I Don’t Know Much, But I Know “What Its Like”

One thing I’ve come to appreciate about Jason T. Miles’ comics and ‘zines over the years — and which undoubtedly holds true for his latest self-published effort, What Its Like — is that he simply doesn’t have time to fuck around. Take, for instance, the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it misspelling in the title here : I assume it to be intentional, but I could be entirely wrong about that, and the beauty of the whole things is that it really doesn’t matter much either way. There’s a ferocity to this story, these drawings, the entire project that speaks of someone sitting down at the drawing board and getting it all down on paper before it goes away. And now that it’s out in the world in print, it ain’t going anywhere.

Everything here is abstract, it’s true, but also recognizable to one degree or another — not as a hard-and-fast “thought” or “idea” per se, but as a mood and as an energy. Peel away the thin veneer of metaphor surrounding the forest-dweller at the center of this one — and yes, it’s worth pointing out that, unlike with some of Miles’ other work, most notably his really experimental mini-comics, there’s a narrative on offer here, maybe even a linear one — and what you have is intent, intensity, admittedly ugliness in a kind of honest-for-what-it-is form : a work that is figuring itself out as it goes along, much like so many of us are ourselves.

Which means, of course, that we’re privileging reaction over the minutiae of analysis here, since this is a ‘zine that invites (hell, maybe that should be demands) the former and eschews the latter, the reader given little by way of bearings to determine the nature of the actions they’re witnessing beyond threadbare narration and dense scrawling that evokes the character of a place, of a person/thing, but doesn’t hew itself to the tyranny of specifics. If you want those, you’re just going to have to provide them for yourself.

Oh yeah, this is no cakewalk. The entire ‘zine is a phantasmagoria of potential wonders and horrors and confusion that’s in no way necessarily confused in and of itself. You see different things, notice additional layers, peel away more of the onion with every pass-though — but the core remains shrouded in a fair amount of mystery by design. Like a visitors’ brochure for a dimension that only intersects with our own in random locales and for short periods of time, it’s not that you can’t glean make out the contours of something both in the distance and right under your nose, but goddamn — you’d better be quick about it.

Giving lie to the notion that the whole enterprise is just a hustle, there are numerous skilled figure drawings and inventive designs to be made out under the rapid and perhaps even rabid sensory-overload scribblings and gray-tone shadings — there may even be as much signal as there is noise — but it’s not always clear which is more important, assuming such value judgments even have any place here. When all is said and done it appears as though our protagonist may have the world on his shoulders, but that’s okay : by then, you’ll know the feeling pretty well yourself if you’ve given each page the attention it requires. Which likely makes the comic sound like more work than it actually is, given how immersed in the proceedings the perceptive reader will find themselves, but even still : a hard hat and lunch pail aren’t exactly bad things to bring with you when you sit down with this one.

I dunno, maybe there’s something wrong with me (okay, no “maybe” about it), but this is the sort of art that really excites me — intellectually, sure, but even more so cognitively and viscerally. Something that is never the same experience twice, and isn’t much like anything else you’ve seen the first time around. Miles is determined to take you places not by guiding you, but by whisking you away in a tsunami of imagination and purpose. Where you end up, though? That’s every bit as much up to you as it is to him.

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What Its Like is available for $5.00 from Austin English’s Domino Books distro at http://dominobooks.org/whatitslike.html

Also, this review — and all others around these parts — is “brought to you” by my Patreon site, where I serve up exclusive thrice-weekly rants and ramblings on the worlds of comics, films, television, literature, and politics for as little as a dollar a month. Subscribing is the best way to support my continuing work, so I’d be very appreciative if you took a moment to check it out by directing your kind attention to https://www.patreon.com/fourcolorapocalypse

Groovy, Spooky, “Spewey”

If there’s one thing you can say for the work of Seattle-based cartoonist Jason T. Miles, it’s that his art is consistently challenging. And surprising. And pretty near indescribable. At times even indecipherable. And, yeah, I realize that’s more than the promised “one thing.”

Still, in my own defense, if I only had one thing to say about it, that wouldn’t really make for much of a review, would it? And I actually have a fair amount to say about the retrospective collection Spewey, a 44-page assemblage of some of Miles’ more idiosyncratic work from the past decade published in late 2019 by “boutique” riso-printing house Cold Cube Press. It’s deciding how to say what you want to say that’s always the trickiest part of reviewing any of Miles’ comics, though, and that’s what makes the prospect of attempting to do so such an exciting proposition.

As a general rule, narrative is threadbare here, a skeleton from which to hang a mercurial expression or artistic intent and not much else, but that doesn’t mean the concept of story itself is absent per se — it’s more a case that it needs to be either actively searched for or, better yet, intuited. Nods abound to the likes of Kirby and Panter, but by and large that’s as close to familiarity as you’re going to get here, and while you may be taken aback on first pass at the sheer bravado of Miles’ journey up, down, and sideways through the entire stylistic continuum, an undercurrent of “figure it out for yourself” pervades throughout, whether we’re talking about strips rendered with scratchy pen and ink, illustrations that veer into the realm of pure abstraction, or even deceptively-unrelated photos that perhaps only a Zen master could discern concrete links between, as shutting out the noise of the outside world — and of your own mind — are prerequisites to really coming to grips with what Miles is doing. How he’s doing it. Where he’s at.

Certainly the gradations of red and black employed in the riso process are deliberate in the extreme, but even their most sudden and pronounced placements don’t “take you out of the story” precisely because you’re never entirely in it — transmogrification and metamorphosis and physical and perceptive fluidity are staples herein, but the artistic process itself and, most crucially, the choices that inform it are part and parcel of that thematic through-line, the act of making these comics holding at least equal weight to what it is that they’re presenting. It’s an ambitious stratagem — if it even is a stratagem, there’s so much deliriously inventive “winging it” of things going on here that I hesitate to say for certain — but it’s also an elemental one, true to art in all its forms, but laid bare with refreshing honesty here. The medium is the message, sure, but the utilization of that medium is too often thought of as separate to the finished “product” itself, which is an absurd notion given that the two are, quite obviously, inextricably linked.

I mentioned fluidity and transmogrification a moment ago, but I should perhaps be more clear, more precise, despite the fact that resorting to anything resembling precision and/or definition runs counter to what I feel is the spirit, at least, of this particular project — it’s states of being and unbeing that are being explored and tentatively negotiated here; it’s not people and things alone that change, but our understanding of them, full realization most frequently just tantalizingly out of reach no matter how we interpret the scant information we’re provided with. Miles isn’t content to be some cartographer limning the boundaries of his “idea space” — he’s more a tour guide or emcee, a presenter, if you will, emptying the contents of his subconscious onto the page in whatever manner feels right and then letting — hell, trusting — you to determine what it all means to and for yourself.

Noticeable by its absence but in no way missed is the ultimately false notion of certainty — an abstraction in all but definition anyway. If there is progression here, it’s debatable and subjective; if there’s a “point” to it all, ditto. Each strip, each page is involving — sometimes downright inviting — but what it’s inviting you to do is to take your time, make your own decisions, formulate your own reactions. What you think about this book is less important than how you feel about it — and you’re not likely to decide how you do feel about it for days or weeks. If ever. And that’s okay, too — it’s Miles’ comic, but it’s your journey. Make of it whatever you will; I don’t think he’d have it any other way.

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Spewey is available for $15 from Cold Cube Press at http://www.coldcubepress.com/shop/spewey-jason-miles-1

Review wrist check – I was wearing my Spinnaker “Piccard” blue dial/bronze case model as I wrote this one, riding its factory-provided black rubber “ladder-style” strap.  Affectionately know in our home as “The Beast,” this watch is based loosely on the design and specifications of the timepieces Rolex made for the first voyage to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. And about those specs, holy shit : 1000M water resistance with a self-regulating helium release valve, 47mm case diameter, 26 mm lug to lug, and a whopping 25mm thick! That being said, because it’s titanium, it’s surprisingly light for a legit “wrist tank.” I love it, get a ton of compliments on it (hey, it’s hard to miss), but I gotta admit — it’s probably not one you’re gonna wear every day.

This Mini Has “No Title” — Should This Review?

The comics and ‘zines of Jason T. Miles (generally self-published under his G.O.A.T. Comics imprint) uniformly confuse, confound, and challenge me, but even by his standards, his semi-recent (last year? I dunno) B&W mini, titled — nothing, I guess, but listed on his site as No Title — is a quixotic and mercurial beast, its aims and intentions as impossible to pin down as the nature of its threadbare “narrative,” a true case of what’s happening being as fluid and open to any interpretation as why it’s happening.

I will say this much, though — the “people” in it sure do say “fuck” a lot.

Which, I mean, isn’t a knock at all — I do the same myself.  To the point where it even works my own nerves. It’s kinda cute — for lack of a better word immediately coming to mind — in this comic, though, not that I could tell you why. Which is par for the course here, because “why” is a question never far from one’s mind as one — errrmmm — “reads” it.

“What” may have it beat, though, truth be told. What am I looking at? What’s happening? What are these shapes, these drawings, these — everything? If you’re not willing to put in some work on your own end, you’re not going to get much from this mini. And by “not much,” I think I mean “anything at all.”

Even that’s likely negotiable, though. All perspectives and points of view tend to be so on Planet Miles. Fixed points don’t exist, but just because they don’t exist doesn’t mean you can’t intuit their presence. And just because you can intuit their presence doesn’t mean they exist. You see where I’m going here — or maybe you don’t — but it’s not like it really matters. “Where I’m going” has a lot less to do with the value of this particular work than where it takes you — and that could be anywhere at all, nowhere at all, and/or all points between.

Look, what it all boils down to is this : there’s a very real chance that these 16 pages will blow your mind far more than perhaps even the best hit of acid you’ve ever dropped — and at just a dollar (same price as my Patreon, but we’ll get to that soon enough), it’s a whole hell of a lot cheaper. If that’s not enough to convince you to give it a whirl then I don’t know what else (or what more) it could possibly take, but I feel like my job here is done — or as “done” as I can do it, at any rate. Miles’ comics probably make the whole idea of “criticism” redundant at best, utterly useless at worst, and while that doesn’t prevent me from giving the act of analyzing and appraising them on the basis of their merits an honest effort, it does mean that my own modest little write-up here was likely pre-destined to end the way any other critic’s would, to wit : I’ve said all I can say about this book, just get the damn thing and decide for yourself.

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Order No Title directly from Jason T. Miles at https://jasontmiles.com/No-Title

And while you’re spending a buck for stuff, please consider joining my Patreon site, where I serve up exclusive thrice-weekly rants and ramblings on the worlds of comics, films, television, literature, and politics for exactly that price per month. Your support also ensures a steady supply of free content both here and at my trashfilmguru movie site, so please help a guy out by heading over to https://www.patreon.com/fourcolorapocalypse

 

Weekly Reading Round-Up : 07/28/2019 – 08/03/2019

Sometimes, as a writer, you like to throw little challenges at yourself, just to make things more interesting — especially when it comes to long-running columns such as this. My self-appointed challenge this week : to see if I can crank out one of these Round-Ups in 30 minutes or less. Let’s see how that goes —

Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang ride off into the sunset with Paper Girls #30, the conclusion to their long-running Spielbergian fan-favorite series from Image, and as far as finales go, this one’s a clinic : we start with a dream sequence, we then return to the “real world” much as our memory-wiped protagonists have, and how much they will or might remember is sorta the theme here. Lots of gorgeous double-page spreads give this extra-length issue a little extra “breathing room” to say a proper good-bye to the girls, and all in all these creators hit all the right notes on the way out the door. Oh, and I defy you to keep both eyes dry as you read it. This is calculated stuff, sure — it’s also pretty goddamn wonderful.

Once you get past Jason T, Miles’ amazingly bizarro cover for Floating World Comics’ All-Time Comics : Zerosis Deathscape #2, what awaits within is one of  the most bizarro issues to date of this always-unpredictable project. Josh Bayer and Josh Simmons introduce an utterly inexplicable villain in their script who’s a bit like McDonalds’ Grimace with a nihilistic philosophical bent, there are some truly eyeball-gouging battle scenes, and the “heroes” of this ostensible “universe” seem less heroic than ever. Benjamin Marra and Ken Landgraf kick things off with the first five pages of art, but it’s the main chunk of the book, as illustrated by the great Trevor Von Eeden, that’s the real draw here, and worth the price of admission. “Dynamic insanity” is, I believe, the term I’m straining for here — and now that I’ve found it, I need not say much else about this comic other than “buy it.”

Cullen Bunn and his fellow Sixth Gunn creator Brian Hurtt team up on writing duties for Manor Black #1 from Dark Horse, illustrated by Bunn’s creative partner on Harrow County, the magnificent Tyler Crook, and while the story’s a bit of a confused introduction to this world of magic and legacy, the whole “old-meets-new” dynamic works, and the art’s just straight-up gorgeous. This concept seems like it should have some legs, and even if the story doesn’t improve significantly, Crook is reason enough to hang around month-in and month-out — at least to see how this comic looks, if not where it goes.

Bunn’s got another debut to his credit this week with Aftershock’s Knights Temporal #1, a time-travel-meets-mystic-secret-society thing stunningly delineated by Fran Galan, who gives things a decidedly Eurocomics feel with his lush illustration. Again, the story’s a bit of a head-scratcher, certainly by intention I’d assume (although we all know what happens when you do that), but it’s reasonably intriguing, and the art hooks you quick and reels you into this world. I’m definitely planning on sticking around for more, even if how much more is a bit of an open question.

Okay, so 45 minutes. Not so bad, and just enough time before my day gets rolling to remind you all that this column is “brought to you” each and every week by my Patreon site, where I serve up exclusive thrice-weekly rants and ramblings on the worlds of comics, films, television, literature, and politics for the low price of as little as a dollar a month. Your support would be greatly appreciated, needless to say, so if you’d be so kind please give it a look (and hopefully a join) by heading on over to https://www.patreon.com/fourcolorapocalypse

 

ATC Week : “All-Time Comics : Blind Justice” #1

I’m just gonna call it : Victor Martinez’s cover for All-Time Comics : Blind Justice #1 (the fourth release in this Josh and Samuel Bayer-helmed project) is the coolest thing to date about this entire enterprise. Rendered in a style highly reminiscent of old-school airbrushing (hell, it may even be a piece of old-school airbrushing for all I know), it’s atmospheric, evocative, and just plain bad-ass.

Too bad the interior contents can’t live up to the dramatic standard it sets.

Not that it’s a bad comic, mind you — more just another very mixed bag from a series that excels at creating them. The premise is agreeably absurd : a patient at an Optic City psychiatric facility who appears to be more or less comatose is actually the bandaged, club-wielding vigilante known as Blind Justice (or maybe it’s simply “Justice,” since that’s what most folks seem to call him, and there’s no indication that he’s actually, ya know, blind), a kind of unstoppable, and probably un-killable, force of righteous vengeance who has a habit of leaping into action whenever the fetching female assistant director of the hospital’s life is in danger. Which it is, this time, when she and her boss head off for some isolated island to help the poor and downtrodden locals only to find themselves set upon by a cult-like band of modern-day pirates with a vaguely martial and militaristic bent.

The script’s up and down in the extreme, with plot holes large enough to drive a truck through (not the least of which being how our “hero” manages to stow away aboard his lady-love’s ship), but that’s in line with the overall aesthetic here since the art’s all over the place, as well — inconsistent creative teams and “fill-in issues” were a mainstay of the “Bronze Age” these comics are meant to invoke, of course, but this book takes that notion to absurd heights by having scion of comics sub-royalty Rick Buckler Jr. doing most of the pencils, with late-game contributions from Bayer himself and Jason T. Miles, while Al Milgrom handles the bulk of the inks with Sabin Cauldron chipping in here and there in “deadline-crunch” fashion.

And if deliberately channeling the “deadline crunch” ethos is what the goal here was (hell, even the coloring chores are split between Alessandro Echevarria and Matt Rota — you can tell who did what due to Rota’s facility with Ben Day dots), then congratulations on a job well done are certainly due, but not being privy to such “inside baseball” knowledge, all I can say is — it looks and feels rushed and slopped-together at the last minute regardless of intent. There’s a cool double-page splash fight scene, it’s true, but some the figure drawings throughout are wildly inconsistent, and the same is true of a lot of the composition work and the comic’s overall sense, and use, of perspective — the only absolute “stand-by” from start to finish, in fact, is Rick Parker’s definition-of-solid lettering.

And ya know what? Even there we’ve got a wrinkle in the form of the “A. Machine” Charlton-style credits, which certainly give off the look of having been thrown in there right before the whole thing went to press. Which probably lends some weight to the idea that the “rush job” vibe here was intentional. If you choose to buy into that, then this comic’s a successful invocation of a very particular sort of dated industry mainstay and pretty fun, to boot. If you don’t, then the whole thing will likely just come off as a total mess.

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This review, and all others around these parts, is “brought to you” by my Patreon site, where I serve up exclusive thrice-weekly rants and ramblings on the worlds of comics, films, television, literature, and politics. Lately, in fact, it’s been a lot of politics — but there’s a new piece up on there that further explores the ATC themes on the blog here this week that folks who are enjoying these reviews will probably dig, as well. You can join up for as little as a buck a month, so seriously — what have you got to lose? Needless to say, I’ve be very gratified to have your support.

Oh, and I suppose a link would come in handy. Here you go :https://www.patreon.com/fourcolorapocalypse

 

Weekly Reading Round-Up : 04/22/2018 – 04/28/2018

Anthologies, surreal vegetarian polemics, and smarter-than-average TV tie-ins abound, so let’s jump right in —

A haunting and frankly topical cover from the great Al Columbia kicks off  Now #3, and as we’ve quickly come to expect, editor Eric Reynolds has assembled a first-rate selection of cartoonists from around the globe in the pages within. Standout selections from this issue are Eleanor Davis’ psychologically and sexually complex “March Of The Penguins,” Dash Shaw’s soul-baring “Crowd Chatter,” Nathan Cowdry’s unsettling “Deliver Me/Sweet Baby,” Nah Van Sciver’s amusingly ironic (and that takes skill at this point, believe me) “Wolf Nerd,” Anna Haifisch’s unapologetically straightforward “A Proud Race,” Keren Ketz’s beautiful, elegiac “My Summer At The Fountain Of Fire And Wonder,” and Roberta Scomparsa’s disturbing and all-too-real “The Jellyfish,” but for my money (and at $10 for 120 pages you won’t be complaining about how you spent yours here) the absolute revelation is Anne Simon’s triptych of strips, “The Lady Equina,” “Renaldo & Armida,” and “The Washer Of Virgins,” which reveal a cartoonist in absolute command of her considerable skills creating a hermetically-sealed world that is by turns alien and familiar, hilarious and heartbreaking, mythological and timeless. Simon’s debut full-length graphic novel The Song Of Aglaia is slated for release later this summer from Now publisher Fantagraphics, and it just jumped to the top of my “must-read” list.

What’s perhaps nearly as remarkable as the quality of the “hits” in this volume, though, is the intriguing nature of the few “misses” on offer — Ben Passmore uncharacteristically doesn’t achieve quite what he sets out to with “The Vampire,” but it’s clear what he was aiming for and damn gutsy of him to go for something so utterly different, Marcelo Quintanilha is barely undone by the scope of his own ambition in “Sweet Daddy,” Jose Ja Ja Ja attempts to blend the unconventional with the mundane in “Grand Slam” and nearly pulls it off, and Jason T. Miles’ intro and outro one-pagers (the former titled “We Were Bound,” the latter being nameless) and Nick Thorburn’s back cover present tantalizing glimpses of situations that would merit further exploration, but don’t quite succeed in establishing and/or reflecting the larger tonal similarities (as with previous issues there’s no set “theme” or subject in this one, but Reynolds’ chosen running-order of stories invites readers to intuit at least subliminal connections) that flow throughout the rest of the collection. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t mind when a cartoonist swings for the fences and ends up hitting a long fly-ball out, and just a half-year (or thereabouts) into its existence, Now, with its well-chosen mix of already-established “regulars” and comparatively new faces, consistently provides readers with compelling, challenging, intelligent material that leaves preconceptions in the dust and demands rigorous examination. The anthology of the decade has finally arrived.

While we’re on the subject of anthologies — and third issues — Shelly Bond’s Black Crown Quarterly #3 continues the rather frustrating pattern of her IDW sub-label’s centerpiece title not knowing if it wants to tell actual stories, or just get you to buy the other books in the line. I’m enjoying Rob Davis’ “Tales From The Black Crown Pub,” this installment being no exception, but the other regular feature, Will Potter, Carl Puttnam, and Philip Bond’s “Rich And Strange : The Return Of The Cud Band” seems to be running out of gas (just as well this chapter’s only a page long, then, I guess), and the strips set in the Cannonball Comics shop are decidedly feast-or-famine, with Leah Moore and Dilraj Mann’s “Comme Des Gorgons” leaning much more toward the “famine” side of the equation.

It’s definitely not all bad, though, don’t get me wrong — Mann provides a crackerjack wrap-around cover, Peter Milligan and Kristian Rossi’s “Tales From The Raygun : Butterscotch And Soda” is a concise little Vertigo-esque tale of “high weirdness” done with more-than-requisite aplomb, Emmeline Pidgen’s “How To Spot A Galaxy” more than lives up to the high standard of previous installments of “Hey, Amateur!,” and the Tini Howard-scripted “Ghost-Walk With Me : Canon Street By Torchlight,” also illustrated by Monsieur Bond, is more fun than a blatantly promotional yarn probably has any right to be, while David Barnett and Martin Simmonds’ Punks Not Dead sidebar story, “Pretty In Punk,” provides an intriguing glimpse into the early years of Feargal Ferguson’s mother that goes some way toward explaining why she is the way she is today and fleshes out the world of their series considerably in just a few pages.

Tell you what, though, the less said about the text pieces in this ish the better — Barnett’s interview with Howard about her and Nick Robles’ forthcoming Euthanauts series is fine, but Cathi Unsworth’s “Swell Maps” (this time focused on Newcastle and featuring illustrations, once again, by the talented Cara McGee) suffers from the Black Crown curse of being too self-consciously “cool” for its own good, which is likewise my main “beef” with regular features “Four Corners” (Simmonds being forced to prove his “hipness” in this one) and “Beat Surrender” (which strong-arms Ms. Moore into doing the same). Things are simply becoming to repetitious and insular in this comic for it to maintain my interest much longer, and those are two “strikes” a series can’t afford when it’s saddled with an editorial vision as narrow and dated as Bond’s — and speaking of “can’t afford,” while this comic is printed on very nice paper and features high-quality cardstock covers, $7.99 for 48 pages is a more than a bit much, especially when you factor in that no fewer than six of those pages are eaten up with “house” ads for the other Black Crown books.

I dunno — I really wanted to like this comic, and there are things about it that I am perfectly well-satisfied by, at the very least, but I simply can’t keep justifying the expenditure at this point. I’m sticking with Black Crown’s other titles happily, but this is me saying “good-bye” to their “flagship” book.

Patrick McGoohan’s legendary ITV series The Prisoner has been “optioned” for four-color exploitation before — Jack Kirby started in on an adaptation while it was still running (or maybe shortly thereafter) that was abandoned before it saw publication, and DC released an “authorized” sequel by Dean Motter in the late 1980s — but Titan Comics seems bound and determined to give us the “definitive” funnybook iteration of Number Six with The Prisoner : The Uncertainty Machine, the first issue of which hit shops this past Wednesday. I grabbed the variant cover featuring one of Kirby’s stunning splash pages inked by Mike Royer (here presented in color for the first time — and in Mike Allred color, at that), but it was the interior of the book that actually impressed me most : Peter Milligan and Colin Lorimer would both be at the top of anyone’s list to helm this project, and they each deliver in a big way. Milligan’s script is tight, fast-paced, and sets the stage well for what promises to be a very intriguing updating of the concept, while Lorimer and colorist extraordinaire Joana Lafuente dial back the darkness a bit from their amazingly creepy Shadowline/Image horror title The Hunt and capture the tone and feel of the TV show pitch-perfectly. I swear, the double-page spread of The Village at the tail end of this comic is worth the $3.99 asking price all by itself. I am definitely in for the duration here.

And last but certainly not least, Richard Starkings, Tyler Shainline, and Shaky Kane are continuing to absolutely slay me with their Image series The Beef, and the just-released third issue continues their pattern of not so much subverting, but completely ignoring more or less every aspect of graphic storytelling convention altogether and writing their own rule book, which simply reads, in bold, block caps : “THERE ARE NO RULES.” We’re talking about a comic about a guy who turns into a slab of raw meat, after all. Dairy products and veal come in for special — and richly-deserved — shaming this time out, but the narrative also propels itself toward something that should serve as an approximation of a “conclusion,” as the asshole meat-packing plant owner’s even-bigger-asshole son puts The Beef’s lady-love in danger and the bought-and-paid-for local cop tries to fuck everything up for our ostensible “hero.” A savage take-down of the prejudice, gluttony, idiocy, and flat-out ugliness of Trump’s America that can’t decide if it wants to make you laugh or make you cringe and so, wisely, opts to do both, this comic is like nothing else that has come before it — nor anything that will follow in its wake. I’m in straight-up awe of this shit.

Okay, I’ve bent your ear for long enough, I think. Next week’s round-up is a bit up in the air as I’m headed out of town for the weekend, but if I can get some stuff read before Friday, who knows? Maybe I’ll surprise everyone — myself included — by slapping a column up before I head west for a few days. If not, then I’ll hope to see you good readers back here in two weeks’ time!