I'm swamped at work today that my head is literally spinning, so I'm pulling another one from the Yahoo! draft archives. A few years back I used to be chummy with some owners of a auction website www.popula.com that sold mostly antiques and rare books on line. They were introduced to my first Deposit Man book, the rare and abominable anthology, Malice by some other local yokel LA cartoonist whose name escapes me at the moment- but he self published this book called Lubcheck or something. Anyway, these folks managed to put the book on line and sold Malice through a few auctions. So to return the favor, I offered to write a semi-regular column for them concerning my once then passion for independent small press comic books. They liked it well enough, but we both couldn't find the time to equally commit to it. So here it is presented in all it's unedited glory:
Cary ( The Deposit Man ) Coatney here. Thanks for putting Malice up for auction. Just got through checking it out. My cousin in Kansas City has just now recieved his copy and has the cover to the second one so he can start developing a web-site on the Deposit Man.
You wanted some reviews for me, and I finally sat
down and wrote some stuff down about other little known
books, but I want to pitch them in a different format.
And since this website is titled the Popula page. Why
not have a junior version called Pop N Fresh ?
I wrote it all down in hard copy- would you rather
I send it to you guys or E-mail it while I edit it.
I can do both. Let me give you a preview:
Popula Pop 'N Fresh
By Cary Coatney
Any small press publisher want a honest to goodness evaluation of their comic book project ? Looking to read something out of the ordinary ? Then look no further than popula.com where you're sure to find a divergent selection of the avant garde in the combination of words and pictures. This and future updates will inform and delight you on the tiltilating craze called the independent movement and the wares they have to offer in a revolving mix of three to four books.
From out of Glendale, Ca comes Hero On a Stick, published by Lee Breadall and Big Baby Comics
( $ 2.95 ).Immediately, we leap into the premiere
chapter of a skeptical sourpuss named Bobby Pheugo; whom- when surrounded by droll family members, longs for an escape from his kindred relations. He can't stand his wife. He can't stand his mother. And most of
all, he can't stand his little caricature of a little
friend who finds him sulking on a water tower just so he can boast about his latest five buck purchase of Cobra-Man # 45. Someone named Simon has passed on and the loss is gnawing at Bobby's gut. Bobby needs to shake out of his doldrums, so he goes out for a drive and his life then takes a unprecedented turn when he gets involved in a fatal accident that claims the life
of a outer worldly alien, leaving behind a little infant green baby a orphan. Basically, that is all which can be said without blowing the cliffhanger.
The second feature to be found more desirous is the back up feature, Eddie The Flea. Eddie can be seen here in various vignettes of helping his dog friend, Barnstible win the affections of the family cat. What's unique about Beardall's cartooning is that he applies two distinctive styles between both features. Hero On
a Stick looks lie it jumped off a newspaper editorial
page or a descended cousin from the Jules Feiffer strip in the Village Voice; whereas Eddie The Flea reads and feels like a rough cut of a Saturday Morning cartoon. I'd rather Beardall swap the lead feature to Eddie The Flea just to get the adrenalin flowing before navigat-
ing through the murkiness of the lead, Hero On A Stick.
From my hometown of Parsippany, N.J. comes the debut of Rachel Danara, Mystic For Hire. The ashcan edition that was passed out at last summer's San Diego Comic Con International showed promise with graphic designer
Jeff Zugale's duotoned draftsmanship and the debut issue surely lives up to more of that promise.
Pagan City showcases the fetching premise of a city
settled out west by magicians, druids, witches, and a
troupe of out-of-work-vaudeville performers. The city is currently protectred by a ex-hairdresser,Rachel Danara, who also moonlights as a mystic private dectective against invasions of vampires, ghouls, and evil immortals. Sort of like Buffy, the Vampire Slayer
having a mid-life crisis or Doctor Strange hanging out
This book instantly grew on me. It's a myraid of Chris Wichtendahl's crisp ear for dialogue or Zugale's
carefully executed design; bringing in a rich contrast of greys and blacks to a over-all pleasing package rich
in texture and affluent in detail. Simply a Image style
looking book with various computer generated effects that is better written. The potpourri of characters walk out of a Magic card deck. Look for cameo appearances by William Shatner ans Leonard Nimoy in homage to a croos between a talk show anD Nimoy's old
seventies " In Search Of " paranormal documentary series. It's a real hoot. Grade: A
Two brothers, Tim and John Frick are currently in negotiations with Diamond Comics Distributors to bring their imprint, Twilight Odysseys to life with their first title, " Blue Midknight and the Moonlight
Lady. " The Fricks dedicate their giant-sized massive 32 page no ad story to the late Captain America editor and scribe, Mark Gruenwald and that dedication pays off
in reinventing those off-kilter shield slinging stories that chronicle the lives of two blue skinned brother and sister trapeze artist team, Wintrop and Susan, as they dodge the evil pursuits of vampire, Baron Gilles De Rais. The siblings' gypsy upbringing kind of parallels the early Marvel brother and sister mutant team of Quicksilver and the Scarlett Witch, while the Baron is a not so inspired swipe of Marv Wolfman's
Marvel's early seventies version of Tomb of Dracula.
The brothers do cram a lot of story ( it took me between 35 and 40 minutes to get through it all ), but the art itself lacks any panache or fluidness. All the heads look as if they were modeled after pumpkins or show too much line in facial expressions. I was even reminded of another small press title, " Yikes !" that
had all the characters in that book drawn with big
exaggerated giant heads. Still, it's worth a summer's
afternoon read at the pool or beach. Grade: C+
Those interested in seeing their small press titles
reviewed, send a sample copy to Pop N Fresh Reviews
and we'll see you in the funny pages.