Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blackguard #4: the Fear Issue

Blackguard PO Box 35 Marrickville NSW 2204 Australia $5 or TRADE Thank the highest peaks of Valhalla or lowest pools of Hades for Blackguard. This zine, “The Fear Issue” fears nothing. Reading this zine in 2012 I was reminded of the first time that I thumbed through a copy of ‘Heavy Metal’ back in 1984. What a great feeling that was; being all of 12 years old and not quite knowing how to draw any conclusions about a comic book full of comics without superheroes, and whose characters were often having sex with one another. It wasn’t a red pill moment, but it was definitely headed in that direction. Blackguard, like Heavy Metal, has the aesthetics of walking into a seedy underground comic/adult bookstore in a very bad part of town on a Blade Runner kind of night. The man behind the zine is Stuart Stratu. He sent a great hand written letter along with his zines for review, which I really appreciated, and which also harkened back to a time gone by. The theme is fear and a wide variety of artists contribute to this cause, digging deep and letting loose with a barrage of often disturbing, yet sometimes hilarious, comics, stories, and drawings. There are also reviews, and a great letters section. Blackguard has it all.

Rad Dad: dispatches from the frontiers of fatherhood

Rad Dad dispatches from the frontiers of fatherhood Microcosm 636 SE 11th Ave Portland, OR 97214-2405 $15
This is a great collection of writings from fathers, and interviews with fathers whose perspectives are often at odds with, or in direct opposition to the traditional cultural, political, and spiritual values of early 21st century North America. These are stories from dads who are trying to raise their children to the best of their abilities in a world whose ‘Road less traveled’ has long been paved over and replaced with an Ikea warehouse. The challenges that any parent faces on a daily basis are always difficult, throw the 21st century into the mix with all of its technological temptations and dangers (video games, porn, gore, online predators etc.) and a very precariously balanced global political and environmental situation, all the while trying to navigate it with an outlook that is already at odds with contemporary way of doing things, and you begin to see what the fathers in this book are dealing with. This collection of stories from Rad Dad, is kind of like sitting in on a group therapy session for fathers that fall into that category, with all the failures, missteps, and wrong turns included. But there is also a lot of joy included within these pages. While reading it I got a feeling that tackling these challenges brings with it a profound sense of accomplishment and something that none of the authors would trade a second of. This isn’t a handbook on how to raise your children as political radicals, it’s merely a unique (and often entertaining) look into some alternative perspectives on parenting.

Monkey Squad One #8

Monkey Squad One #8 $2.50.. Part two of the zombie apocalypse (read my first review here My favorite parts of this comic are all the hilarious drawings of the zombie carnage. You can tell that Doug, the artist, had a really great time with this. MS1 is an elaborate and fun comic that really showcases the artist’s talent, attention to detail, and obvious love of craft. My only question: how the hell are they going to get out of this mess?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Got a bit behind on my reviews, hitting the stack tonight, more to come soon....