Thursday, May 17, 2007
Street Pizza, An Anti-Nuke Fable, Andy P., Under Core Comix. Magazine size, color on covers, black and white interiors. 2o pages. $5.00. Uh, well, what can I say but "lots of potential here". Well, actually I'm not sure. The story of a pizza store owner and his delivery guy after a nuclear war. This is a very bleak comic to be sure. The people in charge of the country are clueless, the pizza guy and his sidekick are clueless.....lots of cussing and non PC comments here and there....I could only make it through about the first 1/4 of the book and that was painful. If this is a first effort with a young creator as it appears to be then give publishing a break and work on your story writing and take some art lessons. There, that's constructive criticism, right? (But I just checked his MySpace link and he is 25 years old. Well, it's never too late to take art lessons and writing classes.....) (Zero stars)
Frater Mine #4, Making Comics Studios. 2006. Full size comic, color cover, 28 pages, black and white interiors. $2.95. I had the pleasure of lettering issues #2 and #3 last year and I found the art and story for this comic very original and entertaining. The story by Sean McGrath mixes real life situations then spins you into some characters with strange and mystical powers. Don't want to give anything away but it keeps you reading. You get involved with the characters and this is something that most comics don't take the time to do. The art is always excellent on the series as well. The covers are very creative and you can tell that Sean is not afraid to push the envelope here and there. Well worth getting the full run of issues 1-4 with #5 looking to come out in 2007. Written by Sean McGrath, drawn and inked by Juan Romera, Lettered by Ed Brisson, Cover at by Scott McGrath, Edited by Scott McGrath. (I give this 5 stars.)
http://makingcomicsstudios.com or http://www.myspace.com/fratermine or email@example.com
HaVen #2, Making Comics Studios. Full size comic, color covers, 22 color interior pages. Created and Written by Christopher Moshier, Pencils by William C. Jamison, Inks by Yul Espinosa, Colors by Cathy Ann Gouin, Letters by Jay La Valley, Edits by Sean McGrath & Percival Constantine.
From their web site: In this second issue Thomas Scarrett must face his jailers creating an uneasy alliance. But having little choice the HaVeN council grants Scarrett his demands, freeing several political prisoners to his custody in hopes to thwart the impending threat.
This is what the site says about the first issue: (Reviewed here, look in the archives.) In this first issue a military team from the space station HaVeN must convince Thomas Scarret to return with them to save the station and rescue political figures taken hostage at a peace conference by his own brother, Scott Scarret.
So you can see they have a great story unfolding here, with art that has greatly improved in issue #2. Plus the coloring is much better. Please try out this series, written by the soon to be famous Chris Moshier. (Who wrote the novel MORGANA X soon out from Fan-Atic Press!..among other things.) (4 stars)
who have some other great comics like Frater Mine, look up for review....
Nobody Can Eat 50 EGGS #31. Digest, color cover (wraps around), 25 black and white pages, counting inside covers which are also in color. No company name, no price no credits on cover. very nice cover, reminds me of a cartoonist from the 70's and 80's, Ted Bolman. This zine has great little strips...don't see any names on this yet..."The Cement Shoe Brothers in" What A Goon Thinks is a little funny diddy about some thugs and how they must collect money owed. This was very well done. Nice art. Reminds me of some of the Mad Magazine artists. "Frank and Eddie in" Lizard Love part 1. Still no credits, two guys arguing and one that gets attached to a pet lizard. This doesn't seem to go anywhere. It is continued farther in the book but doesn't seem to lead to anything...maybe I needed to read some of the other issues. How to Trap Bigfoot, was interesting but not as funny as it could have been I guess. The art again is excellent and fits the messages. Warning Signs Your Boss is Really A Thinly Disguised Alien Creature THAT EATS PEOPLE....this was very well done and was even closer to the Mad Magazine look and feel. In fact they would have used most of this I bet. Hunchback Intern was very good and the art was great. Same guy doing this whole book? Looks like it. Love to see more of these hunchbacks. Bruno in Anger Management about two rhinos was also well done. I could go on and on as there is allot packed into these pages. This is worth every penny, if we knew how many pennies.... (4 stars)
445 1/2 randolph street / Meadville, PA 16335 (still no name?) http://freewebs.com/50eggs or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DARE #1, Pickle Press, Nik Havert and Renatus (2006). Price on cover $7.95. Full size comic, square-bound, glossy color cover, 78 black and white pages with lots of gray tones. This mature readers only comic is a mix between porn, a female James Bond, and well, more porn.....The story by Nik isn't that bad actually, but if you are not into the heavy sex action portrayed here then you won't even get into the story anyway. The art is from very good to OK. In parts it looks rushed but overall it is above average and the artist knows his anatomy well (too well?). The cars and backgrounds are excellent. His use of gray tones is over handled and makes most of the pages way too dark, but the story does move along and besides the sex there is some very violent action sequences. So you can tell this was a labor of love for Nik and Renatus but it remains to be seen how many will be turned off by this "guy" magazine. I'm sure you'll have to be over 17 to buy this and not easily offended to say the least. For people that love porn and violent action intermixed with some good story telling...this is for you. (I give it 3 stars)
Pickle Press / 157 East Van Buren / Napanee, IN 46550 http://www.picklepress.net or email: email@example.com
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Weird MUSE #3, by Dan W. Taylor. 4.25' tall x 5.5' wide, cream cardstock cover, black and white printing. 8 interior pages. I guess this is rated PG-13 as there are some breasts here and there...First we have a nice little into page with nice art (and breasts), then we go to DAN's Wife's Page....some nice home cleaning tips, and a recipe, oh and a nice photo of some kittens. Then we bet to the comic by Dan: The Weird Muse in Think Twice & Be Nice. Nice art and story. Love the gray tones as well. (More comic breasts, she is a GODDESS for gosh sakes.). And we learn an important lesson in the end! Another great little comic by DAN!
(5 stars) They just keep getting better, but I want more!
Send $1 ppd to: Dan W. Taylor/1833 Guntle Road/New Lebanon, OH 45345 or visit:
Sunday, May 13, 2007
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or check his web site at: www.freewebs.com/candidcartoons
Friday, May 11, 2007
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.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
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!
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
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!
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.)
The Haunt of Horace! #1, Horror Comics Group. Full size comic, black and white interiors. 28 pages, $2.95. Well this is one bizarre comic book. We get to see the origin of Horace and his very twisted, possessed, vampire unicorn! This is like a children's story gone all wrong! It gets close here and there to going over the edge completely....but always seems to steer back on track. The art has a feel all its own. With some panels not as up to par as most of the book. But it all seems to work somehow. Is this for little goth kids? HA! They already have a second issue and I'll have to check that out for review as for some reason I'd like to see where this keeps going. If it is this weird in the first issue, I can't imagine what is going to happen next! There is an ad for some very creepy comic from them called Invasion of the Doppelgangers! Are these guys on the cutting edge taking us where EC Comics would have gone if they were still around? We have to keep watching these guys. The first story is called, "My Big Dumb Hell", by Ken Henson. Then there is a one page oddity called Journey Into ADHD" by Mark O'Neill. Twisted.
www.thehauntofhorace.com is how to reach them. If you dare. (Three stars.) And I bet I see much more coming from these guys....and like a train wreck, I can't look away!