“Nick’s Rainbow Pepsi Blood” : The Wildest, Weirdest Thing You’ll Ever Drink — Or Read


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

I don’t even know where to begin. Seriously.

Of all the unusual and/or avant-garde comics I’ve reviewed over the years, this one may be the most unusual and/or avant-garde of the bunch, a 12-page slice of self-published singularity from Pitsburgh’s Samuel Ombiri that, sure, can be described, dissected, and discussed — but is really pushing my critical faculties to their limits in an attempt to do so adequately.

Notice I don’t say accurately, as this is one of those minis that there’s probably no “right” or “wrong” way to read — assuming your eyes can even handle the deliberately-obfuscated printing enough to read it at all. Yup, folks — you’ve gotta come into this one willing to put in some work.

That work is rewarded, fear not, as Ombiri is not only a skilled but a very smart cartoonist, but he’s out to challenge you at every turn with…

View original post 575 more words

A Quick Field Guide To The Wonders You’ll See In “A Different Sky”


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

What happens when a couple of stoner buddies, with an assist from their possibly-visionary older homeless “third wheel” sidekick, stumble across the machinations of an ancient cult devoted to summoning up some supernatural bird-creature or other, and then find themselves unable to stop their not-quite-dastardly plan?

I’ve never asked myself that multi-faceted question, but apparently Iowa City-based cartoonist Samuel D. Benson has, and he answers it over the course of 50 magazine-sized pages in his latest self-published opus, A Different Sky. The answer? Not much. But this one’s much more about the journey than it is the (non-) resolution.

Massive props where they’re due : Benson absolutely draws the living shit out of every panel. Vaguely Joshua Cotter-esque cross-hatching and barely-constrained linework take up every scintilla of real estate — yet nothing either looks or feels over-rendered or otherwise too “busy” for its own good. This is art that…

View original post 665 more words

Keep Feeling “Soft Fascinations”


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Reasonably hot off the heels of her magnificent, dreamlike Recollection, breathtaking comics poetry auteur Alyssa Berg returns with another self-published collection, Soft Fascinations, once again riso-printed with a varied and deeply sympathetic color palette that accentuates her themes of memory, fluidity, sensory consciousness, and transcendence with a kind of remarkably naturalistic aplomb, while at the same time bathing the book’s expressive illustrations with a soft, ephemeral glow. Calling it “beautiful” doesn’t do it nearly enough justice — trust me.

At just 20 pages, this is a shorter work than Berg’s last, justly-celebrated release, and yet it feels more conceptually “tight” and focused, as if each short “strip” (a term we’ll employ, by dint of sheer necessity, in as broad and expansive a fashion as possible) builds upon the one before it to present, in the end, a holistic journey within that is grounded not so much — okay…

View original post 758 more words