Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Comics of J.T. Yost

I always like it when I can look at a single panel of a comic and instantly recognize the artist. So often people seem to learn how to draw comics by mimicking other artist’s work and then don’t seem to get very far away from it. Not the case with J.T. Yost’s work, he has a very distinctive style. The stories are gloomy and weird, which I like, and the panels are consistently interesting to look at on their own without following the story, which I also like.

Tales of Good ol’ Snoop Doggy Dogg, & It’s Dream Time Snoop Doggy Dogg
$3 and $4
These are illustrated dreams that the author has had about Snoop Dogg. They are weird and fun to read. Also contained within is a childhood story about being a geekish loner, befriending a tough guy and going to a party. Insightful and entertaining.
‘It’s dream time’ is more of the same: illustrated dreams that make you go hmmm? After reading them (which would be the case for most of us if our dreams were illustrated I suppose).

Loosers Weepers # 1&2
$5 each
Apparently J.T. Yost is pretty adept at finding notes, letters, and journals in random places. He then comes up with a story behind those finds and illustrates it. This is a great idea. It’s interesting and funny to read the actual notes and letters and then see what kind of a kooky story he has concocted from them. There are homophobic raps scribbled onto the back of envelopes, silly schoolyard checklists, and notebook journals from distraught lovers, all of which play a part in the various characters’ lives. Awesome.

Old Man Winter
As the title suggests this is a story about an old man and his sad daily interactions with family members and the public. It’s a beautifully drawn tale of a broken person at the end of his days. Also included in this book are some pro-vegan comics that point out the process of meat production and animal experimentation in a unique and highly effective way. I really enjoyed this comic and after reading all of these zines, I now consider myself a fan.

Snakepit 2009

Snakepit 2009
POB 4944 Austin, TX 78765
This is one year in the life of Ben Snakepit, 365 3-panel comics about life as seen through his eyes. He works in a video store, plays in two punk rock bands, has a nice girlfriend, a cute dog, he drinks a lot, smokes weed, plays a lot of video games, watches a lot of movies, and goes to a lot of parties. That’s all this is about, over and over again for an entire year. That might sound boring to read, but for some reason, it isn’t. There’s a lot of humility, humor, and insight into 21st century living in here that kept me entertained and thinking throughout. It’s kind of like following someone’s daily twitter, but with funny drawings of steaming turds and drunken punk rockers.

The Book Bindery

The Book Bindery
Microcosm 222 s rogers st.
Bloomington, IN 47404

The Book Bindery is a story about working a dead-end job in an industrial part of town and trying to find creative ways to entertain oneself at work. The tone is cynical and sarcastic, which has to be a survival instinct considering how terrible the job sounds. Making fun of everyone and everything around you would probably be the only sure-fire way to fend off total insanity. It’s well written and funny and has some nice black and white photos peppered about. The Book Bindery has been around for a while in zine form, this is the updated book-like form.

A Zinester’s Guide to NYC

A Zinester’s Guide to NYC
AK Press
674 A 23rd St.
Oakland, CA 94612
Or: Microcosm
222 S. Rogers St.
Bloomington, IN 47404
Edited by Ayun Halliday of East Village Inky fame, this is a very…very…VERY comprehensive guide to New York City. Ayun did the editing, but there are about 50 other people involved in writing this, and all of them are lovers and makers of zines. It’s well organized into a wide variety of categories, some of which aren’t usually spotlighted in traditional guidebooks. Categories like, Graffiti, Pinball, 99-cent stores, volunteer opportunities, community gardens, and oatmeal. It’s creative, but not inaccessible. Anyone with an ounce of curiosity would be doing themselves a grave disservice if they didn’t get this book before heading to the BA.

Friday, February 18, 2011

i will be in las vegas for the next 5 days. i will be "bowling". double down, flamingo, etc. 14 zines to review......after