Continue on for Krazy Kat tributes, adolescant scarification, penis missiles, comics in the dark and a double helping of Mary Fleener.
Reminding the reader of the sweet, heaving infatuation (and unrelenting insanity) of first love, Tom Christopher sets out to create The Wonder Years as it should have been done. Recounting tales of petty theft and stolen moments of clueless adolescent intimacy, there's an awkward honesty to this mini-comic that might ilicit a certain kind of nostalgic cringe for those who can identify.
If cheap dresses, cheaper perfume and sly yet frenzied dry humping at school discos (as they are quaintly known here in the UK) don't remind you of the pure and simple joys of "the best days of your life", little else will.
We tweeted: "Heavy brushwork creates this tribute to tribal masks. Not a sequel to the famed @DarkHorseComics title!"
A fact that nobody reading this will care about in the slightest: I collect masks. All kinds: tribal, decorative, theatrical, religious, lucha etc. So, although the appeal of this 8-page black and white lo-fi mask collection may be lost on some, I can totally appreciate the content. Ranging from traditional to abstract, Bob X's thick black calligraphic brush-strokes have a Neolithic quality to them that celebrates the timeless human fascination with icons and identity. Either that, or he was really bored that day.
We tweeted: "Before Flikr, there was Oblique - a collection of doodles sent out into the world for fun's sake!"
As stated in the tweet, this mini acts as a reminder of the essential nature of the Newave comics movement at the time of its inception. With no guarentee of gainful illustration employment and no fancy-pants free distribution networks like the internet in existance yet (not ubiquitously, anyway), the desire to create and publish work of any kind was strictly a DIY affair. They may not tell a story, or even be that pretty, but Bob X's mini-comic package of doodles operates as a visual synecdoche of the whole "underground comix" phenomenon in general.
We tweeted: "Some self-reflection on the "experimental virtue" of the Newave scene. Also, a penis-missile."
The moral of the story: never criticise an artist's work directly. Do it at home, behind the protective veneer of comics blogging, duh.
We tweeted: "Postcards show Kokonino as a serene, scenic place with, most importantly, no people!"
George Erling pays tribute to the home of Krazy Kat, with a scenic postcard pictorial. of Kokonino Kounty Detached from Herrimen's characters, Erling allows the setting of Krazy's strips to appear just as iconic as the creatures within them. It's a truely genuine love letter from a fan, and, as such, delightful references to the original strips are abound. My favorite image was the Kelly's Brickworks "Commemorative Postcard", celebrating their millionth brick produced. Say what you like about Ignatz, he's definitely always been a supporter of local industry.
We tweeted: "Mary Fleener illustrates this melancholic tale of a man who is unable to reciprocate a ghost's love."
Originally priced at a measly fifty cents, Mary Fleener and William Clark's gloomy sixteen page story is one of the highlights of the entire Newave collection. Inspired by a photo taken by Vera Ouckama Knoop, it reads like an illustrated poem, with Clark's words acting as a distant narrative voice to contextualize Fleener's images. On second thoughts, "poem" isn't a fair comparison; the comic is more akin to an unpretentious yet effective pop song, something short that leaves its audience with a general feeling rather than a specific meaning. All in all, it's an excellent use of the truncated format, and comes highly recommended.
We tweeted: "Insanity of love causes a couple to swap all their organs. Model donors here. NHS take note!"
Due to the size of the format, it's very hard not to "spoil" a mini-comic when reviewing it. Pretty much revealing the puchline outright in the tweet, I can honestly say that it's the journey, not the destination that appeals so much about this mini. Pretty much created in the same mature style as The Dead Girl, it's just as fantastic (perhaps even a little more so.)
We tweeted: "A tale of apathy from Meher Dada. Features a crucifix on a a piece of toast: Holy breakfast, Batman!"
There isn't a lot to say about the narrative of this mini comic, only that I suspect that its creation lies to facilitate Coovert's stylistic cartoon caricatures. Most of them remind me of Marvel's Mole Man, for some reason. That's not a bad thing, though; I bleedin' love Mole Man.
We tweeted: "XNO in great form with classic movie monsters & a night of evangelic TV with the Bizarros. Am good!"
As well as being responsible for the anthology's cover image, XNO's art also book-ends the Newave tome with a print taken from this fantastic, slick-yet-rough cartoon art. Very much part of the school of low-brow stylists that came after Big Daddy Roth, there's a frenzied gooiness to XNO's characters that's complimented by great eye for composition and "the big picture". Someone publish a retrospective art book, stat!