The planet of comics is a transfixing one.

I was at dinner with some friends the other night, when a strange and meaningful event took place. I was just about to dig into my onion soup when I realized that something was terribly amiss. My mind had wandered back to the prior events of the day, including a recent posting I had made to this very site, in regards to Adrian Tomine’s “Scrapbook”.

I had misidentified the comics section as ‘never before seen’ rather than ‘never before collected’.

I was overcome with an urge to instantly correct the mistake, but what could I do? Rise up in the middle of the meal and declare “Sorry everyone but I need to go rescue my Internet log”? So I sat there and ate and had fun, but scratching at the back of my head was that fucking error. I think it means that I’ve already become invested in this site. And that I’m an obsessive freak. I also open my car door while driving to look back and check that I didn’t leave the gas cap off while filling up. Then, when I ought to be paying attention to pedestrians and small pets, I daydream about garbage. Like I heard some song by some 80’s hair-rock outfit on the radio and I instantly received the mental image of a band doing a photo shoot in the woods. They were spraying aerosol cans everywhere. Some of them were amped up on coke and began carving lewd statements on every tree in sight. But their shameless activities captured the attention of a local woodland monster, and it began extracting terrible vengeance. Finally the wise bandleader and his virtuous groupie love defeated the evil with the Power of Rock. What a sight! I don’t think anybody has defeated anything with the Power of Rock since that Dokken video for “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3”, and even then it was only Freddy; by the end of that series he was getting killed by 3D, or being tricked into climbing into ovens. I want to see some band stop violence in the Middle East by rocking the guns out of their hands.

But I’m afraid the only outside chance of this happening is maybe in “Team America”. Sweet dandy shit that movie looks funny. Just the World Police logo is hilarious (you can glimpse it here in a pic about halfway down the page). I have high hopes…


The Beat has appealed to my innate sense of blogger pride, and roused me from my capricious reverie! Go check out "RabbitHead"! I liked it a lot! Hell, get Sam Henderson's latest 96-page "Magic Whistle #9"! It's got a great tale about the plight of newspaper comic sidekicks. And "Peanut Butter and Jeremey's Best Book Ever!", for all of your cat and bird humor needs! There's bound to be something you'll like.

Rich Johnston, Comics Reviewer

In an extra-special Lying in the Gutters, Rich provides not only rumors, but reviews of a whole lot of stuff he got in San Diego. Here he is on Craig Thompson’s new “Carnet de Voyage”:

Craig Thompson is a mental walking fallout zone, until he gets laid. That's the message I took out of "Carnet De Voyage," the diary written and drawn while travelling across Europe and Asia while promoting "Blankets." And he really does suck you into his self-defeating mindset. More an exploration of himself than the countries he visits, you end up wanting to give him a big hug. Then walking away quickly before he asks you if you'd like a coffee.”

Much more here, including the first reviews I‘ve read on several upcoming titles.

Diamond’s List is out.

Oooooooooh! A new issue of “Sof’ Boy” (#3)! It's been years. Colorful, good clean violent laffs! And I’m sure I’ll wind up springing for “By Bizarre Hands #3”, even if the series hasn’t been that great. Huh. “Flight” isn’t coming this week? That’ll give me room to get that “Uncle Gabby” hardcover from last week. And a new volume of “Winsor McCay: Early Works”… good. “Flowers and Bees Vol. 4" might have to wait though, as much as I like the series.

Oh, Ellis’s “Ultimate Nightmare” too. The 16-page preview consisted of explosions, then aliens dying, then people dying. Maybe.