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Blackguard 3 Crime Blanden cover

To my Great Horror I just realised I neglected to post this review of Blackguard 3 [the CRIME issue] from Optical Sloth:

The crime issue! If you’ve read past issues of this anthology and think that this is a subject that this crew could handle very well, you were absolutely correct. My only complaint is that almost the first half of the book is dedicated to a letters page and comics and zine reviews. Not that I hate such things, but sometimes it gets in the way of the actual comics, and I’m speaking from my own personal and cranky bias about getting zines and comics all jumbled up. As for the comics themselves, it’s hard not to find plenty to love. When things start off with a color strip about Nazi superzombie monkey sleeper agents (by Ryan Vella), you know you’re reading a book with tons of potential. Well I do anyway, it’s entirely possible that such a thing would turn you off immediately, in which case I’d recommend leaving this review now. It’s OK, there are plenty of other comics to read about on this site and not a single one of them has a Nazi superzombie monkey sleeper agent to bother you. Strips include an actual serial killer and the Hamburglar discussing royalties (by “Glenno,” which may or may not refer to Glenn Smith), Adam Pasion (or his story stand-in) lighting an empty pool on fire as kids, Stratu with a brother killing his sister after a stupid argument, scribbling a penis on a “Walk” sign (by Bize), Chris Mikul with the profoundly strange story of Kenneth Neu, Shaun Craike with his crisis of conscience after his only attempted theft, Neale Blanden with the story of the property theft of Mickey Mouse, Anton Emdin with the angriest man on earth and Dexter Cockburn (with one of the few stories of his without visible sexual organs) with the story of the murder of a young girl and the enigmatic diary entry detailing the deed. There are also two text pieces by Damian McDonald and Henry L. Racicot, both of which are well worth reading. As I already gave away in the intro, this comic is well worth picking up. I only mentioned about half of the stories to leave you with a lot of surprises, and even if you think that comic and zine reviews are wasted space (and, even though I pointed them out, I did notice a few comics I should probably check out, making me a bit of a moron for even mentioning that in a negative light) there are still more than enough comics here to make this worth the $5.

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