Sunday, 14 March 2010

"Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s": Mini-Reviews 11-20

2010: A Mini-Comix Odyssey

Mainly for your reading pleasure, but also because we're obsessive: here are mini-reviews 11-20 of our ongoing Newave! Twitter project. Click here to read more about our epic quest into the world of 1980s mini comics as well as our round-up of reviews 1-10. Onwards!

11: Nart #2 - Jim Siergey, 1985

We tweeted: "Made 7 years after #1, there is a great improvement in (n)art. + Mao & Elvis, together at last!

This was interesting to read, mainly to see how much Siergey's art had developed between mini-comics. Cleaner linework and image construction frame more of classic puns seen in Nart #1. Like any self-respecting Newaver, the artist makes sure to include Elvis, Jesus, Chairman Mao and a Moose.

12: Anus and Andy – Jim Siergey, 1979, Comix World

We tweeted: "Anus just like "The Elephant Man", only with an arse for a face. Hopkins doesn't compare."

Does anyone really need a reason to write 8 pages of buttock-related puns? Sure, it's juvenile, but where else are you going to be able to find the phrase "buggering device" used so effectively?

13: Penguins in Bondage – Wayne Gibson & Bruce Chrislip , 1981

We tweeted: "8 depictions of crime against penguins. Where's Morgan Freeman when you need him?"

I don't understand how anyone could hate penguins, really. Regardless, Bruce Chrislip wrote and drew this threatening comic against penguins and penguin lovers everywhere. Maybe there was some kind of cutesy penguin influx into the pop culture of 1981 that I was never told about? Answers on a post-card, please.

14: Two-Titted Tales #3 – Par Holman, 1981, Comix World

We tweeted: "Four words: King Kong performing cunnilingus. Sold."

A selection of mini-comics focusing on breasts. Honestly, anyone would think that cartoonists are a severely sexually-frustrated bunch! Bonus Fact: I posted this one on Twitter via phone, and I was shocked to discover that "cunnilingus" was not in my phone's dictionary. Needless to say, I soon rectified that.

15: Fried Brains #11 – Hillary Barta, 1985, Comix World

We tweeted: "Not an order number at a zombie diner, rather a great looking brain-themed mini comic."

As you can see from the above splash, this one features some of the most eye-catching artwork of the anthology so far. Barta's worked for everyone from the "big two" to Mirage and even Bongo, and more of his fantastic work can be seen on his blog here.

16: Fried Brains #1 – Bill Shut, Brad Foster, Gary Whitney, 1978, Comix World

We tweeted: "John Travolta 'staying alive' by eating brains with Jimmy Carter. Historic moment."

A marked contrast from Barta's issue, the debut Fried Brains focuses on visualising fantastic "stranger than fiction" news stories. Incudes the ever-popular media-panic drug story of a girl eating her own hand after ingesting PCP. What's not to like? 

17: Babyfat #2 – Gary Whitney, George Erling, Bob Vojtko, Brad Foster, 1978, Comix World

We tweeted: "Weird news items galore! I recall an ad for the electric anti-bed-wetting pants from childhood."

Just like Fried Brains #1, Babyfat showcases weird and wonderful news items, illustrated in various styles. The strange thing was that, as a child, I tried to get my mother to buy the aforementioned pants (pants in the anglo-English sense of "underpants"), just because they looked so cool. The fact that they supposedly would electrocute my bladder in the event of its mutiny didn't really occur to me. They looked like super-hero trunks, I'm telling you!

18: Sleazy HorrorClay Geerdes, Par Holman, David Miller, 1981, Comix World

We tweeted: "Kitsch homage to horror flicks: faux-movies “The Foot” & “It Came From Out Her Panties”. Fun!"

I would pay to see that movie, I'm not even kidding.

Organs On Parade – David Miller, 1980, Comix World

We tweeted: "Iconographic US pop-culture, retold featuring a lot of penises+Huckleberry Hound in lingerie."

Even after reviewing Edition Charette's excellent Tribute to Popeye, there's still something creepy about seeing Popeye drawn to resemble a penis whilst Eugene the Jeep (in suspenders) whips a naked Olive Oyl.

20: The Punk Rock Guide to Sex – David Miller, 1982, Comix World

We tweeted: "I wish I could say something more profound, but, this features a flatscreen TV. In 1982!"

This one is just like the Kama Sutra, only with knives, heroin, power-drills, TNT and strange sexual positions featuring motor-stunts. Possibly included as a test by Fantagraphics to see if they can release an "adult" themed Newave! anthology via Eros Comix. Shrewed forward-thinking marketing, I'm sure.

Twenty mini-comics down, 657 pages to go! More than just a collection of mini-comics, Newave! features interviews and insightful commentary from some of the creators as well as the lovingly-reproduced source material. Available pretty much everywhere now, Newave! costs around $24.99 (US) and looks great no matter where you put it.


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