ADULTS ONLY! 32 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", $4.00, by Aaron Lange >>> aaronlangecomix [at] gmail [dot] com + www.aaronlange.com published by The Comix Company
Here's a new title from the super talented and funny Aaron Lange (see my review of his last comic, Romp, here). But wait a minute. His comix go deeper than simply being 'funny' - the heart and soul of it is some of the heaviest black humour you'll find. And that's good! ... So first up, before the real grim funniness arrives, there's 'Damien Hirst and Me'. The only thing in here that's not a comic, only text. Each point about Hirst is matched with one about Lange. Like this one:
Damien Hirst found a patron in Charles Saatchi, who offered to fund whatever work Hirst wanted to create.
I sometimes borrow money from my dad.
Next is 'At the bar with... Vietnam Tom'. Vietnam vet 'humour' is pretty old, let's face it, but Aaron has a unique spin on it, since Tom (name changed) was a real Vietnam veteran who Aaron actually knew and hung out with. The strip is a collection of things Tom said. There's three pages, and on the last page Aaron drops a bombshell that will really hit you in the guts. Great, strong stuff.
Another very funny strip is about William S. Burroughs 'wanna-be's'. The young bohemian proclaims, "When I grow up I wanna be like William S. Burroughs!" A bystander asks, "Are you sure? Do you really want to..." and each subsequent panel illustrates 'highlights' in Burroughs's life, like: "Get hooked on heroin? ... Kill your wife? ... Have a crush on THIS guy?" [Allen Ginsberg].
Then a one-pager, 'Zen Cop'.
But the main feature is next. The 14-page 'Dog and Kitty', a brutal autobiographical tale of drug days, and hooking up with the couple of the title - a dealer and his missus, both of whom were into bestiality. This is fucking heavy shit. You're gonna laugh, but it's not an easy laugh because you keep reminding yourself these are real people, and this stuff really happened.
Do I have to note that this one is 'recommended'? Get it, big boy.
- Current Music:Russian Circles - 'Burial'
ADULTS ONLY! 32 pages, 8" x 5.5", by LJ Turnock >>> leejamesturnock [at] gmail [dot] com + thecomixcompany.ecrater.com + leejamesturnock.blogspot.com
Wow, this one is a real trip. It begins with a guy in a bar telling the barman about his childhood obsession with 'Bolt Sidney' and his subsequent disillusionment when he visits Florida's 'Sidneyworld'. Then a woman, Doralee, walks into the bar, and boy, has she got a story to tell! She came from a hick town where she narrowly avoided being forced into a marriage with a retarded cousin by escaping with her dog Toejam. On the road they soon come across a ragged tent hosting a burlesque show, and with Doralee's assets, she is encouraged to join the troupe. However, the suggestion of smearing dog food on her butt and Toejam licking it off tickles neither Doralee, nor Toejam himself, so they split from that scene too. They then proceed to meet characters from the Wizard of Oz, but a far more warped version... The scarecrow has a heart, but he's missing something else. My favourite was LJ's version of the Cowardly Lion. LJ's lion isn't cowardly, he just has terrible taste. His wife kicked him out because he layed around the lair all day watching Three Stooges videos. He also loves The Dukes of Hazzard, The Gong Show, Engelbert Humperdinck, and Breakdance 2: Electric Boogaloo. ... Next thing you know, we see it's a stuffy British father reading about these events and tut tutting about what an "open sewer" America has become, and his son and daughter ("sneering subversives") are part of the problem! They need a nanny! And they get one - Mary Pipkins. ... Oh, man. It goes on and on. It's a proper freakout, daddy-o. And the art is terrific.
- Current Music:Persefone - 'Inner Fullness'
The brand new Xerography Debt arrived in my mailbox today. Woo hoo! I haven't read it yet, but wanted to post immediately to let you all know it's out and available to buy here or send $4.00US to Davida Gypsy Breier, PO Box 11064, Baltimore MD 21212, USA.
[The next day...] Fred Argoff wrote something pretty cool at the end of his reviews in this issue:
"Keep reading zines, trading zines and reviewing zines. And if you haven't already done so, think about doing one of your very own (it's fun, and it can also be therapeutic: when you produce a zine, you're the boss. It looks the way you want it to look, and it says what you want it to say. So for a little while, you can forget about that person at work who enjoys telling you what to do.)"
ADULTS ONLY! - 36 pages, 7.5" x 5.5", $4.00, by Jay Bee >>> thesach [at] gmail [dot] com + thecomixcompany.ecrater.com
The feature of this one is a 26-page strip, 'Wow, You Draw Comics?' It begins normal enough. A guy is in a coffee shop drawing comics when a girl walks up to him and starts chatting. She really likes comics! The guy can't believe it. I mean, this never happens in real life. Before you know it, the girl invites him back to her place where her flatmates also draw comics. At this point I was sure this was gonna end up a really bad idea, and I wasn't wrong. Back at the girl's place, two guys appear and they soon drug their visitor, then rape and torment him in various other ways. One of the most twisted aspects of this scenario, however, is that while this is happening, the two guys come across like professional comics editors. It's very strange and sinister, and even funny (in a pitch black sense).
There are a few short strips at the end of the book. One of them has a robot being released from robot prison. [JB has got this really great and unique thing going on with robots - see my review of his recent Gladhand Comix #1.] Another one-pager, 'Fuck Me!', has JB (?) walking down a street, torturing himself over autobiographical comix. The final 3-page strip, 'He Got No Chopz', presents the nightmarish (for a comics artist at least) scenario of JB at his drawing table being verbally abused and ridiculed by two of his own characters, one of whom is Dev-12 from the previously mentioned Gladhand Comix. Yikes!
Wow, JB seems to be quite prolific right now (no doubt thanks in part to Dexter Cockburn and his The Comix Company). Good for us!
- Current Music:Carcass - 'Unfit For Human Consumption'
ADULTS ONLY! 32 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", by JB >>> thesach [at] gmail [dot] com + thecomixcompany.ecrater.com
JB seems to have found Bender's evil brother [Dev-12] and presented a bunch of his hi-jinks within these pages. Dev-12 is a robot who is always broke, having spent his dough on such things as Bollywood scripts. He also has sex with human women. He has dreams in which he is human, attends comix & zine fairs, and loses entire nights getting wasted and abusing others on the internet.
Among these adventures of Dev-12 are other strips, some wordless and surreal (like the one with the guy pursued and tormented by owls with breasts) and others autobiographical, like the one in which he gets depressed about the quality of his comix so visits a bohemian record collecter to buy some of his records, gets high with the dude while listening to some of those records when a tsunami hits the house, killing the record collector. ... Wait a minute, is this really autobiographical?
JB also reveals what happened when Picasso met a young female fan; and flips the jock/nerd dynamic in 'Revenge of the Turds'. The jock here yearns for a nerdy girl, bemoaning the fact that "Nerds have it made!" yet we find out that the nerdy girl is horribly mistreated by her nerdy boyfriend.
JB's got this really great ability to take things we think we know and transform them in genuinely surprising ways. Plus he can be very funny!
- Current Mood: impressed
- Current Music:Persefone - 'Inner Fullness'
56 pages, 10" x 7", by Marc Van Elburg http://tellab.home.xs4all.nl/ lobomatic [at] xs4all [dot] nl, Crippa XXX Almqvist www.maximumschreck.blogspot.com crippaluvu4poost [at] hotmail [dot] com and Zeke Clough www.zekeclough.com
Recently I was hitting the suds at a pub with David Puckeridge and showed him Dollmatrix. I admitted that I had no idea about how to even begin to review it. I pointed to one of the pages and said, "In 25 words or less, please tell me what the hell is going on here." David said, "Well, there's your review!"
But that's too short. I need to write more. One thing that happens when I open this book and look at the pages, I immediately feel some warning or internal alarm. Something is very wrong here. It's a bad scene, a bad trip. The valves have been fully opened and all the dark and twisted stuff has been emptied out onto the pages. I see what appears to be a factory where blobs and lumpy beings squirt body fluids at each other, having the time of their lives.
This is comix reading as endurance test. How many pages can you look at before you are overwhelmed?
One for the daredevils.
- Current Music:Persefone - 'The Endless Path'
16 pages, 6" x 4", The Usual, Neale Blanden, PO Box 1173, Huntingdale VIC 3166, AUSTRALIA + beautifulartform.blogspot.com + nlblndn [at] gmail [dot] com
Wordless comics? I hate 'em! Well, mostly. There's always an exception, and Flea here is one of those. This absolutely charming wordless* comic begins with a flea on a lounge room floor. A dog walks into the room. The flea is hungry. The flea sees the dog.
No need to say any more. Get it.
[* Note: The final page does contain some words.]
- Current Music:Dinosaur Jr - 'What Was That'
David and I send each other our diary comics in the mail. He started it! He's the reason I got no time to write comix and zine reviews anymore! *Blub!* ... Anyway, I started posting mine on Facebook and my Atomiser blog but nobody has seen his, and he can draw. And he's funnier! Life isn't fair!
But it was about time I shared one of his awesome envelopes he send his diary comics in. I got this today.
- Current Music:Guided By Voices - 'Motor Away'
40 pages, 8.5 x 6", $5.00, Ryan Vella, Lot 18 Homebush Road, Walkerston QLD 4751, AUSTRALIA
Turbo Supermax is back, and out for vengeance. The White Triangle Club (a multi-team Christian supersquad) has killed his little pal Moss, and it's payback time. But before he can get to WTC leader Halohawk, he's gotta get past the shitbombing powers of Mr Scat; the teeth-spitting Muzzle; Spasmo and his epileptic berzerker rage seizure attack; the gorgeous but deadly Beehive (she attacks with swarms of bees that appear from her beehive hairdo, of course!); and many others that I will leave for you to discover. Ryan's imagination for creating supervillains doesn't look like slowing down any time soon, since yet again there's just about a new superbaddie introduced on every page (and in Rebekah Bell's TV news reports that bookend each issue, often three per page).
There's also a two-page Turbo strip at the end of this issue - written by Ryan and drawn by fellow Bananalander Shaun Craike.
- Current Music:Nile - 'When My Wrath Is Done'