November 11th, 2009

Greenblatt The Great! #2

 

The first issue of Greenblatt The Great! was a wonderful discovery for me (my review is here) so it was pretty exciting to receive Mr Aushenker's second issue recently. It contains more Greenblatt hi-jinx and lunacy, for example 'The Bald Off!' (above), one of my favourites here. Sad to say, many of the strips fell flat for me this time around. This issue also includes a long story called 'The Secret Double Life Of Michael Aushenker' which was a real mixed bag. On the one hand, spectacular art, action, some terrific internal dialogue during a chase scene ('Welcome to the soft parade.' 'Cobra on my left' 'Leopard on my right.'), really wild stuff. On the other hand he's got 'ho's' over while he's supposed to be drawing comics, and he's got a girlfriend! It's hardly admirable having hos over when you got a girlfriend, and if you ask me, hardly endears the character to the reader. Unless you're the type of reader who barks when he approves of a joke, and punches the air and that kind of behaviour. It was disappointing, because I know he's capable of better work. It's still worth getting though if you're a Greenblatt fan. And Michael is working on #3 so hopefully that issue will be back on track.
Visit www.cartoonflophouse.com and Michael's blog at cartoonflophouse.blogspot.com

Going Postal! #2



That scan of the cover of Going Postal! #2 doesn't do it justice at all. This is one of 50 covers made by NEOSHO (Dear Diary zine and Haphazard mail art zine). GP! editor Kris asked her how she made them:
"Speaking of the styroprint: it's real easy. I work in a huge jail by day, and each day 10,000 inmates get a stinky baloney sandwich in one of those white styrotrays. I have them save 'em for me. I cut off the bevelled edge, then draw on it with a ball point pen, roll on block printing ink and rub a print of it. At least it gets used once before hitting the landfill." [NEOSHO can be contacted at: PO Box 08262, Chicago IL 60608-0262, USA.]
There were also 50 covers made by Gianni Simone (Call & Response, orga(ni)sm and Kairan (a mail art forum). I want one of those too!
Anyway, there's some great stuff in this issue: Dale Spiers writes about the emergence of the postal age (really fascinating - in the early 1800s postage was 25 cents - about $30.00 in today's money!); rubber stamp history; an interview with Luke Sinclair from Melbourne's Sticky zine distro; a reprint of John Marr's (Murder Can Be Fun) piece about Patrick Henry Sherrill, the Oklahoman postal worker who in 1986 went on a shooting rampage killing 14 co-workers, introducing the saying 'going postal' to the English language.
There's readers' letters and more. Those discerning readers among you will write to Kris and secure your copy. One of the best things about this zine is that you need to know how to use stamps and envelopes to obtain a copy.
Send a zine trade or five bucks of your currency to: Kris & Lola, Going Postal!, Calle Obispo 4B, Plasencia 10600, Caceres, SPAIN.

Sundogs #8

 

[Big comics and zine review night! Let's keep 'em coming!]

It's always a great mail day when a new Sundogs arrives in my post office box. Adam's diary comic is one of my big discoveries of the past year.
In this issue (July-September 2009) Adam has to cover up his tattoos again at the public pool (otherwise people might think he's Yakuza!), he gets stopped by police for the millionth time while riding his bike, he gets drunk with his in-laws and friends, gets accepted by two Japanese magazines to draw illustrations, encounters yet more Japanese racism towards Koreans, plays a show with his band (Bears) and gets naked, doesn't sleep enough [I recently read that a large group of Japanese were asked the top three things they liked to do on days off, one of them was catch up on sleep], watches the world cosplay parade, observes Japanese traditions like Obon Day, when ancestral spirits come home, and Okuribi, when the living send the spirits back to death's realm.
For somebody like me who doesn't have, nor plan to have, children, I experience some kind of vicarious enjoyment following Adam's life with his young family (Ami is now pregnant with a baby girl). I think a big part of what it is, is that it's great to read a diary comic by somebody who has started a family but is still young at heart, gets drunk, plays videogames, is in a band, has excellent taste in TV shows, and seems to juggle all that and still be a good father and manage his own business teaching English to Japanese. (Okay, a big part of it also is that he lives in Japan, and I have thing for Japan, as you may know...)  It really is compelling and wonderful!
If you're still reading, contact Adam at biguglyrobot@gmail.com or Adam Pasion, 1-42 Namiuchi-cho, Kita-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 462-0041, JAPAN. He loves trading comics too!