Thursday, February 24, 2011

now a word from our sponsors...

I like the onamonapia for hitting a gold ball is ZAP.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Leftover Comics

Brute Force #1
Just take a moment and look at that cover. who could pass up a dolphin in a land-walking suit holding an uzi for 25 cents?
I sure as shit couldn't pass this up when i saw it in the quarter bin at Fat Jacks

We start things off with a bang in Brute Force, with a group of clown terrorists breaking into the lab of Dr. Pierce! In the middle of a delicate operation at that!
These clowns then successfully kidnap the gorilla patient for a mysterious reason...
the pace of this comic is incredibly fast, so much so that it seems almost like a spoof of itself. The above panels set the plot up, his son comes into the room eating a Tastee Burger and the clown mascot were the same clowns that kidnapped his gorilla, put into account that tastee burger is owned by the evil Flex corporation that burns down rain forests, that means thats were the gorilla must be! DUH, how simple!
Dr. Pierce is a doctor in Cyborg Robotics. The gorilla they stole has a special suit that makes him smart and super strong...he also has a bunch of other animals laying around the lab....

His son made the obvious opinion of telling his the doc to suit up the rest of his animals and go in search of the gorilla in an unnamed rainforest!

The animals may have special abilities in their new cyborg outfits but they are still a bunch of stupid animals, and they seem to be constantly throwing deadpan humor at you like the one above, with the perfect rolling of the eyes and sighing panel.

First read that panel out of context.

Once the newly formed BRUTE FORCE lands in the amazon rainforest the kangaroo who was just happening to be sticking his head out the window, wearing his stylin ray-bans and rocking out to his walkman, sees the gorilla being taken away by evil military looking men. c'mon BRUTE FORCE! everyone out of the plane and get them!

OOPS! oh BRUTE FORCE, your nothing but a bunch of dumb animals! you can't give a dolphin legs! let alone an uzi! no where in this issue do they explain how the doctor trained the animals in proper weapons use.


BRUTE FORCE ends up beating down a bunch of mercenaries at the airport but they still manage to elude the rescue of there gorilla comrade!
somehow and without explanation BRUTE FORCE then have there own personalized vehicles for the chase to save the gorilla!

above is another example of the deadpan humor sprinkled throughout BRUTE FORCE, the dolphin comes up with the perfect plan just to have the eagle tell him he's wrong and that he's the leader who should make plans, he then repeats the same exact plan the dolphin rolls his eyes and says 'BRILLIANT.'

They then try to save the gorilla, who instead doesn't want to be saved and fights them, above is a great LAZER EYE panel.
The gorilla then gets taken away again, BRUTE FORCE FAIL.
Where is the gorilla being taken too??

OH SHIT! ITS THE MORE EVIL MULTI-CORP THATS IN CHARGE! and whats that? they're putting together there own cyborg-animal team?? HOLY SHIT! As many plot-holes, continuity errors, cheesy jokes and dialog this comic has, it does its job and make me want to pick up the next issue! look at the Octopus with tank wheels! and a shark with razor-blade wheels!! A CYBORG TEAM OF ANIMALS NAMED HEAVY METAL! FUCK YEAH!!

Next up:

Heavy Hitters- LAW DOG #2

That cover reminds me of something Bald Eagles would come up with, just a complete BADASSSS, don't give a fuck, big guns and grenades, 5 oclock shadow, big as fuck, vein bulging, chain wearing, MOTHERFUCKER
give notice to the butcher knife sticking out of his leg.

and thats exactly what LAWDOG is. He's also a dimension-hopping cop of some sorts. In this dimension, a slutty blond is being sacrificed to a gigantic million mouthed demon monster by an even bigger gang of devil worshipers.
LAWDOG teams up with his own gang of CHRISTIAN WORSHIPERS.

He just jumps right in shooting, at first glance it looked to me like his cock was a giant gun which would make this comic all the more better.
While LAWDOG kills all the satanist he send his Christian soldiers to save the damsel in distress.

LAWDOG then shoots some more, fucking more shit up, and ends up stealing a giant crane, packs it with an explosive and...

we get a big-ass-explosion splash page!
It looks completely abstract if you don't know thats an exploding monster your looking at.

LAWDOG Then finds a highway to another dimension INSIDE the monster they just blew up. Ya'see LAWDOG roams from dimension to dimension, keeping things in line, and only he can see the DIMENSIONAL HIGHWAY.

He can't control what dimension he goes too, unfortunately he ends up in a dimension with disgusting flying monster things that spit acid on his car. he luckily drives off a cliff that of course is a DIMENSIONAL HIGHWAY he can only see. So if LAWDOG is some sort of nomadic dimensional peacekeeper, what dimension is he from?

yeah hes a lone anti-hero alright.
they seem to be in a 'normal' dimension now right? lets go grab something to eat and see whats up.

oh shit, NAZIS.
yeah this is the world where NAZIS rule the WORLD.
let's just kick some ass and get out of here alright?

UH OH. Another awesome last page that makes me crave some more! he's going to fight a giant nazi robot death machine! LAWDOG!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

now a word from out sponsors...

A) Who was supposed to have written that note in panel one?? did the F4 Just find it pinned to there door? was it DOOM??
B) Mr. Fantastic should be smart enough not to use a calculator, or at least have a cooler futuristic looking one
C) Johnny Storm would burn the comic he is reading
D) That child (Sue and Reed's kid, i forget his name) is entirely too young to even know how to read

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Fine Mess

My fiance picked up this book on one of her vintage trips.  It's basically retellings of Laurel and Hardy movies.  Essentially, they're photo comics:

But, I found it interesting the way the author laid out the pages.  Seems like someone from a film or photography background would keep the layouts simple as in the image above (though it does make use of "bleeds").  I found it remarkable though that the author laid out the pages using various comic-like lay outs.  

I'd be surprised if the author wasn't informed by comic layouts.  It's what keeps the book interesting visually.  

In this photo you can see that there isn't much in the way of dialogue or description so the varying page layouts really aid the storytelling.  

More photos:

Friday, February 4, 2011


Thanks to the wonders of the Amazon Wish List I managed to score a mother load of great comics over the holidays, POWR MASTRS 3 was the first one I wanted to read. Christopher Forgues, otherwise known as the enigmatic CF in comics circles first launched POWR MASTRS in 2007 as a now (almost) annual series of graphic novellas. Each volume is a little over 100 pages and features a day glow flexi-bound cover with foil stamped graphics. The cover design is consistent from volume to volume with only the color scheme and volume number changing on the front cover, and a selection of interior artwork featured on the back (also foil stamped.) The sleek exterior design serves as contrast to CF's trademark raw interiors which feature experiments with xerography, white-out and erasure marks, and craftily though seemingly semi-rendered pencil line. Although it was the first thing in the stack I read it somewhat left me scratching my head. This volume was different, more narratively abstract and decompressed then my memories of the first two. I didn't know quite what to make of it so I decided to reread the first two volumes for narrative and structural context.
For those of you not familiar with the series I'll try to provide a quick rundown. POWR MASTRS takes place in a world called New China. For the most part New China is a place out of time with elements of sword & sorcery fantasy alongside those of techno-science fiction. There are overtones of conceptual art mysticism throughout and the general social architecture of New China is completely mysterious and seemingly chaotic. Fetishistic sexuality is a major theme throughout all the volumes, something that CF blends seamlessly with magic and mystery of POWR MASTRS. The characters within are more like forces of nature or emotional avatars, gods almost, wandering through New China on their own schedules possessed of their own devices. The first character you meet is Subra Ptareo, a young masked adventurer who finds himself seemingly lost on a quest he only vaguely understands. The masked nature of this character creates the perfect subjective vessel for the reader to place his or herself into, so it's a useful character to encounter first. POWR MASTRS 1 launches a lot of narrative ships, at least five give or take. These threads interact slightly but not much narrative progress is made despite the relative high density of the first issue. In POWR MASTRS 2 CF begins a process of decompression that may have left some of the more traditionally minded readers unsatisfied. There isn't much progress in narrative either and it leads one to wonder if CF ever intends for there to be. A few new characters are introduced in volume 2, including Steven, an agent of chaos who first appears in KRAMER ERGOT 6. On an visual note we are also introduced to full-color sequences that feature CF's beautiful watercolors, a welcome addition to the otherwise clean, stark line.
Volume 3 opens with the introduction of Bashton Riyder, a racer charged with the task of cross-polinating the flora of New China. Vegetation and natural wonder is another visual theme that can be found in all three volumes, New China being presented as a wild, Eden-like realm underscoring the inherent sexuality of the work. The Bashton Riyder sequence immediately reminded me of a famous sequence from Moebius' ARZAK where a lone character races across a desert landscape to begin the story. It's a nice way to re-enter the world, like being shot into orbit. Moebius, and now CF, are masters of fantasy and ask us dive in head first with no promise of safe waters. I could write a whole essay on the parallels between these two artists but I'll leave that for another time.

The story abruptly shifts from blistering speed to total stasis as we return to the character Jim Bored. Jim Bored is a man who lives in a hole in the floor. He's introduced in volume 1 and used throughout as a humorous framing device with only witty word balloons escaping from his personal void. The sequence begins with an almost abstract exploration of the pure space of Jim Bored lair. The architectural sequences are almost reminiscent of the experimental strips of Blaise Larmee, an artist that is often compared with CF. Each volume of POWR MASTRS opens with a vague warning shot from the author and in this volume the words "I SEE YOU PEOPLE TRY TO BITE MY WORK - DISSAPOINTING - FOLLOW YOUR OWN STAR!" is inscribe on the TOC page, surely a reference to the controversial blog post Larmee wrote about CF's influence recently, which CF directly addresses as well in his interview for TAFFY HIPS #8. It's an interesting subtext throughout the volume with CF raising the spectre of the polemic surrounding his work, even more so considering how formalistically adventurous POWR MASTRS 3 is compared to the previous volumes.
CF seemingly takes us on a guided journey through his own stylistic spectrum in the sequences titled "Rhino's Antique Gravity Gun" and "The Seal Breaker's Ice Box!", both presented as "Jim Bored's Fantasy Classics". In these sequences CF uses Jim Bored to recount his reminiscences of entertainment which are presented as full-color episodes featuring the stripped-down naive style of CF's early work such as his KRAMER ERGOT 4 strip. It's a jarring contrast both visually and narratively compared with the fully evolved figure drawing of the main sequences in which CF almost resembles Steve Rude in economy and natural comics simplicity. The "Jim Bored's Fantasy Classics" sequences aren't the only time he goes completely off the reservation, at one point during a scene featuring Subra Ptareo in a self-confined sweat hut the sequence goes fully abstract in a selection that would fit neatly between the covers of Andrei Molotiu's ABSTRACT COMICS.

There is a third aside later in the volume, this time told from the perspective of Pico, the spritely collector of curiosities who always directly addresses the reader. This time she introduces us to a mechanism that you load with cassettes to experience entertainment, although it's not certain whether or not it's interactive like a Nintendo or passive like a VCR. Either way we are demoed a sequenced titled "Hang Airborg 11" which is highly action packed. It's the first time where the genre subtext of POWR MASTRS comes nakedly to the forefront in a semi-parody of action-adventure comics. The sequence ends with the gruesome disembowelment of Kang the Conquerer's long lost cousin. Oh yeah, let's not forget about the full color bondage and spanking scene in the middle of this volume which hit's all the NSFW high notes. As with volume 2, volume 3 continues the process of narrative decompression which at this point becomes comfortable to the reader. You stop asking yourself where we are going and just sit back and enjoy (although always with a twinge of nausea and arousal in your guts.) If you are to believe the clues in Sammy Harkham edited Simpsons Tree House of Horrors issue there will be at least 2 more volumes of POWR MASTRS and the next one will be yellow. I can't wait to see it.