Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Review: Eyeball Comix #2 UK Underground Mayhem!

This is a lovely produced 52 page comic; with high quality printing throughout.

The first thing that hooks you is that amazing cover by the artist Gunsho....It really is eye popping; quite apt for an anthology called Eyeball Comix.

As with the first issue (see my previous review of issue #1), the driving force in terms of art and ideas are messrs Paul Arserott & Rob Amos (now going under the pseudonym 'Robscenity').

In true Underground anthology tradition, there's a real mix of humour, sex, and violence; real life horror, fake ads, pirate sluts, heavy metal demons, funny grotesquery, alien invasions...Even Bruce Campbell makes an appearance!

So without further ado, let's get stuck into the strips!

 First up is Paul Arserott's brilliant 'Creepy Crawl'. This genuinely creepy story tells a real-life tale of Susie Atkins AKA Sadie Mae Glutz; member of 'The Manson Family' and killer of Gary Hinman.

The strip focusses on the testimony of Virginia Graham; the woman who shared a dormitory with Atkins in a L.A. Detention Centre before Atkins' trial.

Whilst incarcerated there, Atkins decided to boast and confide to Graham about her involvement in the Charles Manson Family murders and her violent fantasies which she had planned, and wished to act out on other celebrities.

Arserott brilliantly renders these disturbing fantasies which clearly illustrate how deranged and damaged this Manson family member was, and the kind of power Manson had over his followers.

'Robscenity' continues his piracy theme from issue #1, and delivers another beautifully drawn and pervy underground comic entitled 'Pirate Sluts'.

This darkly comic tale is simple enough: A motley crew of male pirates spot a group of comely seafaring women encroaching on the border of their territory.

Deciding they will teach the wenches a lesson and rape and pillage while they're at it, the pirates set sail and invade the woman's camp with no idea that the lasses are battle-hardened pirates themselves and more than equipped to deal with their male counterparts.

What really makes this strip is Rob's tongue-in-cheek humour, the way he draws his foul perverts and busty pirates, and his clearly genuine love of portraying feisty, dominant women overpowering, humiliating and maiming those who would do the same. You can tell he gets off on it.

This is female empowerment exploitation style, akin to an X-Rated Russ Meyer flick (if he'd ever done a pirate film). Where in the end, the women make sure they get what THEY want (as the last page, which I haven't shown, clearly demonstrates).

This issue also welcomes the debut of Kyle Platts, who has a really interesting and grotesque drawing style and a great warped sense of humour.

He has 3 different strips in the anthology, my favourite being 'Shotgun' pictured to your right.

Aidan Cook provides 2 Thrash Metal influenced satanic horror/ darkly comic strips, one briefly featuring cult B-Movie favourite Bruce Campbell as a Genie. Whilst certainly different, I wasn't really knocked over by either story, which to me, seemed to want to focus on coolness and appeal mostly to niche metal fans, rather than focussing on telling a more interesting story. I did really like Cook's one page poster portraying a living-dead graveyard metal-head though.

Mr Arserott reappears for the final strip 'Blowflies from Outer Space', a very entertaining, darkly comic B-moviesque tale about brain-eating blowflies who stowaway on a moonlanding vehicle and invade earth.

Arserott's more cartoon-like approach to this mayhem has visual shades of Johnny Ryan and Mike Diana to it and is gleefully apocalyptic.

Artist Burgerlips' 'Guffball 3000' is a nicely drawn and coloured fake advertisment too.

Whilst there's more 'meat' to it than issue 1, I still feel the comic suffers from a few other filler strips/pages that felt unnecessary. Eyeball #1 started off great, and issue #2 improves upon it, so hopefully, in the future it will become a stronger anthology throughout every page... Despite those niggles, it remains one of the seldom few original and quality UK Underground Comix out there. Check it out!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Review: Frightfeast by Mark K Allen

When this comic arrived in the post for me to review, I hovered over the envelope and froze, sensing a putrifying evil presence within....Dare I open this unholy Pandora's box (or rather, pandora's envelope)?

Of course I bloody did! ...First thing to assault my eyes was the psychedelic carnage that is the front cover; a warning to the faint of heart of just some of the twisted madness that lies within..."SLEAZE, GORE...NOTHIN' MORE!...SIGHTS SO HORRIBLE, YOU'LL HAVE FRIGHTMARES!".

I tentatively opened the book and was immediately greeted with maggot-ridden dementia; the narrating character is introduced; huddled by the bins of an alley, injecting substances into his rotten, pustule ridden flesh, recounting his past of the teacher who threw flaming shit at his face, and his cannibal parents who he blames for his own ghoulish behaviour...
He confides that his drug-addled psychotic mind is so twisted, that his body has rejected it, and a second brain has grown in his arse for the sole purpose of kicking himself in the head.... The story then morphs into another nightmare scenario; is this a drug hallucination of the narrator's fevered mind, or is he awakening from a nightmare into an even darker reality?...

The comic has now gone into the world of 70's exploitation horrors and 80's video nasties - the familiar terrain of the gorehound. A nazi scientist is conducting inhuman experiments on a tropical island somewhere; creating bloodthirsty zombies and hideous mutants to serve his twisted will. He sends his thug subordinates to look for fresh 'samples' as he has almost exhausted his supply of playthings

On another part of the island, a group of not very bright film makers and actors have arrived to make a movie, not realising the danger they are walking into...
Well, you don't have to be a rocket scientist (or a nazi one) to figure out what's on the cards....But who will survive the carnage, and what will happen when the scientist's creations develop a will of their own, and mutate in ways their creator could have never imagined?

Frightfeast is like going on a coach tour of gleeful sickness with a bunch of intoxicated cenobites; You'll either be in heaven or in hell, depending on your tastes.

For those of you who prefer complex, multi-layered stories, character development, high brow subtleties, and the serious, atmospheric build up approach to horror, then this probably won't be for you.

For those however who prefer to wade right in, enjoying all things splatter and the wantonly graphic, whose minds have been warped from many a late night orgy of shlocky, violent celluloid gorefest; then this will DEFINATELY be your cup of (bloody) tea.

Me, I like both (depending on my mood) and to my mind, the comic can be enjoyed on the level of visual experience and pitch-black humour alone. At moments it's disturbing and the next knowingly OTT and absurd; giving a knowing wink to the genre fans it is made for. It's almost like Allen's possessed, desensitised mind is not really concerned with a traditional plot, but rather exorcising itself onto the page, spewing up every gruesome influence that has crept it's way in there, mutating, and adding to a collage of warped and savage creativity which certainly has a morbid fascination to it.

Mark has an edgy and interesting art style; pages are often montages which have a natural fluidity and dynamism to them, and great use of contrast and motion.

There are references to the more obscure Italian and Grindhouse horrors, to classics like The Thing, Cannibal Holocaust, I Drink Your Blood, Evil Dead and Hellraiser II, with the humour of early Peter Jackson (Bad Taste/ Braindead) in places. Plus there's a nice little 'reality check' and twist at the end.

If you think you can stomach Frighfeast, then email Mark at Sweet dreams!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

What? You say you don't read Underground Comix anymore? WELL 'FHA Q!!!' (FHA Q #1-3 by John Orlando)

So, I was hoping to review issues #1 & 2, of John Orlando's 'FHA Q'; (a quality looking contemporary U.S Underground Comix), but it looks like the copies he sent over from the states got lost somewhere in transit.

Well, I hope SOMEONE, somewhere is having a bloody good read of them anyway!

Having seen numerous panels and teaser strips online for the book, I can honestly say that FHA-Q looks to not only keep the tradition of the U.S Underground comic alive and well, but it also reflects the tone of great satirical comics like MAD and Humbug, bringing them up to date for today's hectic and crazy world.

The warped tone of themes and characters includes all kinds of sympathetic freaks, misanthropes, weirdos, eccentric geniuses, curvaceous women, swipes at corporate greed (vs the everyman), the recession, life on the street, and scenarios that mix the modern world with slightly surreal goings on.

John has also promoted the comic by showing lots of the fake advertisments and reader testimonies that lampoon the consumerist society in which we live.

No one seems safe from being caught in the crosshairs and trapped inside the panels by Orlando's pen:

From what I've seen so far, anyone and everyone from art critics, pretentious intellectuals, the self obsessed and greedy, to those who angrily attack things they don't understand, to judgemental misanthropes and the terminally humourless.

At the time of writing this, issue #3 has just come back from the press and is available to buy along with the other two issues.

You can buy any of the three issues individually, or as part of a triple issue deal from JGM comics online:

Be warned however, as Orlando states in his own disclaimers; reading it can bring about all kinds of weird side effects, maladjustments, or warp your mind for good!...

Monday, 21 May 2012

Animation: "The External World" by David OReilly

What can I say? This is one of the best animations I've seen. I'd seen Oreilly's previous animation 'Please Say Something' which was also very good, but this, to me, is outstanding. I've watched it 3 times and it just confirms it's brilliance on each view (to me anyway). The voice artists include Julian Barratt & Adam Buxton (if anyone's interested).

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Review: Kiahan (A Tale Of Migration) by Carrie MacKinnon

Kiahan is a harrowing and informative tale about a 14 year old boy, who the comic is named after and based on.

Carrie met him in a detention camp in Calais; a place of squalid conditions, lacking in basic human rights. The comic is based on Kiahan and his brother's story along with other real testimonies and experiences of other migrant 'refugees and asylum seekers' who Carrie met.

Kiahan was born in Afghanistan, but when his father was killed by the Taliban, he and his brother fled the country and the comic chronicles their journey and attempt to make their way to the UK for asylum.

The comic highlights the exploitative people-smuggling trade, where Kiahan and his brother spend all their money to be packed into a truck with others and smuggled into countries that don’t want them, and the dangers of deportation, beatings or death that they face on the way.

When they reach Calais, Kiahan and his brother Amir try to claim asylum, but are separated when the authorities don't believe Amir is 17, and he is segregated with the adults into a different part of the camp.

It is here that the story is interrupted by a two page segment that uses quotes from those living in the terrible conditions in the camps, interspersed around Carrie's evocative and slightly surreal art which was inspired by the quote; "it was like dipping your toe in an enormous pool of lost people":

When Kiahan and Amir finally are allowed into the UK to live with a foster family; we then also see the prejudice they are subjected to in British society. The comic also conveys Kiahan's wish to not be pitied by others; he and his brother want to learn english, fit in, work and be a useful members of society. Without giving too much away, the story ends on an ambigous note.

Interspaced between the comic pages are text pieces that range from reports on the Calais shantytowns where Kiahan lived, to more general pieces of information on refugees, detention centres, and the 'No Borders' group; to whom Carrie is affiliated.

I found this to be a very moving and passionate work; both informative and personal. Carrie's use of subtle water-colour like shading adds a subtlety and mood to the art.

There are website addresses and contact information for a lot of different support groups involved with refugees in the book too, should you be inspired to get involved.

The comic is only £1 (+postage which is only 50p in the UK!). All the proceeds of the zine go to the 'No Borders' campaign.

You can get it via here

 Also here is a link to those who want to learn more about the issues and lend support:

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Review: The Lengths 1-3 by Howard Hardiman

So I've read the first 3 issues (of what is to be an 8-issue series) of Howard Hardiman's excellent 'The Lengths', looking at the murky world of male prostitution through the eyes and experiences of the protagonist, Eddie, and the people who he meets and interacts with, all within the setting of London.

Although using anthropomorphic dog-men to portray characters in a very gritty and real world may seem like an initially somewhat bizarre concept, it actually works extremely well in telling the story (in the way that Spiegelman's 'Maus' did); it is never gimmicky, and it adds symbolism and added character to the work.

It’s a story which has a foundation in real life – Howard interviewed several male escorts a while ago, and has incorporated much of what he learnt about during that time, as well as putting much of himself into the fictional lead character's personality; which gives the work a very personal, involved and authentic feel.

The comic explores and narrates Eddie's double life; he's an art school dropout, moving between jobs, looking for love and possibly a relationship, but he also has his secretive alter-ego of 'Ford'; a male prostitute, who has learnt to hustle and sell his body for cash.
Through clever use of flashbacks, and a slightly disjointed layering of the story (initially a little disorientating, but which 'clicks' pretty quickly), we see glimpses of Eddie's past and present, travelling through his thoughts and memories and his two separate, yet gradually intertwining lives.

It becomes apparent in the first issue, that Eddie is conflicted in many ways, including by who he is attracted to. At the beginning of the story, Eddie (under his alias of 'Ford') sits overlooking the Thames with Nelson; a butch and athletic fellow-escort, whom he's somewhat besotted with. Nelson comes across as unattainable and closed, yet Ford still sees him as ideal. This intro to the tale immediately sets a moody atmosphere, with Ford somberly huddled on the ground, his feelings unrequited as the abrupt Nelson coolly walks off into the night.

The story then jumps forward, to Eddie's regular life, and what looks like the beginnings of a passionate yet potentially secure, loving, relationship with 'Dan'; an amiable, intelligent and affectionate fellow geek, who he befriended years before at art college. Eddie feels confused after spending the night with his long-time friend, who it now seems, could well be his lover. He's ashamed of his secret life, and of himself, and afraid of telling Dan the truth. As he ventures off to meet a client, he questions if he's cut out for, or deserves a relationship, and we also see, he's still not hung-up his obsession with Nelson.

We are then taken back to Eddie's memories of his previous relationship with ex-boyfriend James. It's around that time that Eddie is approached in his gym by a stranger to model for one of the more 'arty' gay porn mags, and the seeds are being sewn - the initial step that will lead Eddie towards exploring prostitution. This is then juxtaposed with his frustrations with his life, and secretive, guilty behaviour, which results on him taking things out on James, who is portrayed as a sympathetic, understanding and patient character.

Eddie, it becomes clear is a flawed and damaged person, but very human. You get the sense of Eddie's appreciation of those who show him love, his vulnerability, of wanting to do the right thing; but his weakness and addiction to the material trappings of his trade draw him back in. As a result, you experience his head-trips, conflicts and isolation, of feeling hollow as he wanders around the cold and distant london backdrops, as he goes from love, into the world of those who just want him for sex.

As the story progressed, I also became aware of how Eddie becomes 'Ford' to escape reality when his relationships come on strong, and there are also increasing subtle indications that 'Ford's' life is also linked with increasing drug use. We also see how the mess, guilt and secrets, are spilling out over into Eddie's life and mind and adding to his problems, making him more evasive and insecure.

As the pieces of the story fit together, it seems like only a matter of time before the walls between his two lives (which he tries to keep apart like his two separate phones), will come crashing down.

There is the feeling that Eddie/ Ford is walking a tightrope. I think it's the art that really helps create this uneasy feeling with it's atmosphere and its often stark and heavy contrast of light and shadow, which still retains sensitivity and warmth through it's linework. And the artwork, by the way, is improving each issue.

The scene in issue 1 where a younger and more naive Dan & Eddie visit a male brothel to find out whether or not Eddie should get work there, was for me, the darkest moment so far. The silent, seemingly emaciated and drug-addicted young men pose and lie around in the background, whilst the 'top dog' heavy of the establishment who is clearly an unpleasant character, exploiting and pimping the boys (who are all younger than Eddie) is shown in a slightly absurd, yet disturbingly effective way.

It's also worth mentioning, that this isn't a 'thoroughly depressing' piece at all. The dialogue is snappy, there's wit and comic relief throughout. There are genuinely warm and likeable characters, such as Dan and his ex-boyfriend Krys, James and also Eddie too; who although messed up, retains a dark sense of humour, self-deprecation, and irony throughout the 3 issues I've read. It's this balance with the darker undercurrents that really make it work, and Howard writes the lead character's narrative so well, that you often feel like you're in his head.

This series already feels like the first 3 chapters of a graphic novel; one which has a controlled and considered method of storytelling, yet which unfurls at an engaging pace, with an interesting visual style. It deserves to get picked up by a publisher, and seen by a wider audience, but in the meantime, you can get it here:

Friday, 11 May 2012

Review: JB's Comicstories #1 by JB

We have a bizarre, darkly funny, bold and unnerving little comic here by the mysterious 'JB', once more coming from Canadian Underground Comix Smut Peddlers; 'The Comix Company'.

Subtitled "Traumatism.vid"; The comic explores the murkier side of internet pornography, in particular, the more extreme aspects of live-feed webcam videos.

The star of the comic is 'Louiese Diseasy' accompanied by her ghostly yet loyal little friend 'Weesy'. Louiese is somewhat of an internet celebrity for her no-holds-barred (or should that be holes?) solo amateur sex videos which attract 1000's of viewers every evening. Louiese considers herself an empowered artist of the adult sex cam, earning money and having a 'wishlist' of gifts that her voyeuristic admirers buy for her.

Enter the not quite so popular 'Little Baby Teef'. LBT as he is known on the internet, is a troubled and isolated chap who lives in his mother's cellar and has just spent his last bit of internet creds buying a special anniversary DVD edition of 'Nightmare Before Christmas' for Louiese (from her wish list).

To make ends meet and fuel his porn-addiction/ obsession with Louiese, LBT has a pay-per-view webcam portal of his own; a much darker and masochistic affair, where he uses every extreme BDSM method at his disposal (which is thankfully mostly left to the imagination), torturing himself (or more specifically, his genitals) for money.

Far from being repulsed by his actions, Louiese considers him the ultimate freaky artist and showman for whom she has the upmost respect."What a monster!" she declares.

Soon, after, LBT goes out in his van to get some food and happens to recognise Louiese going into the same takeaway place with weesy. Too maladjusted and over-excited to just go up and speak to her, LBT instead kidnaps her off the street, leaving the stricken Weesy behind.

Louiese is not a bit phased, thinking that her abduction and blindfolding is a planned kidnapped fantasy gone wrong. "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING TREVOR, I TOLD YOU FRIDAY!!!". After removing her blindfold and realising that it's not Trevor,  instead seeing the sweaty ski-mask wearing pervert who tries to reassure her that he's her 'number one fan', Louiese then knocks seven shades of shit out of her captor, before exposing his genitals, which she then recognises from LBT's masochist-cam.

The two decide to team-up and shake up the online sex world, "together we'll stir emotions and reveal brutal, basic human truths" declares Little Baby Teef, like some nerdy little Marquis De Sade.

For well over half of the rest of the book, Weesy the ghost searches for Louiese utilising a human host, whilst LBT and Miss Diseasy go on an even more twisted and imaginative odyssey together, garnering interest from all over the internet, which builds, in ways they had not predicted, to a tragi-comic finale, where calamity strikes, then everyone gets what they want...err, kind of.

Now, this may just sound like an abject lesson in how far human kicks can go, and in many ways it is. The comic, it seems, satirises and comments on extreme sexual fetishes, voyeurism, self-abuse, as well as the 'trollishness' and shallow behaviour of many on the internet; the modern trait of 'viral' videos, where for many, everything is entertainment to be laughed at, sneered at and shared.

Internet anonymity and privacy (or lack of) plays a part in the story, as does loneliness, taking oneself too seriously, exhibitionism, public ridicule, self loathing, and self-mutilation.

There's also a good balance/ representation between the two BDSM 'freaks' of the tale; Louiese comes across as sexually liberated, pretty well-adjusted (if just as full-on) and fairly sound of mind, whilst LBT represents someone who is pretty disturbed, yet pitiful, with many hang-ups.

How much you read into this comic is up to you. At it's core is a black comedy in underground comix mould, but even at the end, the punchline says a lot about how messed up people can be. It also felt like, to my mind, that along with the absurdishness, grossness and humour, it was also somewhat critical of those who judge, ridicule and bully those who are different, just as it was a cartoonish exploration of the extremities of sado-masochism and self-martyrdom...I found it a refreshingly different read, and a very original idea.

JB also has to be commended on his art style; both the colour cover and his black and white line art look really nice, with a natural fluidity throughout the pages....You can buy the comic for $4 here. Don't torture yourself, just buy a copy!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

For Kelly Thomas...Untitled Piece by Michael Em

Artist Michael Em, made this piece after listening to the audio of the police beating and tazering Kelly Thomas, a mentally-troubled, homeless and unarmed man, to death.  As they beat him, Kelly cried out, saying he was sorry, and later screaming "help me" and screaming for his Dad.

I've seen the video myself and it's easy to see that it was an unprovoked attack. The two cops who were there initially intimidated and bullied Thomas, then brutalised him, before being joined by others who tazered and jumped on him like a gang of thugs.
And the way they all reacted afterwards was so matter of fact, like it was all just so routine.

I thought this was a superb piece of art, and very moving and fitting. RIP Kelly Thomas


I had to share this trailer. It looks a wonderfully cheesy 60's creature-feature B-movie, enhanced by the narrator's accentuation; "the Greeeeeen slime!". Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, the song kicks in at the end. Fantastiche! (P.S: I've noticed that the blog cuts off part of the video screen, so you might want to click on the youtube link at the top of the viewer to see it in it's unadulterated glory!)

....Amd here's that groovin', haemorrhoid poppin', acid-rock space-ditty in all it's glory:

Sunday, 29 April 2012

REVIEW: Hot Little Cut #1 by Carrie Q Contrary

So begins the first of several reviews I'll be doing over the next couple of months, of various salacious, kinky, sex-orientated comix from Dexter Cockburn's 'The Comix Company' in Canada.

Dexter and his band of merry perverts are regularly cracking-out comix like no-ones business, getting their creative juices (and libidos) flowing and stimulating their imaginations before getting right down to it; beavering away before the next 'release'.

It's good to see a comix publisher that has not only kept the torch burning for the uncensorred delights of the Underground of yore, but is releasing new and progressive variations on the adult, sleaze and humour sex-comic genre, and breathing new life into an often ignored/ avoided area of comics by the more prudish.

I kind of like that 'Dexter Cockburn' and Miss 'Contrary' are using pseudonyms; the names are not only amusing, but also tacitly imply that their work is going to be naughty, underground and explicit enough to warrant aliases from which to peddle their filth under.

And so, without further ado; our premier comix exhibitionist show of the evening, is Carrie Q. Contrary's 'Hot Little Cut' #1; a 32 page comic made up of 3 different stories and a couple of one page illustrations.

The first story 'Attack Of The Giant Libido', is a fun fantasy strip which is part 'Attack Of The 50 ft Woman' and part 'Gulliver's Travels', put in a sex-crazed horny blender. Having no luck satisfying her cravings herself, our protagonist ventures off into the outside world; where she continues to grow, more and more, just like her out of control sex-drive.

Pretty soon, she finds a suitable male specimen and picks him up, but unlike the usual creature-feature victims, he seems to be only a slightly shocked, but more aroused, and quite willing to endure whatever is in store for him.

As can be seen from the page above, she has a novel yet functional use for her tiny lover, as he squirms around inside her. After a literally earth-moving climax (that would put Godzilla to shame), suddenly a whole host of frenzied, horny guys want in on the sexy lady theme park, and so the story becomes a kind of pornographic Gulliver's travels.

Whilst Milo Manara did a very beautifully drawn version of a Giant 'Gullivera' back in the day, his version seemed a little too controlled, posed, and almost voyeuristically clean-cut. Carrie's version uses quick brush strokes, and moves quickly and more urgently, as though she herself is getting swept away with the fantasy, which seems more flowing and 'down 'n' dirty' as things gush, shudder and explode throughout the panels. I won't give much else away on this one, other than it's a good-humoured, raunchy fantasy comic.

'Time For A Bath' is a humourous one-page filler comic, all about Carrie getting carried away in the bath tub.

'Shameless' is a longer strip, the first part of a to-be- continued autobiographical comic. Part memoir, part confessional, the story starts by taking us through Carrie's earliest sexual awakenings; of discovering and exploring her body in different ways.

I found this the most unique of the three stories, as well as the most honest and personal. Told in a straight-forward style, in a fairly minimalist way, the strip recalls, balances, juxtaposes and subtly blends all the unashamed, innocent curiosity of childhood, and the more secretive and increasingly self-aware world of burgeoning sexuality and pleasure. Probably not the easiest thing to pull off for a lot of people, but Carrie does it naturally and with aplomb.

This feels like a more mature and thought-provoking work to me (don't get me wrong though, humourous fantasy and titillation is just as valid) which illuminates an area which is seldom talked about, and is generally seen as more taboo for women to discuss it seems, or at least not as readily seen and heard. For instance, we've seen the likes of Robert Crumb and Chester Brown sharing their early sexual experiences in their autobio comic work, but there are very few female cartoonists (to my knowledge) who have given similar insights.

Also worth a mention are the illustrations. As well as the 'tuff girl' cover, we have 'My Little Porno'; a send up of the popular toy franchise (lets hope Hasbro don't get wind of it!), and an amusing and nicely drawn colour pin-up style bit of debauchery on the back:

You can buy 'Hot Little Cut' for only $4 (+ shipping) along with lots of other weird, wonderful and depraved comics at the Comix Company website.

I've still got a little space to use up here, so I will bid you good day, and watch out for more Comix Company reviews, along with many other Underground and Alternative Comix reviews in the very near future!

As The Cramps said; "STAY SICK!" ;)

Laters Alligators!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Sweet Surrender!

Just heard this beautiful track from Brighton (UK) Reggae/ Roots band 'The Resonators'...And it's lovely. You can get it on download, or if you're old school and still use vinyl, it's also available as a  limited 7", both can be found on their bandcamp site. I don't usually plug music on this blog, but this is a local band and I really like the track!

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Benjamin Marra's "TALES OF THE CAT-MASTER"!

One of the most hilarious and bizarre comix I've read in recent years! A great parody of 80's fantasy film & musclebound lummoxes. Not much more I should add really other than that! See for yourself:

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Review: Anapest: The Minicomic by David Chelsea & Chad Essley

So it's been a while since I did any reviews. I've decided to give myself a kick up the arse, as I have a growing pile of very good comics to get through! Expect more regular reviews from now on.

So, first up is "Anapest: The Minicomic" which is a nice large format 12 page full colour mini, which uses rhyming verse to tell all of it's stories.

David Chelsea isn't a stranger to me, having previously read his "Welcome To The Zone"; the brilliant satirical and surreal alternative/ underground graphic novel he created in the '90s.
Anapest has 3 small strips written and drawn by Chelsea, and a longer strip written by him and drawn by the talented Chad Essley, which I'll start with first.

"Chastity Blasé" tells the story of a pious and self righteous fundamentalist christian virgin who appears at a University to lecture the students on the virtues of celibacy and the perils and damnations of the lustful sinner. During her speech however, an accident occurs which cuts her short.

The comic is not only a satirical swipe at the religious right, and somewhat of a poetic justice-type fantasy, but it also looks at the self-denial and repressed anger of the devoutly pious, and what it means for someone who has veen virtuous in the hope of an afterlife, to suddenly realise that they've been cheated. I thought this was a nice idea and a funny strip.

The first of David's solo strips is a spoof of old superhero comics (particularly the old 1940's and '50's style serials) with damsons in distress, a dastardly villain, and the cliff-hanger where the hero teeters on the brink of oblivion. In this instance however, the hero is 'Kangaroo Boy'; a rediculous costumed marsupial. The artwork is beautiful and the colouring is similar to old fashioned comics printed on yellowed paper. A nice light-hearted jaunt, but my least favourite of the comic in terms of ideas and storytelling.

 "The Christmas Story" involves the Grinch hijacking Santa's "Wayback" machine, and going back in time to eliminate christmas. After being alerted by his elves of this fiendish plan, Santa persues the Grinch and bumps into Mary, who has had a change of heart about it all.

I won't spoil the ending, but it's got a funny punchline/ payoff.

Finally, another genre spoof; this time Chelsea satirises the stereotypical staple of autobiographical comics; a single 30-something, porn obsessed slacker who writes confessional comics whilst working in a comic store.

I thought this was a very clever send up, and instantly reminded me of a couple of autobio comics I'd previously read:

Nod of the head to Dan Cottle too, for doing a nice job with the colouring on this one.

Overall, I thought this was a very enjoyable mini, and nicely produced, my only qualm is that it could have had more strips in it, as it was a very quick read.

But then, it is a mini-comic, and as such, contains a lot more effort than most!

The artists can be contacted at: