Friday, December 17, 2010

Pork Belly Holiday Special! Weird Muse Productions

Dan Taylor produces some of the best mini-comics out there in the small press world! This mature readers issue is: Pork Belly Holiday Special (SANTA Issue!). Dan does his usual fantastic art on the cover showing a particular porky santa holding an apple. Porky Santa is warning us that this issue is for Adults Only! And that's a good thing he is warning us as some of the pages in the back do get a bit racy. Dan's intro thanks all the folks that have supported his work in the last 31 years! Wow. And in this issue we have: Allen Freeman (me), Andy Nukes, Brad W. Foster, Carrie Taylor, Dexer Cockburn, Hal Weaver, Macedonio Garcia, Ralf Schulze, Simon Mackie, and Vincent Wright! Whew...lots packed into this little Red cover, 16 page mini (including the covers). My only concern was that my old eyes couldn't make out what appeared to be some fine cartooning from Simon Mackie as his pages were so small to fit the mini-comic size they got too small for me to read. Love to see his work in at least a digest size or full comic size at some point.

5 out of 5 stars.....get everything that Dan Taylor puts out! or ask questions to Dan at

No Hope #5 by Jason Dean

No Hope #5 by Dead Dog Press, Jason Dean. Magazine size black and white with black and white glossy covers. 52 pages including covers.

This anthology of stories by Jason Dean has some of the most remarkable, detailed comic work I've ever seen. The time it must of taken, and the skill to produce this art is amazing. His stories leave you with no hope, thus the title of the book. Most end with death or some crazy violence that goes back to normalcy again. The Funeral is a story of what it would be like if we could say goodbye to everyone at our own funeral. Funnyface is just a series of images of a face that is pulled off like a mask revealing a crying skull face. "The Disturbing Dream of a Depressed and Overworked Designer of Pictorial Symbols" is an ingenious strip using symbols of a guy going through his average day, but after taking some drugs he is on a shooting rampage, chased by the police and eventually, suicide. The work of Dean covers some art styles similar to some of the best underground cartoonists like the details of Crumb, the jarring images of a Basil Wolverton and mix of a few others whois names I can't remember right now (Jim Siergey comes to mind.). Like the best of the best in art style. The real showcase is a very strange and twisted story "Let's Have a Picnic". It's like a cute little children's story, with find-the-hidden objects, fill in the missing letters, run the maze, etc....but as the family is on the picnic, some horrible things take place. (This book is for mature audiences only, for sure.). The cover shows the happy family before the horror and the back cover after the horror. It's like taking a Hilighlights magazine I used to read in gradeschool and turning it on it's ear and scaring you with it!

If you love extremely tallented art, and on the edge stories that could warp you....this book is a 5 out of 5. If you have a weak heart and are upset easily and don't need to be more depressed that you already are then you'd probably give this a pass altogether. Being that most small press readers like the unusual, they will really bite on this series.

Jason says this book is $5 which includes shipping, but since he is in the UK, that probably only means if you are in the UK. I'd contact him at: and ask him the price with shipping to be on the safe side. Or write to: Dead Dog Press c/o Jason Dean, 5 St. Dials Road, Old Cwmbran, Gwent NP4-4 3AN, UK