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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

For today's post, we pick apart the new-ISH MOME anthology from Fantagraphics Books, MOME 3:Winter 2006. I know what you're already thinking, that you're all ready to start ranting and raving about how I need to finish my posting about the New Warriors and what not. I know. Don't worry, pretty soon we'll have New Warriors MONTH and this place will feel like the rest of the internet comic book blogosphere with all kinds of clever wit and delicious ironic-tinted nostalgia. Trust me, it'll happen. But TODAY. Today we talk artsy fartsy and its most likely not going to be pretty. Ready?

Yeah. Fucking MOME, bitches. Its a whole lot of indie for your buck. 15 bucks to be exact, unless you're lucky like me and you picked it up in the half off graphic novel bin at my LCS. Yes, that feeling in your heart is the emptiness you never knew you had until you heard the words "half off graphic novel bin at my LCS." Although not the glorious of bargain selection, it has offered up some pretty nice gems from time to time. If you want, I can snag you a copy of GI Joe: Ninja Classified Warfare Cobra Killers. Just call "dibbs," and its yours.

But yes, MOME. Call me a new fan of the format. I've read a few anthologies, the last ones being Sexy Chix and Four Letter Worlds from Image(or is it Four Letter Words? Thinking too hard about things like this make me dizzy and cause wrinkles.) and they are, for the most part, interesting. Entertaining some of the time, interesting the more of the time. Not my most favorite format when it comes to reading comics, however, you are all a smart bunch so I won't bore you with my obvious observations on the nature of anthologies when there's other things to bore you with, like....

Opening and closing the book is Martin Cendreda's Matthew And Buster. Think of your newspaper gag strip were the main character says something so funny and/or mean spirited to someone else, causing them to fall over, faint, have their head explode, or have clouds of squiggly lines to form above their head in frustration or anger or general upsetness. Take those 3 or 4 panels, stretch them out for about 8 or 9, and then have two dogs that smoke and swear making this comments that cause everyone else to, you know, bug out. In this case, be launched backwards from their seat or standing position in a 45 degree angle "zip." Oh, and make sure its not funny because this is indie comics.

Next is David B's Armed Garden. A little French comic that is seeing english translation for the first time so you're feeling a little special, yet a little bit of anger creeps in too because the French called us a bunch of jerks for trying to war up on the rest of the globe. Whatever, France. You're just pissed because your government is totally, completely failing at being a Western Power with big balls to tote around for all to see and stuff. PLUS, we got that whole Revolution thing over and done with THE FIRST FRAGGING TIME AROUND. Jealous, a little? Probably.

France rant out of the way, David B's Armed Garden is really good. Its got all kinds of religious war and naked people running around that you forget for a moment that you're a bigoted American and enjoy the brown hued world of medieval craziness that David B has conjured up. And the picture of the Pope John ^^III getting his murder/sodomy/simony on? My next tattoo.

Did I mention there's a goose in there? He acts as the guide for our protagonist Jan Zuska who is in charge of disposing the nakedly insane Rohan and his cadre of naked followers, leading Jan Zuska down the roads of Creation to Paradise. Without the Goose, Jan Zuska would have fallen victim to the fake Sun that Rohan becomes. And when Jan Zuska gets greedy and wants to take a look at the Origin of Creation, Goose is all "told you so, bitch" when Chaos forms in Jan Zuska's one good eye, causing him to be blind. I love me some ducks and gooses.

Then comes Anders Nilsen On Whaling. Two pages and your weak ass humor is lost on all of us. Sorry, bro, but this fish ain't biting.

J. Bennet's Roll of Film is decent, however I feel that I must be some kind of photograph taking artiste in order for me say "oh, man, I know this guy or girl that is totally like that, taking pictures of every mundane thing they see with the hopes of adding some level of importance to their miserable little lifes, unlike myself who only takes tasteful nudes." That or you're the person saying "Fuck you, J. Bennett, you hack" because he called you out. I'm really neither, but I get it enough to appreciate what he's getting at.

And then comes Cher Shimura from R. Kikuo Johnson(of Nightfisher infamy) which really is the best of the whole book. Six 4 to 5 panel strips detailing the non-existing love life of Cher Shimura as she nervously goes from hopelessly in love to heartbreak in the span of seconds, all unbeknownest to her object of desire. There's really not much to say about it other than its a very simple collection of strips that really made me laugh, especially when Cher mocks the object of desire's girlfriend.

"'I love Grapes.' -Ha ha!- Slut."

You have to read it, I guess.

Overpeck, part 3, by David Healey starts to go down the idiotic path of nonsense of Martin Cendreda's Matthew And Buster with two juvenile boys playing with their juvenile toys and what not. One of them eventually calls the other a "faggot" for crossing some kind of imaginary Maginot line of young boy masculinity and ho hum, boring. Only when the "faggot" is kidnapped by some old lady that can turn into a wolf, does the jewel of the story show itself. Thrown into the machinations of the old lady's mind, the history of her sexual abuse and subsequent perversion comes out as a means of justifying her reasons for kidnapping the little boy. It entertains in the way that Gummo entertains. Its scary because Healey's talking some real life messed up stuff. However, that ends very quickly and we're back to nonsense involving naked girls, weird crippled shut in boys, and, uh.....stuff. Its only part 3, so maybe we're getting somewhere that will help us make sense of the rest of this mess.

Odd Petal Out. Kurt Wolfgang captures that 15 year old burgeoning romance like zang. The art's good and the crack about older kids dissing on the younger kids' taste in music is standard issue experience in the life of little punk/indie rock kids growing up. No would-be elitist snob should be without it.

We'll also include Wolfgang's one page Toughskins '77 strip, which basically cements the fact that Wolfgang pretty much has that whole growing up thing nailed down. Kids crying about stuff can always be solved by blowing things up. Yep.

I haven't read the interview with Kurt Wolfgang, but I'm sure its good.

The rest of MOME 3: Winter 2006 just kind of ho hum's its way to finish. Capt. Ayres is historically comics for historical folks. Interesting. Mike's Cafe is excessive auto bio stuff that I'm ok without. And Jeffrey Brown? More of the same, just worst. Sorry, but that's how I feel.

And that's MOME 3: Winter 2006!

*round of applause*

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