspect along the way. You'll just have to read it as I don't want to give anything away here.
Well worth the $5 price tag as this is a 52 page comic. A lot of time, and creative energy went into this project and it shows. I'd of done the lettering differently but that is another thing that will hopefully be improved as this company continues on in the future, as they look like they put out a lot of comics and if they stay with it, could very well hit on a winning series. Though from the looks of some of their covers (this book included) they could use some one with graphic design expertise to move them in a more professional stage of production.
(4 out of 5 stars)
$5 plus $2 shipping (I'm guessing) to: One Short Productions, 3125 S. Mendenhall #194, Memphis, TN 38115-2827 Web: www.oneshotproductions.com Jay W. Davis: email@example.com, Curtis Rhodes: firstname.lastname@example.org
From the web site: Imagine waking up one day and realizing that all your roommates are either jobless, spend all their money on things non rent related, or were never invited to stay in your home. Then you don't have roommates. You have freeloaders. Now take a walk with Spazz as he employs some unconventional ways to cope with the blight you once referred to as roommates. Who knows, you may even walk away without any permanent emotional scars.
This is an online web comic that has been collected into a comic book. That explains why the art doesn't fit the comic pages I guess. This could be an addictive web comic once you meet the characters and if you are just starting out on your own and have friends that hang out too much. But otherwise the stories and art left me a little cold. But then I'm not just leaving home to get my first place on my own. So check out the site and judge for yourself. A nice touch is the behind the scenes in making a web comic section in the back of the comic. Great job there. Now if the artist can work more on his figure drawing and coloring skills a bit, and the writer can work out some more universal themes to the strips this could be more popular to a wider audience. If that is what they are after. (2 stars out of 5)
Get more info at: www.roomatesandfreeloaders.com no price on the comic. Email Will at: email@example.com or Oliver at: firstname.lastname@example.org and there is another site at: www.clovenhand.com/webcomics/roomates-and-freeloaders
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
1/2 legal; 24 pages
alex put together this zine in about a week, discussing several of the birthdays and christmases that marked her life. i've always been a big fan of hers, the way she shares these glimpses into her world in succinct little snippets that hold so much. always prolific and generous with her sharing, this zine is the perfect intro for anyone who's never read her zines. all four of you that are left!
1/2 letter; 24 pages; $2.00
po box 1421; oshkosh, wi; 54903
in this second issue, our protagonist gets a job with the most frustratingly nice man he's ever met. in a combination of handwritten story and phenomenal drawing, an intricate and surreal tale is told. definitely worth reading, even if i didn't think it was my sort of tale.
1/2 letter; 12 pages; free with stamp
from discussions of trickle-down effect to the consequences of the quest for cheaper food, this issue hits some difficult issues. the essay on local buying, coupled with the discussion of "five acres of freedom" makes this zine one to pick up for sure.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
96 Pages Pocket Size
A perzine from Steve in Portland. Steve is articulate and somewhat insightful, but not all that interesting. The writing is morose and self indulgent, with little compensation to the reader. Quit drinking. Start drinking. Letter from ex-girlfriend. On the road. Gigs. Nice drawings, cool translucent cover. “You know where all the commas and semi-colons go. You don’t have to rely on spell-check all the time. Run-on sentences have been split up into bite-size twos and threes. You’ve got a crystal clear thesis, a chunky ass body, and a conclusion like a judge’s gavel. But somehow there isn’t as much to be said, now that you know how to say it so nicely.” That’s as good as it gets.
222 S Rogers ST
Bloomington IN 47404
or contact Steve directly @
journalsong at hotmail.com
12 Page, Half Legal
The title says it all. This is a serious and humorless rant zine that attacks all government without prejudice of party affiliation. Overall, it is well written and packaged. While a chunk of it is nothing new or different, there's a decent three page rant on the incestuous and insane relationship between religion and government, despite our alleged intent to separate them. Otherwise, this is likely of interest primarily to those already invested in the anarchist point of view.
PO Box 230332
Anchorage AK 99523-0332
bbrigade at world.std.com
44 Pages, Chapbook
$2 and Prearranged Trades
I really like this, though, I couldn't agree less with Dakota about his anarchist anti-establishment views. He comes from a nice, progressive, multi-cultural family, but he was obsessed with military stuff as a boy, finds the power-establishment to blame for that, and is now trying to be a better person. What I like is he's sincere, a good writer, and capable of grappling with the issues he writes about. He uses the same measure of culpability on himself as he does on The Man, and is not simply parroting any party line. He's extremely well read, and gives generous synopses and opinions of much of it; it's like getting the Cliff notes on cool obscure stuff I probably won't ever read. Lots of cool artwork.
PO Box 271
Bausman PA 17540
52 Pages, Chapbook
$3 or Trade
"It's not a fanzine," MISHAP editor Ryan
reminds us early on in issue #21 of this
nicely designed and wide-ranging
publication. And he's right. When I think of
a fanzine I think of the obsessive movie
publications that first introduced me to the
world of self-publishing. MISHAP aspires
to be far more than that and hits more than
it misses. In its 52 digest-sized pages you'll
find everything from the typical section of
book and zines reviews with punk and
political leanings to a series of cartoons
about a possum leaving Oregon because
he's tired of the abuse. Other features of
note include a report from a Death Metal
Fest in which the writer confronts one
band's singer over their on-stage
comments and attire, as well as a
straightforward interview with the
Finlandian Tolkien metal band Battlelore.
I'm probably getting too old and removed
from it for MISHAP's screeds about the
`punk' lifestyle but wouldn't hesitate to
recommend it for its writing, variety and
PO Box 5841
Eugene OR 97405
+++++ +++++ +++++ +++++
Reviewed by Dan Taylor, editor of
THE HUNGOVER GOURMET.
The brand new issue #10
features articles on competitive eating,
multi-tiered burgers, White Castle in
Harlem, In-N-Out Burger, pork rinds and
more. Single copies are $3 from PO Box
5531, Lutherville, MD 21094-5531 or order
on-line at hungovergourmet.com
+++++ +++++ +++++ +++++
This review first appeared in
XEROGRAPHY DEBT #21
Mail your check (payable to Davida Gypsy Breier), cash, or stamps to:
Davida Gypsy Breier, PO Box 11064, Baltimore, MD 21212
+++++ +++++ +++++ +++++
=== === === === === === === === === ===
8 Pages, Pocket Size
2 Stamps or $5 for 6
Intriguingly odd. We normally don't do reviews without a mailing address, but PJ is a drifter and doesn't have one. The most interesting thing about this is she's a 27 yr old vagabond who isn't completely off her nut, and manages to put out a mini-zine twice a month. Very clear, matter of fact prose, with primitive, childlike drawings, all on color paper. The content is so light as to be almost nonexistent, but she feels she is accomplishing something and plans on compliling it all into a book.
ladypajama at gmail
32 Pages, Chapbook, $1.50
I am so bored with bitching and ranting. "The United States of America is in a tailspin, and the only thing left to hope for is we won't all be destroyed in the crash." Hates Bush. Hates Walmart. Hates Rumsfeld. Hates Target. Hates Mayor Daley. "If you're anything like me, the arrival of summertime makes you think about death." If you get a subscription to JGQ, "you'll be sharing a sneering contempt for the human race..." Some funny pictures of Bush.
4422 N. Racine #38
Chicago IL 60640
Monday, August 20, 2007
1/2 legal; 24 pages; no price listed
focused o bugs, this issue combines poetry, prose, pictures and more, and is both creepy and amazing. for anyone who has bug issues, i'd recommend moving on to another zine, but for the rest of you, definitely grab it up!
The DVD has a pleasing scrapbooky/fragmenty quality. A camper van motors along country roads; with a little girl, John sings Sweet Home Alabama with an acoustic guitar - his son (?) plays guitar too; there's a cookout on a pebbly beach; and there are the expected live shots, including a recitation by John mentioning 'seventies superstars Rod and Noddy. Towards the end there's John with what might well be glitter on his skin, clad in ridiculous rock star garb of sparkly top and underpants (parody, or homage ?). The disc's most interesting when the camera pans right away from the stage so that the screen's filled with people playing their homemade items, the everyone-join-in part : I love that democratising, you-can-make-music-with-anything attitude. That gives us an indcation of the number of participants. Looks like a special, fun and memorably unique night it would have been good to have been at.
Near the finish of the DVD, there's a glimpse (sadly, just a few seconds) of a kids' band (John's son again ?); and the end titles, written on a series of pages, are held up in turn by a woman with a guitar design jersey.
L&L # 38 (Manifesto Zine) (134mm x 132mm; 20pp plus cover) has red paper covers - the paper's glittery and the 'zine comes contained in a plastic CD wallet - in fact, it includes an eighteen-and-a half-min disc of Afterrabbit's performance on Resonance FM's Sound Out, hosted by Carole Finer. Homemade instruments are to the fore, and Kenny Rogers' classic Coward Of The County is given a fine makeover. A freebie to those present at the UWE/ Southampton University Artists Book Symposium (Winchester College Of Art, 13/7/07), it's black and white with red and green rubber stamping. I really like their attitude : "Three Cheers for hamfistedness !"; "Keep Amateurism Alive !"; "When it comes to Jam, Shoes and Music Hand Made is Best !". Although pro-the handmade, they still "believe in using machines, particularly other peoples old ones they've thrown out." There's a terrific red rubber stamp of two rabbits copulating, which I interpret as symbolic of inspiration from Liver & Lights impregnating the brain of the reader and spurring him/her into action, if that's not too far-fetched a conclusion to draw. A few pages tell you who's who in Afterrabbit, with depictions of the band's members rendered like miniature woodcuts (carved eraser images again ?). Lovely.
Received : 4th July 2007.
Prices : ?
Address : 229 Railton Road, London SE24 0LZ.
Web addresses : http://www.liverandlights.co.uk; http://www.myspace.com/afterrabbit.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Originally uploaded by craftyone77
1/2 letter size; 44 pages
this hilarious zine chronicles a summer zine/book tour. despite keith's sarcastic and self-depreciating intro to this zine, his phenomenal writing sheds a unique light on the "glamorous" experience of book tours!
Originally uploaded by craftyone77
1/2 letter size; 36 pages
another amazing issue from "the ever-present bill". very free-flowing, this issue contains comics, poetry, creative writing, and even a few submission pieces. it would appear that bill's new-found organization and stability have only encouraged his creativity.
i want my baby
Originally uploaded by craftyone77
1/8 letter size; 28 pages
this zine can be incredibly triggering, as the topic is miscarriage, but there is power in melanie using her voice to discuss a painful (and usually not talked about) experience. this is a zine every woman should get their hands on. in my experience, many more women who have gone through something similar don't ever talk about it, sometimes not even sharing their pain with family. it is high time we women share the fear and pain surrounding this experience.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
MUTINY 14, May 2007
Mutiny is a zine published by a group of anarchist in Sydney. Containing reviews of books, letters and recipes articles and comics it is free comming out each month. This issue in particular as three page spread about may day rallies throughout the world. If you would like to order you own copies or download a pdf of back issues you can contact http://www.mpi-web.net/mutiny/
Sunday, August 12, 2007
16 Pages, Quarter Size (pocket size?) $2 trades
It’s a poetry zine, sort of, and it’s a political zine, sort of, and I don’t quite get the possum thing, but it’s cool and handwritten and smart, and cute. “We welcome submissions, Possum or human, by U.S. Mail with SASE” and there are lots of interesting drawings (possum and otherwise), though you’ll of course want to have a look before you submit anything. As a side note, as a former Delaware resident myself, I had to laugh at the inclusion of an ad for the Delaware Air National Guard— yes, you guessed it, D.A.N.G. “Dang!” they write, “Dang it all!” in taking the military and GWB to task.…and the comics:
POSSUM GARAGE PRESS
8 Winston Avenue
Wilmington DE 19804
REVIEWED BY ANNE THALHEIMER
(BOOTY, NOT MY SMALL DIARY, TREES AND HILLS AND FRIENDS)
160 N.MAPLE STREET
FLORENCE MA 01062
IN XEROGRAPHY DEBT #21 MARCH 2007
PO BOX 11064
BALTIMORE MD 21212
16 Pages Chapbook, $2
Writing from prison; "It might seem odd that a person who's been convicted of depriving others of their possible sources of joy would attempt to write about the extreme opposite, Love." I concur. Tommy sounds like a sociopath; disorganized and not grounded in reality. However, he is colorful, and at times his overly flowery prose is engaging.
1611 Newsom Rd
Bellville TX 77418
This review appears in Zine World #24
16 Pages, Chapbook
$1 US/Mex/Can, $2 elsewhere, Trades
A nice little eclectic zine on the very general topic of Farming; personal stories, recipes, tips, statistics, and places where you can pick you own. it's a little light on content, but delightful nonetheless.
PO Box 624
Northville MI 48167
This review appears in Zine World #24
Send $10 post paid for all Not Available minicomics in print, plus a couple grab bag surprises to: NOT AVAILABLE COMICS, Matt Feazell, P.O. Box 12038, Hamtramck MI 48212! Check out his website at: www.cynicalman.com
Reviewed by the Small Press Newsroom (Allen Freeman)
16 Pages, $2, Trades
I’m glad Kel Crum sent 3 issues for review because this is one of those quirky comics that picks up momentum the longer you read. KC tackles the absurd and the mundane, and takes on the White House, the Media, the underground comic scene, liberal idiots, conservative idiots, embarrassing family members, hipster cliques, junk advertising, telemarketers, and pretty much everybody. I actually did laugh a couple times, but I find it something unsettling I can’t turn away from more than “funny.” This comic is absurd and mundane while poking fun at the absurd and mundane, which makes it slightly surreal. It’s worth a look. [scanned sample pages attached]
32 W Goodman Dr #23
Fairborn OH 45324
40 pages, $4,
Usually when I get a new zine in I scan it to see if it is to my taste or if I should send it onto a reviewer who would enjoy it more. I opened the cover and there were all these swanky hand-drawn titles in the “Linoleum Table of Contents.” Hmm, looks interesting… then the second page has a cartoon that starts with “Nebula, a midget
from Mexico, and her kittens Jesus and Hitler.” Surreal, a blend of fiction (maybe), and well-drawn comix. A little expensive, but I enjoyed reading it.
5746 N Kenmore, #210
Chicago IL 60660
REVIEWED BY DAVIDA GYPSY BREIER
IN XEROGRAPHY DEBT #21 MARCH 2007
PO BOX 11064
BALTIMORE MD 21212
24 Pages, Chapbook, $3.50 US, $5.00 Elsewhere
The lead piece is on demystifying Carlos Castaneda by a former would-be apprentice turned research scientist; Robert Arias. The rest of the writing is predictably gooey, but not altogether bad. Book, magazine, and drama reviews. All in all it's a noble effort and the subject matter is true to the title. Nice, crisp editing, no wasted space, and I liked that the lead story started right on the cover. (They're looking for a volunteer asst editor.)
Christian*New Age Quarterly
PO Box 276
Clifton NJ 07015-0276
Friday, August 10, 2007
19th Century Detective #1: The Graybridge Terror, Candid Cartoons. Full size comic, 32 black and white interior pages, Story and Pencils by Larned Justin, Inks by Tim Corrigan. Larned has a great package here and with the help of Tim Corrigan you can't go wrong. The story introduces you to 4 main characters mainly Lan Brain a Dectective retired from Scotland Yard, but they call on him with some of their most difficult cases. This story has some real surprises and not to give anything away, I don't think you'll see them coming. In fact there is a secret envelope you also get with the comic that you can't open till you finish reading the book! Don't peek! That makes it just that much more fun! Can't wait to read and review issue #2 which I do have already. The art is a little rough at times, but not often, and the placing of the word balloons are sometimes not that well thought out but none of that distracts from the story which is well written and the art tells it well. (4 stars)
Send $3 and some postage (Darn rates go up at the Post Office tomorrow!) to: Larned Justin/PO Box 471 House Springs MO 63051 or email him at: email@example.com or check his web site at: www.freewebs.com/candidcartoons
Our Soundtrack Project #1, is magazine size, black and white interiors, text with some photos zine. Color cover. 18 pages not counting covers. Here is a bit from their intro page:
There are songs that mark pivotal moments in our lives. Songs that stand out in our memory and take us back to a place of joy, pain, love, or love lost. These are the songs you sing aloud when you hear them after a few drinks at the bar, no matter who might be watching. They are the ones you scream into the wind while driving with your windows down. Our Soundtrack Project is an idea for a compilation of stories from our lives that we associate with specific songs that we know, love, or maybe even hate.
This little zine is very fun to read. Really nice, excellent stories by Laurie Marie Taylor:"Naive Melody"-The Talking Heads, Catherine Lemoreus:"Pretty Pathetic"-The Smoking Popes, Joshua Hamilton; "Help" - The Beatles, Scott Free (love that name): "An American Tune" -Simon and Garfunkel, and many more.... I'm still reading them and there is so much packed in here, I love it. Great idea. And they are looking for submissions. (4 stars)
It says "free" on the cover but I'm sure you'll have to send some postage. Our Soundtrack Project/ c/o Josh Hamilton/1425 7th Street #2/Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 or email them at oursoundtrackproject@gmail or their web site: www.myspace.com/oursoundtrackproject
Michael Aushenker's CHIPMUNKS & SQUIRRELS is a crazy rollercoaster of "mature" comic fun. Cute little characters that rob liquor stores, steal from street people and make it big in Hollywood. Tons of entertainment from what appears to be some of the earliest work from Michael Aushenker as it was done from 1992-1994. The only thing square about this book is it's size! 8.5 x 8.5 with a color cardstock cover and brilliant black and white interiors. "Kiss my butler!"
(Rated 5 stars out of 5!) The art is a little too loose but improves as it goes along and it fits the crazy stories to a tee!
Send your check or money order ($6 +$1 postage) made out to MICHAEL AUSHENKER
c/o ORIGINAL SYNDICATE PRESS
P.O. Box 480045, LOS ANGELES, CA 90048. Or just visit: http://www.cartoonflophouse.com (Man I can't wait to read some of his other comics!)
Daniel Nauenbrug's The Ranter #1 is a full size full color comic book. 30 pages on gloss stock. This book is part of the Small Press Syndicate.
From the first page: "The Ranter is a rather strange amalgam of borderline mentally ill people that I have seen while riding public buses and what I imagine they would act like if they were also passionate artists commenting on various topics."
This book is a quick read but it makes you think. The art is very good and fits the story to a "T". Great work. The Ranter makes a great point about how many artists there are in the world and how hard it is to be noticed etc....Well worth the $4 admission price. (5 stars out of 5)
The book sells for $4 postage paid. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Send payment to:
Daniel Nauenbrug / 13741 Mercado Dr. / Del Mar, CA 92014
NO HOPE #4, Dead Dog Press. Written and Drawn by Jason Dean. 47 pages, magazine size, black and white, black and white slick covers. As the title proclaims, this is: crude, offensive, puerile, etc... magazine. Well parts of it are funny and the art is very well done. The production of the book is excellent. The LETTERS page is very funny stuff, but....the humor is crude and rude. If you are into crazy characters that cuss allot, and do violent crazy things this book is for you. Oh, and you have to be over 17 years old for sure. On the good side the art and lettering remind me of the JIM books, and other stuff like ZAP Comics (actually Robert Crumb's WIERDO) which I'm sure must of inspired Jason to work on this. It sure seems like a labor of love and he really must work day and night on all the art and stories he packs into the book. Just not my cup of tea, and I'm guessing not many of you will care for this either. I can't even show the cover here.
There is a interesting historical piece included called The Horrific Filmography of Freddy Valentine. It starts out, "Although a familiar face with the drive-in movie audiences of the 1950's and 60s, it's only recently that people have begun to take an interest in the blood-splattered career of the ghoulishly gruesom horror actor Freddy Valentine." The story talks about his career and there are some very strange numbered areas at the bottom of the story that eventually take over the page, detailing some of the story, but in a very bizarre way that I'm sure Jason has made up to enhance the piece. He even draws up some of these movie posters mentioned in the article and in the indica info. I'm not sure which are based on real posters and which are made up. Anyway, strange and interesting work throughout this thick book. Jason should be given an award for creativity and a ticket on the next train out of town! You be the judge if you dare try out this book. (I give it 2 stars mostly for the art and book layout. Again, most of the subject matter was very crude and rude.)
No price on the book, and I don't see a mailing address.... but it may be found at North West Zine Works very soon. http://www.northwestzineworks.com where I was asked to review this and other books soon to be on that site.
MANTRA #10, black and white digest, anthology, 44 pages. I remember MANTRA! Yeah, this is the first issue for 19 years! I can stop holding my breath now! WHOOOOOOOooooo.....Love this zine. Sure it reminds me of my Slam Bang before I went fat with it. I love this size and it is chock full of great art and stores; Nice cover, "Side Effects!" by Keeter and Jim Pack, love stories inspired by true life....and the art is pretty good! Deep Poetry #2, by Steve Keeter....uh, oh this is deep. Does most everything involve beer! Ha! Guess so. Larry Blake's "LeRoy's Country Song!" is one wild comic page! Yee-ha, love this guy's stuff. Hey it's the BEACON! I remember this character! Yeah, the art looks like Tim Corrigan's work....maybe the credits are reversed. "Worthwords" by Larry Blake keeps you begging for more from this guy! One page here isn't enough! Pepper and Snuggle's GREAT ESCAPE, story: Cliff Kurowski, Art: April Kurowski, is some funny animal capers. Uh, this would make a nice children's book story, but here it's not doing much for me. The one pager by Tim Kelly reminds me of the old Floyd Flamdoozle. Remember that strip way back when? Funny stuff. Has a nice underground feel to it. "Stand-Up Guy in...Turnabout" is another one pager this time by Brien Wayne Powell. Uh, art is not much and the story isn't up to par but this guy could be on the right track. I'd have to see more from him. MANTRA MISSIVES is a cool throwback since it had the letters from 19 years ago! Ha! Great stuff. Talk about picking up where you left off! Next we get more great stuff from Larry Blake, and the back cover is very nice by Tuz. So overall there is quite a lot to digest here, and most of it is well worth the cost of the book. Which reminds me, what does the book cost? Don't see a price on it. Also the #10 seems to be left off the cover....
but nevermind just write to: Steve Keeter, P.O.Box 536368, Orlando FL 32853-6368. Or just send him $5 and let him fill up your mail box? I give this 5 stars assuming the cost of the book is resonable and knowing Steve it will be. Also he has info on books from SPS (Small Press Syndicate) and BPP (Blue Plaque Publications) and UFO (United Fanzine Organization)...whew! I was in the UFO years ago, and it's a great place to get reviews and help each other get the word out on your publications! Support these co-ops!
Ruffians #1-6. Drunken Cat Comics. Full size comics, #1 (28 pages) has a color cover and is $2.95. Issues 2-6 (16 pages each) are newsprint from cover to cover and $1.50 each. Written and drawn by Brian Canini, edited by David Grant and Eric Fox. Wow, what do we have here? And why haven't I heard of this company before? I keep going to the SPACE con, near where these guys live. They always show up. The giant orange cat is walking around with his tongue sticking out of his mouth....and I even took a photo last year of the cat holding a guy in his arms. But, why didn't I search them down and find out about their comics?
Well, this year I got my hands on them! Ruffians issues 1-6....and here is the scoop: They are funny animals meet scarry hitmen, meet gorillas, meet...blood and guts and serious cartoon stuff! Yeah, man, this weird bear named Scar, with the boxing gloves (Don't know what that is about.) is a hitman and gets very upset when his mask faced friend is killed. So he tries to get revenge. Things don't usually go well for him. This is a strange, cruel world. Harsh, violent.....with funny animal Scar leading us through it. The art is simple and some parts very detailed. But it all works. It puts you firmly in this world where you wish you could get out, but you can't for the life of you stop reading it! And that is the mark of a great comic. Sure, it's not for everyone. (For Mature Readers) But if you give it a try I'm betting you'll like it. The 6th issue was totally different where a cartoon Scar visits his creator in his studio. Scar is a cartoon drawn into the photos. This makes me think that anything can happen in this book. I'm also impressed that the book is on a monthly schedule, or so it seems. So I'm going to have to figure out how to get a subscription to this! (Five Big Stars)
Contact these guys at: www.drunkencatcomics.com and tell them Small Press Newsroom sent ya!
POP ART Funnies #6, MPH Comics. Full size comic, black and white interiors (though the inside covers are also in color!) 34 pages. $1.00. This takes me back to the ZAP comics of the 60's! And the art is similar to some of those artists. Nice and polished, yet cartoony. Reminds me of the work of Jim Siergey also. The first story is the man one depicted on the cover by Martin Hirchak who is also the publisher.
I met Marty at the SPACE con back in 2004 and he is great guy dedicated to having people read his comics. In fact his first issue of POP ART Funnies was 25 cents! He said he'd mailed out thousands of them to comic stores and that was how he got orders! More power to you Martin! This is the Origin Issue of Superbull! And what a funny, strange origin it is! Now I can't wait to read some Superbull stories! Next we are treated to some black and white photos, too bad there are not captions as I'd like to know who these people are. Some I know are Martin himself cavorting with other comic folks. What is also interesting are the pages of advertising. Martin has his act together. I can see how he can charge so little per issue, and print so many, as he is getting some revenue from these ads! Smart man.
Next we have the story: "In The City of Brotherly LOVE! with Uncle MARTY. Here Martin's story starts out with a homage to "Benjamin Franklin"! The first small presser! HA! So true! The story gets off track and Ben himself has to set things straight though Uncle Marty seems to still control things here. Go Marty! There are also a couple of short Pirate cartoons with some strange art/story by R. Becker that isn't bad. There are a few other one page surprises, and on the inside back cover Marty even shows us his very first comic cover for Super Bug #1 from 1975, the one that started it all for him! Great stuff, and the price can't be beat! Yowza, this book had a print run of 10,000 copies! Hum, guess this isn't really small press after all but what the heck, I like it! (Five Stars)
MPH Comics, Box 441906, Detroit, MI 48244. Send him $1 and something for postage or I'd send him $6 + $3 shipping and get all 6 issues, what the heck!
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
The Three Keys #1, Pickle Press. Full size comic, 24 pages, black and white interiors. $2.75. By Nik Havert (Writer/Creator/Editor), Paul Schultz (art), Craig DeBoard (Colors on cover and lettering). This is a very interesting story that is seen from 3 different viewpoints! I won't give it all away but its a different way to tell a story. The characters are all likable and the fantasy world looks like a fun place to tell more stories of these guys. (This one is sort of continued...)
I loved the art but my only problems with the book was that the art is so cramped I usually couldn't tell what was going on, and if the text didn't tell me, I'd not know. A good comic has the art tell the story as much as possible and the words add to that, working together. Anyway, my other problem was that in some parts the lettering was way too large taking up valuable art space further crowding the panels. But I can tell these guys are all very talented and I feel certain they will gain their footing and work out these problems in the future. I hope so, as I'd love to see more by these guys! (And I'd like to know what the heck is going on in the panels...) I could feel a homage to P. Craig Russell's art style which I love, and sure enough on the BIO page they mention that. Oh, and one more thing, a TITLE on a book should stand out the most on the cover. In this case I can't even read the word "KEYS" but that could be a coloring snafu that could have been avoided. Otherwise the coloring on the cover was very nice. Just don't hide the title of the book guys. (I give this book 3.4 stars) ________________
Contact these guys at: www.picklepress.net or write them at: Pickle Press, 157 East Van Buren Nappanee, IN 46550. Send them $2.75 and say $2 for postage or ask them for details. (I just noticed this book is from 2004 so I bet they already have improved from this book by now.)