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


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dembicki, Matt


via Optical Sloth by admin on 8/31/09



Xoc #1

OK, you can see the cover.  Are you one of the tiny amount of people in the world who aren't intrigued, or do you immediately want to know more?  It made me read it as soon as it got here, and seeing as  how most things go into my "random review grab pile" as soon as they get here, that's no small feat.  This was also nominated for an Ignatz award, and if it didn't win it either got robbed or somebody else made an even better mini comic, which is a hard thing to imagine.  This is the story, more or less, of Xoc, a great white shark.  Matt takes great care with his facts here, noting the sharks migrating when they notice a change in the magnetic pull of the Earth and the position of the sun.  Granted, he could be making those up and I'd never know, but based on the level of detail in the rest of the book I feel secure saying he got it right.  The story opens with a group of sea lions arguing (they're the only group in the comic to talk, oddly) about how they're going to get more food and whether or not they should move off their current patch of land.  A brash young sea lion declares that they need to move now after seeing what he thinks are fish, and leaps into the ocean.  He makes it to another small patch of land, but is only saved from being eaten by the other sea lions that follow his lead and attract the attention of Xoc.  The blood from his first kill brings other sharks, and a feeding frenzy commences.  While the survivors huddle together and plot their next move, Xoc and the other sharks feel the pull and move out of the area, coming across some deep sea creatures and other things that generally end up in the bottom of the ocean.  This is a genuinely magnificent comic, something that is rarer than you probably think.  Granted, I feel like a bit of a dork for even using the word "magnificent", but it sums it up perfectly.  The art is perfect, with all kinds of little details and some serious realism, and the writing is slowly starting to tell the story of Xoc.  Heck, I was nervous watching the sea lions swim to the other bit of land, and that's saying a lot from somebody as jaded as me.  It's well worth checking out, here's hoping that Matt has an epic in him with this story.  $2



This was one of those cases where the cover made it worth a shot all by itself. That's one creepy image, and the inside doesn't let up much from there. A Vicar comes home from a day at church to find the devil sitting in his kitchen. The devil says that he's merely there to sit and that he won't try to talk to the Vicar or convince him of anything, he will merely sit. The Vicar, of course, is confused by this, because the devil is always up to something, and the rest of the issue is spent finding out just what that something is. Oh, and I should mention that this is based on a short story by Slawomir Mrozek, for all you literary types out there (it's not a name I recognize). Matt manages to pack a constant sense of dread throughout this mini. There's not a speck of white in this outside of eyes and clouds, the rest is shades of grey and black. Great stuff and there's even a message involved. And did I mention that it's only $.50?

Animal Stew

Unless you mostly hate animals, it'll be tough not to find something to like in this one. It's a collection of one page strips from the Small Press Syndicate newsletter, and which eventually found their way into various alternative newspapers, about various animals and/or the people involved with them doing strange things. You have remote controlled rats, giant cockroaches as pets, bugs breathing, the tiniest dog in the world, premasticated dog food, a dolphin going AWOL, termite flatulence, and more than a few other odd animal related stories. There's something that I didn't know in about half the stories here, which is always a good thing. Of course, if you have no interest in learning odd facts about animals you'll probably hate this, but if that's true why would you still be reading this review? Good clean fun to be had here and it's only a buck…


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