zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tomczak, Ray


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via Optical Sloth by admin on 5/31/09



Wasted Potential

How exactly does Ray keep track of his comics? It seems like he has a new sampler out just about every year at SPACE, but as this one just has the name of his weekly comic strip as the title, us obsessive types get easily confused.  This is a collection of some of his recent stuff (and you can see all kinds of it at his website) and, as is often the case with samplers, it has some decent stuff and some that's not all that funny.  Well, at least it's not to somebody like me with a known aversion to most strip comics.  Topics in here include freaking out a kid, trying not to think about monkeys, artistic expression, meandering, Thanksgiving dinner, and celebrating the new year.  OK fine, it's mostly funny stuff, the only one that didn't at least make me smile was the one with the kid.  You guys know the drill by now: check out his stuff for free on his site, if you like it see if you can send him some money and get some minis.  This, I believe, was free at SPACE, so if you're a cheapskate like me you can also always just wait to see him at a convention…


Ray-TV #2

You know, I'm getting more and more comics these days where my only reaction is "eh". Not great, not terrible, just sort of there. Maybe I'm running out of things to say after writing a few hundred of these reviews, but I like to think that I have something to say for the really good stuff. This one was pretty dull at times and OK at others. Ray explains why his "publishing company" is called SRD Studios, has a time travel story with Ben Franklin, explains the difference between graphic novels and trade paperbacks for the people who actually spend precious moments of their life worrying about such things, and has some one page newspaper style strips. I read the first issue of this series and it didn't do much for me either, but this guy has apparently been around a while and might have done some stuff that's better than this, I don't know. Not a particularly thrilling read for me, obviously, but I'm just a guy with a website. They're $1 each and there are two issues out so far, send money to: 4050 N. High St. #33 Columbus, OH 43214. Or just e-mail him if you're curious to see what else he's done…

Vaudeville Comics

Is it OK for me to ask for more slapstick in something called "Vaudeville Comics", or are vaudeville and slapstick mutually exclusive? I always thought they went together, but that front cover has the most physical action in the book. Anyway, this book is OK. There's a tribute to Julius Schwartz, a great story about why he doesn't do autobio comics, five four panel strips without a punchline for various reasons, and this odd little bouncing ball that's on a couple of pages. Not sure what was up with that, as if everything in the world needs a massive reason for existing or something. I liked this one a bit more than the last one of his I reviewed, which I suppose is saying something. It's only $1, contact info is up there.

Wasted Potential: Gold

I think this is just a sampler, as it only has 7 strips in it, but it's a good sampling of his work. I don't know if I'm just mellowing out in my old age or if Ray's getting better (or maybe a combination of both), but I really liked this bunch. Strips in here included Ray doubting himself, trying to explain his strips to his sister, and defending his decision to go into cartooning to everybody else. As I said, it's a tiny little sampler (maybe even free?), so there's not too much to be said about it, but it as funny, and what more could you ask for? Contact info is up there, I know he has plenty of other comics available if this was only an SPACE freebie or something…


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