Ha! A real post on what I can still recall being a Saturday a short while ago!

*Pro-Click Zone Dept: Apparently, Abhay Khosla has written and drawn a 218-page comic titled Left Field, which is now available free for download in CBZ format. It’s about baseball and men and life. Abhay says:

Alot of it's not very good; I like some of it anyway; maybe you'll find some small part of it to like, too, but I can't make any promises.”

I say you download it and access the file with your computer! It’s only part of an upcoming print-format project called Twist Street. Check back at the download link above for more details.

*Also coming soon:

Sammy the Mouse #1

(EDIT 6/18/07 10:23 PM: It's not cool to forget one of the book's publishers)

This ought to be out on Wednesday from Diamond, although maybe some shops already have it. It’s a new ongoing series from writer/artist Zak Sally, notable of the now-defunct three-issue series Recidivist, although he’s also a publisher (La Mano) and musician (Low, former bassist). This one’s from Fantagraphics/Coconino Press, in their Ignatz format, $7.95 for 32 large, deluxe pages. The Ignatz books always travel in waves of three, and this one streets with the second issues of Richard Sala’s Delphine and Gilbert Hernandez’s New Tales of Old Palomar.

‘Ongoing’ is actually the term Fantagraphics uses to describe the series, concerning the adventures of the titular mouse and his circle of acquaintances, although the story appears to be essentially finite, like most of the Ignatz books. Sally himself has mentioned in the past that the work’s meant to ultimately run about 400 pages, although things may have changed since 2005.

It’s also been termed “a children’s book for adults” by the author (in the same interview), a label that might fit better later on, since this initial chapter serves mainly as a partial acclimation to the book’s characters, and an abbreviated tour of the book’s tilted, child’s playroom world. The story sees Sammy, his pal Puppy Boy (a troubled, epileptic inventor), and his unpleasant, omnipresent acquaintance H.G. Feekes (a liquor-soaked, peg-legged dandy, cast firmly in the Tony Millionaire mold) stumble around, imbibe much drink, encounter terrors, and occasionally hear or deliver the voice of God. It struck me as little more than a taste of what’s to come, its broad concept vaguely discernible through Sally’s loose knitting of details.

Still, there’s two things I found particularly noteworthy about this comic. First, there’s Sally’s evident skill with conversation. Through Sammy and Puppy Boy, he absolutely nails the reluctant/grasping patois of sensitive creative types projecting camaraderie and frustration; there's a great feeling of history behind these characters, and it goes a distance toward filling out the mysterious scenery of the story, all omnious rolling hills and bars shaped like human infants (with appropriate bones inside).

Second, there's what Fantagraphics calls (in the little Ignatz catalog you can find in every release) "a sophisticated two-color process," which translates to delicate, powdery waves of blue and gray crossing one another throughout the book; this setup is put to fine effect in emphasizing character details, or filling up vast, cloudy skies, and it adds a dimension of needed fragility to Sally's thick-lined inks and somewhat blocky characters. One hopes the eventual deepening of the story will supply an effect that rises to such visual suggestion. This sample will do for now.