Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hey Kids! Comics!

While we wait for IDW's Disney comics to begin publishing, here are some comics I read.

Jimbo #1, Bongo (Zongo) Comics, 1995.  Ebay.

This is the best comic I've read in forever. Recently I fell into a Wikipedia hole and read up about the history of Bongo's Simpsons comics (which are great) and all about the short-lived Zongo Comics imprint, a venue to publish work by Matt Groening's friends Gary Panter and Mary Fleener

My experience with Panter's Jimbo character was limited to his appearance in The New Smithsonian Book of Comic Book Stories, but as a huge fan of Pee-Wee's Playhouse I thought I'd give it a shot.  

These comics are a sloppy punk-rock cover of a traditional newspaper gag strip, set in a post-apocalyptic urban wasteland inhabited by redneck chicken farmers and kilted road warriors. If you ever come across an issue of Jimbo pick it up because it's awesome.

Extinct! #1 and #2, Anti-Hitler Comics #1, My Terrible Romance #2, New England Comics 1991- 94.

"Timeless trash from when yesterday was tomorrow!"  These are black-and-white 'zine style reprints of "Golden Age" "classics" put out by NEC Comics, home of The Tick.  These comics are terrible (which is of course the point).

Racist, crude, nonsensically plotted, tragically ludicrous, ludicrously tragic. Whenever somebody tells you how much better comics were back in the day, you have my permission to punch them in the face.

My favorite characters are Satanas, basically Daredevil villain The Claw with a cyclops eye and magic space-fiddle, and Bee-29, the bombadier torturer of "germ-carrying" Japanese flies. 

 If you've ever wondered what a comic book version of MST3K would look like, buy these comics.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Avengers, Marvel 2014.  Wal-Mart, five bucks.

You might have read about this on Bleeding Cool. Last summer Wal-Mart offered el-cheapo reprints of popular Marvel trades. The paper is slightly crummier than a regular Marvel trade, and the covers aren't the heavy card stock you'd get on a normal TPB, but the contents are the same as the original

Steve McNiven's photorealistic style sells the space opera action and the quiet moments equally well. "Normal" people like Star Lord and Tony Stark look great, as do the wackier characters like Groot and Rocket. It's a Bendis comic so there's lots of dialogue, much of it quippy.  The story ends rather abruptly and the book is padded out with inessential backup strips by different artists including Michael Oeming.

Random trades like this are my preferred way to read Marvel comics these days; week to week you're mired in endless crossovers and filler but in a collection like this you get a complete story, more or less, that hints at the larger universe but doesn't require you read a bunch of other comics.   If you like the Guardians or Iron Man movies then it's worth your five dollars.

And finally, Street Angel , Hip Hop Family Tree, Atomic Robo. They're free. Go read them.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hey, you guys remember the Muppet Show newspaper strip?  I dunno why this popped into my head today.