Monday, 22 March 2010

"Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s" - Mini-Reviews 21-30

Little Big, yellow, different.

This week, we've produced our timeliest collation of Newave reviews yet! Collecting micro-reviews 21-30 from our Twitter page, readers are invited to scroll down for a strange creature-themed 10 days-worth of mini-comics, featuring monsters, pea-based consumption issues, more monsters, Big Daddy Roth and EVEN MORE MONSTERS.

Our past Newave roundups can be found on the following pages: 1-10 and 11-20. Ta-da!

21: Other PeopleBrad Foster, 1985, Jabberwocky Graphix

We tweeted: "I live for stuff like this; Eight monstrous portraits. "L'enfer, c'est les autres"!"

Although I didn't realise it then (I'm actually reading these mini-comics for the first time as I tweet about them), this fun collection of far-fetched illustrations sets the tone for our third review omnibus well, with over half of the subsequent comics featuring either a similar format and/or strange monster-like creatures. We get points for the super classy Sartre quote, right?

22: The Eternal Conflict – Brad Foster, 1981, Jabberwocky Graphix

We tweeted: "One man's struggle to get the last pea on the fork. We can all relate to that!"

It's a very simple premise, but it's definitely one of my favourite minis of the collection so far. The anxiety of being separated from the last piece of food on the plate by ineffective tools and poor self-coordination is surely one of the great existential levelers. Consequently, The Eternal Conflict  becomes one of the most comedic pieces so far. Of course, the relatability bar hasn't been raised high, with the anthology being (up to this point) mainly being comprised of monstrous tits, cocks, and foot-boogers.

23: Goodies Compilation (excerpts from the original 1980s mini comix series) - Brad Foster, W.C. Pope, Doug Holverson, John Howard, Robin Ator, Doug Potter, Steven N. Noppenberger, Jim Gillespie, Michael Dowers, Robert Outlaw, Kurt Wilcken, C. Bradford Gorby, Jabberwocky Graphix

We tweeted: "A collection of comics mainly about breasts; thanks for the mammaries. Couldn't resist!"

Unless the "W.C" and "C" in "W.C Pope" and "C. Bradford Gorby" stand for "Willamina Clarice" and "Claire", it's pretty safe to say that the preceding list of names all belong to men. Like an adolescent's ultimate wet dream sequence, this "best-of" (or should we say "breast-of") compilation collects comedic fantasies that include peep-shows, sex in the workplace, magically-expanding breasts and pornographic art-films. It  concludes with a bare-breasted super-heroine fellating Godzilla. I guess it's true what they say: women prefer bad-boys.

24: Big Daddy Roth's Engine Encyclopedia for Wimps The Pizz, 1986, published by Ed Roth

We tweeted: "An A-Z of low-brow car culture from RatFink himself!"

The alphabet, as re-classified by the godfather of "kustom kulture" hot-rod art himself, Ed Roth. Here, "A" is for "Altered: A rad shortwheel base drag car", "B" is for "Blower: A supercharging device for forcing the air fuel mixture into them cylinders, and "R" is, of course, for the almighty Rat Fink. Oh, and "I" is for "I don't know a damn thing about cars but I like Big Daddy Roth's art anyway".

25: Clyde – The Pizz, 1984, Pizz Publications

We tweeted: 1st lengthy narrative of the anthology, about an unfortunate with a metal plate in his head."

The problem with this being the longest, is that there was no way to describe it succinctly on Twitter. Like the violently anarchic episode of Last of the Summer Wine we've all desperately wished for, Clyde is a comedy of errors, in which the title character goes from one painful disaster to the next. Also, just like most of the cast of Summer Wine, Clyde ends up dead. Apologies for the very UK-specific reference, there.

26: Food for Thought – Tom Brinkmann, 1980

We tweeted: Several sexual puns on food items. Man ejaculating into soda: "I'm Lovin' It"."

Doubtlessly dedicated to the spirit of any schoolboy who's taken the artisan activity of drawing cocks and tits to the next level by introducing scenario-based puns; Food for Thought attempts to solicit laughs through the pairing of sex and food service. The masturbatory employee referenced in the tweet is labeled a "Soda Jerk", whilst a waitress lactating into a drink receives the caption of "Milk Shake". This one definately brings back beautiful memories of a simpler, more puerile time.

27: Crazy Men #5 – Michael Roden, Jim Ryan, 1984, Thru Black Hole Comix  

We tweeted: "Collection of warped portraits & figures, medieval, morbid, mechanical and mirthful."

A varied array of influences crash together here (medieval art, tengu-like robot toys, fish flutes) to create some genuinely terrifying images. Partly comedic and partly macabre, Roden and Ryan succeed in giving me a thorough case of the willies.

28: Monsters from Japan – Michael Roden, Bob X, 1984, Thru Black Hole Comix 

We tweeted: "Godzilla, Ghidorah & Gamera in a copyright-friendly(ish) homage to Kaiju culture!"

When not scrawling cocks or tits into schoolbooks, a great secondary distraction at school was always doodling pictures of mathematics teachers getting eaten by King Ghidorah. Regular ATF readers know that I've never made my love of giant monsters a secret, so it should be no surprise that I wholeheartedly approve of this combination of original illustration and warped photo-collage. Featuring many famous Kaiju, this mini is sure to remind monsterphiles everywhere of the joy of all things large and scaly from post-war Japanese monster cinema. Godzookie, unsurprisingly, doesn't make an appearance, poor guy (/ gal).

29: Trick or Treat #2 – Michael Roden, Bob X, R.K. Sloane, Andy Nukes, 1987

We tweeted: "More monsters! Best one looks like a M. Fleener & G. Panter Zongo Comics reunion!"

As you can see by the awkwardly-taken picture above, Fantagraphics have pretty much ensured that the work in Newave! is pretty much impossible to pirate: the book's too thick to scan and the printing and paper is too nice and glossy to take a flash photo of. Above to the right is the image in question, looking like a strange interpretation of Panter's Jimbo via the tribal shapes of Fleener #1.

30: Zomoid – ZOMOID Illustories Vol.3 #7 – Michael Roden, Bob X, 1985, published by Ray Zone

We tweeted: "Haunting image of a hanging man the foremost of these hallucinogenic cartoons. Where's Tuco?"

Of course, this is a reference to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, which may be a good alternative title for this collection of disconnected nightmare images.

Thirty entries down, 533 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, the collection costs around $24.99 (US) and looks great no matter where you put it.


1 comment:

  1. Enjoying your on-going review of "the brick", as I now think of that collection. Appreciate your comments on my own stuff there. I'm one of those guys who printed WAY too many copies, and also managed to find a place to keep them, so most of my stuff is still available. (Start of blatant plug: This page of my web is specifically the opening for the zines/comics secton. Still ready to sell or trade! End of blatant plug.)