Though some of the humour is dated (and, sometimes, borderline offensive due to more contemporary cultural sensitivities), Jogfree of Canda remains asThough some of the humour is dated (and, sometimes, borderline offensive due to more contemporary cultural sensitivities), Jogfree of Canda remains as unique and jocular as it did when it was first presented in 1974. A companion piece to his first book, Histry of Canada, the text within Jogfree is even more sporadic and phonetic than its precursor because the book was alleged to have been "ritten" by Charlie Farquharson himself, and not dictated to Valeeda Drain Farquharson, "the wife an' former sweethart," who was to have typed the first book.
The book is fully illustrated, with amusing captions beneath each erroneous "fotygraft" atributed to a specific place, person, or event (the image of the "Shat-ola Comb Hotel" in Alberta is, in fact, a still of The Leaning Tower of Pisa, for instance), and comes with rampant punnery in place of geographically-accurate maps of each Canadian province, U.S. State, or international country.
Best enjoyed with at least a rudimentary concept of social, geographical, and historical elements of Canada, Jogfree of Canda does not so much teach as it does entertain....more
Excellent companion piece to the movie which can stand alone, but is more effective after a viewing of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." In fact, the movie magiExcellent companion piece to the movie which can stand alone, but is more effective after a viewing of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." In fact, the movie magic and tricks described herein is highly enlightening to those on the outside, and creates a renewed interest in a simple movie....more
A collection comprised of John Porcellino's favourite segments (and issues) of his quintessential comics series King-Cat Comics & Stories.
Having bA collection comprised of John Porcellino's favourite segments (and issues) of his quintessential comics series King-Cat Comics & Stories.
Having been borne of creative drive coupled with semi-boredom, King-Cat Comics began in 1989 in Illinois, with John Porcellino giving copies to his friends, and eventually moving on to mail-order sales on a miniature scale. His Xeroxed comics eventually picked up considerable momentum, and found themselves being sold in stores by issue 22 (again, in tiny quantities). After more than twenty years have passed, Porcellino still releases King-Cat on a more-or-less quarterly basis.
And his comics are still just as relevent as Issue #1.
How does a minicomic/'zine stay fresh and pure after so long a stretch? The formula implemented by Porcellino is certainly not flawless... but perhaps it is within this imperfection that the secret lies?
Porcellino examines himself through memories of youth, adventures with his peers (including one extended passage wherein he and some friends climb the mountains of Colorado - to unexpected ends), as well as any number of remembered dreams, which Porcellino considers vital in the sense that they create a subconscious record as to the kind of person he himself is, beyond all the pretence and self-made covers. Aotubiographical comics have become, in a sense, a bane to the minicomics world - however, Porcellino has created a book wherein self-pity has been neutered.
His linework has been called everything from "masterpiece" to "scrawl" (lovingly, of course). And it somehow calls to new readers with each issue. King-Cat is growing, not losing readership.
And this is where it all began.
(Included in this collection are the origins of Porcellino's better-known character, Racky Raccoon," as well as the entire "Sam" issue of King-Cat, which is not to be missed by anyone who has ever held a place in his/her heart for a domestic animal. Porcellino distills the human essence into a few rudimentary lines and well-placed words. This book provides a wonderful reading experience all on its own.)...more
Simplicity infused with Zen Buddhism, Map to my Heart is John Porcellino's celebration of life.
A beautiful collection of latter-day King-Cat Comics, tSimplicity infused with Zen Buddhism, Map to my Heart is John Porcellino's celebration of life.
A beautiful collection of latter-day King-Cat Comics, the book is a love story written to life itself. John includes everything, including the perennial "Catcalls" column (which contains some of the most fascinating stories and observations from John's friends and fans from around the globe).
To call it heartwarming" would sound trite, but fitting. The basic, rudimentary sketches serve to fool the conscious mind - these stories have a calming power behind them....more
Collecting Issues #4 – 7 of the early Ninja High School run, Antarctic Press' Ninja High School Pocket Manga, vol. 2 begins its ascent. Ben Dunn's artCollecting Issues #4 – 7 of the early Ninja High School run, Antarctic Press' Ninja High School Pocket Manga, vol. 2 begins its ascent. Ben Dunn's artwork becomes more stylized, and his writing more fluid. The characters snap into what will eventually become their defining roles for a good many issues, and the book almost explodes with the enormous potential for success that the title eventually sees.
This is the jump-off point from whence Ninja High School becomes a fun-filled thrill ride through Quagmire, USA.
The four issues collected herein come supplemented with a bonus short story, and a reprint of a Ben Dunn “monologue,” or autobiography in miniature. The stories are, in and of themselves, mostly self-contained; Jeremy Feeple does a little time traveling to battle his hidden demon (a literal demon-in-hiding, as it turns out), then falls into another paranormal drama in modern-day Japan which remains perhaps one of the most touching stories in American comics to date. New recurring character Sammi makes “his” initial appearance, to hilarious effect, and the four-issue run concludes with a wacky battle between the ever-popular Dog Supreme and the mecha/sentai ZETRAMAN fighters (a trio of slacker high schoolers who defend the world as a part of their community service through truancy punishment).
Dunn's mighty eye for visual humour works overtime in this quartet of stories, often sneaking in his tiny “mouse” characters to add hilarity to a pure action sequence, and riffs on popular themes (for instance, the opening cinematic cutscene from Nintendo's 1988 Ninja Gaiden is slyly remixed with NHS characters during a showdown between two unlikely foes). A detailed reader is likely to encounter many such treats and rewards.
Aptly bound between two beautifully drawn and coloured covers, Ninja High School Pocket Manga, vol. 2 is the next – and best – logical step from the somewhat rocky beginning of the series....more
Before it became a humour magazine, MAD was primarily a humour comic book spoofing the popular genres of the day. It was decidedly less "satirical" anBefore it became a humour magazine, MAD was primarily a humour comic book spoofing the popular genres of the day. It was decidedly less "satirical" and overtly big on the parody element.
This book, edited by the late Harvey "Kurtz" Kurtzman, includes some of the classic bits from the magazine's bygone days. Dead-on parodies of the 1950s popular pulp fiction include "Superduperman," "Starchie," and "Lone STranger," as well as some original articles looking at contemporary newspapers and advertising tactics.
One of the best, this book features articles which are just as timely and as funny now as they were when they originally hit the shelves. ...more
Perhaps the most distinctly Canadian graphic novel to have been written within the last two decades, The Complete Essex County brings a level of depthPerhaps the most distinctly Canadian graphic novel to have been written within the last two decades, The Complete Essex County brings a level of depth one would not necessarily expect of hockey players. Coming out of a profession wherein players are not ordinarily depicted with any level of emotional depth (with the possible exception of Radio-Canada's Lance et Compte), retired player Jimmy Leboeuf finds himself playing surrogate father figure to young Lester Papinose, who resides with his uncle in rural Ontario.
The story itself is quite simple: the gigantic graphic novel delves into the family tree of the Leboeuf clan, creating a vast chronological array of characterizations that not only illuminate the character in modern terms, but stir readers all along the way.
The Complete Essex County is light-years away from melodrama, a genre commonly associated with comics. Instead, the book revolves almost exclusively around dialogue, with a few mild plot-contrivances thrown in to differentiate the Leboeuf family from the thousands of others living under similar circumstances.
Hockey is not just a game this family played – it was the definitive element upon which the family legend was created, and eventually curtailed: Jimmy Leboeuf, during his final game, was critically injured, which affected not only the rest of his life, but those of others, such as unsuspecting, superhero-poseur Lester.
Far outreaching Craig Thompson's similarly-sized Blankets, Jeff Lemire's effort may be purely fiction – but the story is far more engaging, and distinctly less self-involved. This book also collects several minor stories previously associated with the Essex County mythology as a type of “bonus material.” For this alone, the book is worth picking up.
Jeff Lemire has created one of the most fascinating works of Canadian literature in modern years. It just so happens to be a comic book....more
A mindless romp through the streets of a wacky (albeit unnamed) township, Alena's Tank Patrol describes itself as being a cross between Project A-Ko,A mindless romp through the streets of a wacky (albeit unnamed) township, Alena's Tank Patrol describes itself as being a cross between Project A-Ko, Ninja High School and Lum.
In reality, this little book is in a class of its own.
Alena's Tank Patrol tells the story (such as it is) of a mecha-alien invasion somewhere on Earth. The extra-terrestrials do not seek out superior life forms – instead, they seem content to settle on whatever they can find in a hurry. Alena is a young, decidedly air-headed, hero who finds herself defending both her pride and all of humanity, seemingly in that order. Her arch-nemesis turns out to be the most irritating kid in her neighbourhood, the pie-obsessed Angus “Geek Boy” Mcree, who also happens to have had contact with one of the sentient mechanized life forms. During their bizarre battles with each other – at one point, on the same side – the world becomes tainted by their particular brand of lunacy, and logic begins to convolve and contort upon itself.
Alena's Tank Patrol is a very, very strange book.
It is also a self-published effort, the medium of Canadian author/artist Jim Felker's studio Alpha-Wave Productions.
What becomes immediately obvious to the first-time reader of Felker's work is that the characters' form seems to take on a logic all of its own. The artwork remains consistent throughout, which demonstrates a deliberate effort to achieve this particular creative style – one which would prove quite difficult for the uninitiated to ape. What also remains obvious is that it is Felker's passion for his characters which largely formulated the original work. Felker's not a call-in artist – he's the real deal, illustrating the surreal stories that were cultivated in his own fertile imagination by himself, not for profit but for the sake of expressing the hilarity that is Alena and her haphazardly uncoiling worldly physics.
Alena's Tank Patrol is a truly unique book. It is not a copy, nor a tribute, nor a mimicry. It is a book unlike any other you are likely to have encountered (much the way the legendary Fletcher Hank's notions and artwork, as short-lived as they were, have been described as being “unbelievably complex,” Jim Felker's take on the world could have come from his mind alone).
The book is an all-too-brief journey alongside young Alena, and to describe her antics in detail would serve only to rob a potential readership of the eccentric spirals of the tales.
Though in places the written word seems in need of a copy editor (as some words run together as one, or are mistyped, or sometimes appear to be missing altogether), there is no doubt as to the book's sincerity, its hilarity, and its overall jive of “Good Feeling All Around.” While Alena's Tank Patrol comes to a conclusion (of sorts) after a mere 70 pages (including several satisfying after-story Extras), one can rest assured that the characters live on in their own realm of existence – even if it remains sadly beyond our sight.
One cannot help but be grateful that there could exist an Alena, even if she remains merely the creation of one particularly devoted mind. She is filled with delightful insanity, unexpected pathos, and complete buffoonish humour that elicits a laugh no matter what the circumstances the subjectively inhibited world may cause to unfold.
And somehow, it all makes this “real” world so much easier to bear. ...more