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


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Robertson, David


Sent to you by Jack via Google Reader:


via Optical Sloth by admin on 7/16/09



Dump #1

Because I'm going to be raving for the rest of the review, it's best to get my one complaint out of the way now: how is it that something that's this well put together doesn't have any contact info?  I'm guessing that the website listed above is still David's main website, as it does have many samples (including stories from this issue), but Berserkotron is prominently featured, not this comic.  Usually that would be enough to sour me on a book at least a little, but this comic is too awesome to bother with a little thing like that.   There are 10 pieces in this (as I mentioned) gorgeously produced comic.  Starting things off is a bit of behind the scenes from the first of the new Star Wars movies, as the Jedi council starts calling each other racists for their disdain for humans and their habit of dying a mere 70-100 years after they're trained.  It's funny stuff and David does an excellent job of portraying some of the faces on that panel… except for Yoda.  That is one brutally ugly Yoda.  Next up is Delhi Belly, about a young man who travels and comes back to discover he has Crohn's disease.  It's not meant to be funny, but the fact that it was originally included in an anthology of poop humor is funny all by itself.  Next up is a cautionary tale about pretzel makers and the value of getting your work done first.  If you ever wondered what was going on in the heads of the being involved in the UFO's in Space Invaders, the next story will be perfect for you, war crimes and all.  The longest piece in the book is up next, as David takes the challenge to draw one panel for every hour of the day.  It's a fascinating peek into his life, assuming that it's all autobiographical, as he manages to make a perfectly mundane day amusing.  Oh, and spoiler alert: that baby is just a shrunken regular sized person.  Next is a thoroughly random piece for Narrative Corpse, which thrives on randomness, dealing with sea monkeys, a shark and a guided tour.  Then you have the brilliant piece I sampled below, followed by David's ideas for what is going on in the head of various models who have posed in classes over the years.  Next is maybe my favorite piece in the book (and an excellent reason to visit that website, as it's featured on the main page), as David imagines a conversation between a man trying to find an appropriate comic for his son and discovering that a comic with robots on the cover (which happens to be Berserkotron) is not necessarily something that's meant for kids.  Finally we get to the title story, Dump, as we rejoin Bert Ainsley from Berserkotron looking for work.  Capping all of this comic wonderfulness off is another recap of how these stories came about and where (in some cases) they were originally printed, and a hilarious online discussion about some of the great books in comics and which ones are appropriate for children.  If Berserkotron left any convincing to be done, this issue has done it: this man is a serious comic talent.  Once he gets that Yoda down I don't think anything in the world can stop him.  Price is 99p, to my American eyes that looks a little like $2 and, as an American, I am naturally too arrogant to double check.


Berserkotron #2

What you have here is a quiet love story between two teenagers all the way through the end of their days… or maybe you could go by the cover and figure out that it's about robots fighting. And honestly, which of those things makes for a better story anyway? This is the second half of the story of Berserkotron, but it's mostly about the interplay between the two friends who are putting the most work into building the robot and how they seem to be drifting apart, with only the robot to hold them together. Behind that there's also another student who's building a better robot, one that's bound to destroy Berserkotron, and their climactic struggle. David has a handy recap of the past issue here and he goes on at length after the story about why he chose this artistic style, why he wanted to write about robots in general and a few thoughts about his experience making comics. I honestly wish more small press folks did this, as now this is going to be a comic I remember for the story and for the motivations of the person behind it, instead of just another mini that ends up in a pile in my closet. Solid work all around, here's hoping he has more stories after the thrill of robots fighting is gone… $2


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