Let's get organized.

*Ok, first things first: where the hell did The X-Axis go?!?! I'm already feeling withdrawal sickness. UPDATE 8/2: Ah, it's back and here's the explanation. Withdrawal symptoms receding. Of course that may have been due to all the sweet crisp methadone I took...

*I've decided to provide a roundup of all of my week's reviews for easy access each Sunday, since I've come to realize that I'm quickly approaching the point where I won't be able to find anything in the archives given my habit of tagging silly names onto everything. So, without further delay:


Seaguy #1-3

normalman Twentieth Anniversary Special (plus Sock Monkey and Cerebus rambling)

RabbitHead by Rebecca Dart + Boys and Yeast Hoist by Ron Rege Jr.

Planetary #20

Bannock, Beans, and Black Tea by John C. Gallant and Seth

Apocalypse Meow by Motofumi Kobayashi + Scrapbook by Adrian Tomine

Hopefully this will make finding stuff much easier as I continue to add more content!

*I've been reading bits and pieces of "Amy and Jordan" by Mark Beyer each night before I drift off to sleep, like some would read passages from their favorite religious texts. It's a deluxe Pantheon collection of Beyer's 1988-1996 weekly strip for the New York Press, sporting one of Chip Kidd's stranger designs: it's basically a softcover book with the back cover glued to a hardcover shell, which wraps around the front of the softcover. As a result, the book constantly feels like it's going to fall to pieces, since the fake hardcover 'spine' is not actually attached to the book itself. It matches the shaky feel of the book's art, with the gags often taking place in teeny tiny panels-within-panels inside some geometric page design. But it's damn funny stuff, with many of the jokes revolving around urban rot, emotional despair, and general spiritual defeat.


Well I think it's funny. I just can't resist lines like "I’ll eat this sandwich. It is composed of bacon lettuce and my enemies." And there's just something magic about Beyer's wobbly, almost childlike character designs wandering through their totally malevolent universe that makes me chuckle with terrible joy. I've seen tons of copies sitting in big chain bookstores, so you should give it a flip-through. Read a few strips.

Metal Hurlant #12

Having disposed of the tedious "Megalex" last issue, DC/Humanoids' anthology book already seems more lively, and it's still a great value: 64 full-color pages for $3.95. Indeed, the only real weak point of this issue is the latest chapter of Stefano Raffaele's zombie epic, "Fragile". And even that's not too bad; it looks neat, and I enjoy the look of the story's heroic young lovers, but the story just isn't very compelling. The other zombie serial, Jerry Frissen and Guy Davis' "The Zombies That Ate the World" is still quite fun, aided by the fact that it's not a larger book cut into slices but a series of stand-alone stories that add up to a bigger picture quite nicely. The plot at the heart of this installment is a bit dodgy (wouldn't the current situation in the story's world maybe change the way certain death-based legal mechanisms operate?) but the scrip is lively, the cast vibrant (if not always likable), and Davis' art is always a pleasure.

The cover story (and quite an eye-catching cover it is!) by the "Teenagers From Mars" team of Rick Spears and Rob G. is just the sort of thing that "Metal Hurlant" ought to be bringing to the wonderful world of Big Company comics: it's nothing more than a horribly maimed soldier wandering around the battlefield and observing all manner of strange scenes. No plot, sparse dialogue, extremely graphic, yet darkly humorous in spots. An effective experiment in mostly visual storytelling. Also concerning war but on a more plot-driven note, "A Son for a Son" offers elaborate revenge set in the Crusades. Kurt McClung's script slyly pits religious honor against parental love, and Das Pastoras' Corbenesque art continues to impress (he last popped up in issue #1). I may have to pick up his "Deicide" book, up for re-release later this month.

Ah, but it was Jodorowsky's obligatory lead-off story, "Tears of Gold", that really worked for me this time. It's sick, cruel, violent, tasteless, deeply cynical, and as subtle as a buzzsaw across the eyes, but I'm still dwelling on it. A young boy discovers that he has the power to weep tears of gold. This drives his impoverished family into a fit of greed, as they resort to beatings to extract the valuable fluids. The boy grows to enjoy pain, so they begin torturing and killing all of his beloved pets. Soon the boy's sense of empathy withers, and they move on to psychological abuse, personal threats, and finally, dear readers, enlightenment as to the horrible absurdities of the human condition itself. And then his powers begin to change, but I'll say no more. Ladronn, artist and co-writer behind the fun, if ultra-slow "Hip Flask" (two issues, 32 and 36 pages each, have been released in two years) contributes a lush cartoon look, with a great feel for the surreal, like a giant nattily-dressed aristocrat marching through the slums with a massive wedding cake.

All in all, a very good issue.