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I wrote about Gabriel Corbera’s anti-existentialist “Days Longer Than Long Pork Sausages”, where the world is not what you make it.

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"The Hanging Tower" by Sam Bosma
Sam Bosma's follow up to “Fantasy Basketball”* is another genre mashup exercise. This time it’s a “the magic is gone” epic fantasy setting meets a Western. And the first scene takes place in a old fashioned general store that would be suitable to equip yourself before exploring a dungeon or riding out into Monument Valley in pursuit of a band of outlaws. The shopkeep is wearing a bowtie though, and that particular piece of fusty European fashion never made much headway in epic fantasy.
There is one well choreographed fight with a bridge troll but the major draw of the comic is the way these two genres come up against each other. Moll goes out to fetch her daughter from the ruins of a magical tower and a fancy city and bring her back to her dilapidated old west village - back to the world of “minding the stable” rather than Eudora’s world of “raising demons”. 
The premise of a mother heading out to rescue her grown daughter who has overreached her ambitions and needs to be bailed out when magic (read: the economy) has begun to fail seems not only timely to 2014, but feels like an uncomfortably good fit for the world of indie comics. In a world where magic is in retreat it’s not as easy to raise demons as it once was.  There may be sadness and one last glance at dreams being left behind, but there no shame in retreating to a safer world when it’s the only option left.
* (Pictured above) Sam Bosma politely included a sketch of his 2014 Ignatz award for “Fantasy Basketball” in the front of this book.

"The Hanging Tower" by Sam Bosma

Sam Bosma's follow up to “Fantasy Basketball”* is another genre mashup exercise. This time it’s a “the magic is gone” epic fantasy setting meets a Western. And the first scene takes place in a old fashioned general store that would be suitable to equip yourself before exploring a dungeon or riding out into Monument Valley in pursuit of a band of outlaws. The shopkeep is wearing a bowtie though, and that particular piece of fusty European fashion never made much headway in epic fantasy.

There is one well choreographed fight with a bridge troll but the major draw of the comic is the way these two genres come up against each other. Moll goes out to fetch her daughter from the ruins of a magical tower and a fancy city and bring her back to her dilapidated old west village - back to the world of “minding the stable” rather than Eudora’s world of “raising demons”. 

The premise of a mother heading out to rescue her grown daughter who has overreached her ambitions and needs to be bailed out when magic (read: the economy) has begun to fail seems not only timely to 2014, but feels like an uncomfortably good fit for the world of indie comics. In a world where magic is in retreat it’s not as easy to raise demons as it once was.  There may be sadness and one last glance at dreams being left behind, but there no shame in retreating to a safer world when it’s the only option left.

* (Pictured above) Sam Bosma politely included a sketch of his 2014 Ignatz award for “Fantasy Basketball” in the front of this book.

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"Pioneers" by Braden Lamb

This was a mini-comic sold by Braden Lamb (Boston resident and Adventure Time (the comic) artist) at SPX. It was $4, which is a decent value for something on good paper with four or five colors (two at a time). The swirly shading and simple character designs are a delight.
In this silent comic a pear shaped guru goes on a trip to space via the powers of his mind. His proselytization of this technique results in three other pioneers attempting their own journeys, which all end up in varied disasters. A woman shatters a fragile crystal world with her voice, a beefy guy disrupts a crucial step in early evolutionary development to the displeasure of a local resident, and a guy with a haircut gets his brain cut out by robots.
Through their ill-advised adventurism the titular pioneers end up like a GWB bumbling their way through the cosmos rather than the Middle East. They might have been well served taking a page out the United Federation of Planet’s Prime Directive - but even the famous crews of the various Enterprise starships broke that one on the reg. This comic seems to suggest that you should keep your ass at home and save everyone a lot of trouble.

"Pioneers" by Braden Lamb

This was a mini-comic sold by Braden Lamb (Boston resident and Adventure Time (the comic) artist) at SPX. It was $4, which is a decent value for something on good paper with four or five colors (two at a time). The swirly shading and simple character designs are a delight.

In this silent comic a pear shaped guru goes on a trip to space via the powers of his mind. His proselytization of this technique results in three other pioneers attempting their own journeys, which all end up in varied disasters. A woman shatters a fragile crystal world with her voice, a beefy guy disrupts a crucial step in early evolutionary development to the displeasure of a local resident, and a guy with a haircut gets his brain cut out by robots.

Through their ill-advised adventurism the titular pioneers end up like a GWB bumbling their way through the cosmos rather than the Middle East. They might have been well served taking a page out the United Federation of Planet’s Prime Directive - but even the famous crews of the various Enterprise starships broke that one on the reg. This comic seems to suggest that you should keep your ass at home and save everyone a lot of trouble.

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This is a sketch of Owl that Simon Hanselmann drew in the front of my copy of “Megahex” purchased at this year’s SPX.

I asked him if he could draw Owl with a “St Kilda Football Club” foam finger.  My wife (Kate) is Australian and her family roots for them and I thought it would be a funny gag to have this nerd also be a St Kilda fan.  He asked if the book was for her, and I had to explain no and she doesn’t even really like comics.  The more he questioned me about it the more it seemed like a weird / flimsy idea.  He settled on the idea that Owl was pretending to be a sport’s fan because he has a crush on Kate and made the St Kilda logo a syringe on a beach because neither of us knew what the real logo was.

This is a sketch of Owl that Simon Hanselmann drew in the front of my copy of “Megahex” purchased at this year’s SPX.

I asked him if he could draw Owl with a “St Kilda Football Club” foam finger.  My wife (Kate) is Australian and her family roots for them and I thought it would be a funny gag to have this nerd also be a St Kilda fan.  He asked if the book was for her, and I had to explain no and she doesn’t even really like comics.  The more he questioned me about it the more it seemed like a weird / flimsy idea.  He settled on the idea that Owl was pretending to be a sport’s fan because he has a crush on Kate and made the St Kilda logo a syringe on a beach because neither of us knew what the real logo was.

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phoning-it-in:

Some serious raw power in my comics club envelope from A.J.

After I sent this out I had a moment of doubt as to whether I should actually be sending pornography to absolute strangers in the mail.

phoning-it-in:

Some serious raw power in my comics club envelope from A.J.

After I sent this out I had a moment of doubt as to whether I should actually be sending pornography to absolute strangers in the mail.

(via comicclubusa)

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Panel from “Love and Rockets Library: Luba and Her Family” by Gilbert Hernandez
Imagine if the Bad Brains had continued to release singles, EPs, and full length records that were as good as “Pay To Cum” or the ROIR tape every year for the last 30 years.  For the past 6 or 7 years they had stuck to one full length a year (released by Reach Out International Records - who in this alternate timeline are the preeminent punk record label of today).  But they still had anthologies come out that collected all their singles that made that stuff easier to track down for people who had only recently discovered them.
People would have arguments about what records they liked best, some people thinking their best work was behind them, quite a few would even argue persuasively that the more recent output was the best work. 
Thats what the Hernandez brothers are to comics.

Panel from “Love and Rockets Library: Luba and Her Family” by Gilbert Hernandez

Imagine if the Bad Brains had continued to release singles, EPs, and full length records that were as good as “Pay To Cum” or the ROIR tape every year for the last 30 years.  For the past 6 or 7 years they had stuck to one full length a year (released by Reach Out International Records - who in this alternate timeline are the preeminent punk record label of today).  But they still had anthologies come out that collected all their singles that made that stuff easier to track down for people who had only recently discovered them.

People would have arguments about what records they liked best, some people thinking their best work was behind them, quite a few would even argue persuasively that the more recent output was the best work. 

Thats what the Hernandez brothers are to comics.

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SNAILS PACE DEMO (2014) out now on Lockin Out, shown here on top of the “Crunch Time Horse”.
Alternate demo artwork pictured here by Jim Rugg.
http://snailspace.bandcamp.com/

SNAILS PACE DEMO (2014) out now on Lockin Out, shown here on top of the “Crunch Time Horse”.

Alternate demo artwork pictured here by Jim Rugg.

http://snailspace.bandcamp.com/

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SUCCOUR FANZINE ISSUE #1AMERICA’S ONLY FANZINE PUBLISHED BY GRATITUDE PRESS AVAILABLE SOON COST TO PURCHASE: $0
Featuring: ~ a bunch of shit that I wrote elsewhere repurposed for a zine~ a drawing of a wizard on the cover by Dylan DRUG DOGS~ an exclusive ad for FOOD PORN (my favorite comic of last few months) that has no words so basically no potential to sell any copies of the comic ~some hamburger art from Owen
EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE from me RIPExpo and SPX.

SUCCOUR FANZINE ISSUE #1
AMERICA’S ONLY FANZINE
PUBLISHED BY GRATITUDE PRESS
AVAILABLE SOON
COST TO PURCHASE: $0

Featuring: 
~ a bunch of shit that I wrote elsewhere repurposed for a zine
~ a drawing of a wizard on the cover by Dylan DRUG DOGS
~ an exclusive ad for FOOD PORN (my favorite comic of last few months) that has no words so basically no potential to sell any copies of the comic
~some hamburger art from Owen

EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE from me RIPExpo and SPX.

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Tony Millionaire - Topper for “Army Days”
SALUTE TO THE LAST REAL TOPPER ALIVE.
Semi-relevant to image: Just this weekend my mom told me she heard Roz Chast on the radio talking about her new book and went to the book store. At the book store she described the content of the book as she recalled it from the radio - she didn’t remember the title or author. The lady at the book store recognized it, dug it out, and sold it to her. This old fashioned transaction brings a tear to my eye.

Tony Millionaire - Topper for “Army Days”

SALUTE TO THE LAST REAL TOPPER ALIVE.

Semi-relevant to image: Just this weekend my mom told me she heard Roz Chast on the radio talking about her new book and went to the book store. At the book store she described the content of the book as she recalled it from the radio - she didn’t remember the title or author. The lady at the book store recognized it, dug it out, and sold it to her. This old fashioned transaction brings a tear to my eye.

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John Stanley panel from “Nancy and Oona Goospimple’s Fireplace” 
Love Nancy’s diagonal line silhouette here.  Very effective snowblind silhouette.  Also love the blue shading used in those wide, soft strokes behind the snow and behind Nancy’s silhouette.  It looks like a literal sheet of snow has just descended over everything.  This panel is unlike anything I can picture seeing from Ernie Bushmiller and yet still so true to the spirit of Nancy.  Beautiful.

John Stanley panel from “Nancy and Oona Goospimple’s Fireplace” 

Love Nancy’s diagonal line silhouette here.  Very effective snowblind silhouette.  Also love the blue shading used in those wide, soft strokes behind the snow and behind Nancy’s silhouette.  It looks like a literal sheet of snow has just descended over everything.  This panel is unlike anything I can picture seeing from Ernie Bushmiller and yet still so true to the spirit of Nancy.  Beautiful.