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


Saturday, December 1, 2007

My Life in a Jugular Vein: Three More Years of Snakepit Comics

via Feminist Review by Feminist Review on 11/30/07
By Ben Snakepit
Microcosm Publishing

Is it wrong to call a punk underground comic strip "charming?" My Life in a Jugular Vein, the new collection of three years worth of Snakepit Comics could also be described as exuberant, funny, and profane, but overall I was charmed by the simple, clever artistic style and the honesty of one mad-drinking, band-forming, crazy-cursing guy sharing his life.

A hand-drawn diary of its author, each strip covers one day in the life of Ben Snakepit. And just like real life, some days are action-packed, while some are more "watching TV with friends and drinking beer." This makes for occasional slow points between story arcs (which usually take the form of romances or concert tours), but I think that this book works best if you don't try to charge through it all at once. If you're willing to soak up the flavor of Ben's life, you'll be treated to a unique take on both the cosmic and the mundane.

My Life in a Jugular Vein is the second collection of strips, and, although the book starts in media res, it's easy enough to pick up on the cast of characters and locales: a cavalcade of musicians, slackers, punk nightclubs (Emo's!), parties, and living rooms where you could crash on the floor. The book is best when it's experimental: the distorted drawings of other guests at drunken parties, and the weird squiggle-filled portraits of joy at riding a bike or smoking from a bong. It's also chock-full of cultural and geographical references, from punk clubs all over the U.S. to a hysterical rendering of the opening scene of Lost in Translation. Lots of the book has a strong Austin, TX flavor, but Ben travels enough that the cast of characters and locales vary to keep it interesting.

Another point: the heading of each day's strip is the title and artist of Ben's "Daily Listening," so if you enjoy the vibe of the strip, you can fill your iPod with songs to accompanying it, ranging from the classic to the kooky. One paperback edition also comes with a CD of 18 songs featured in the strips. If you love punk, and you love zines, or you're curious about the world of underground comics, My Life in a Jugular Vein would be an excellent place to start reading.

Review by Dominae Petrosini

Click here to buy:

My Life in a Jugular Vein

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