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The Collected Diabetes Funnies by Colin Upton
Diabetes Funnies began as a series of 8 page mini-comics by veteran small press and independent cartoonist Colin Upton shortly after he was diagnosed with diabetes in 2008. In these comics, Colin comes to terms with his condition by changing his life fundamentally, losing 85 pounds, going on and off drugs while dealing with his anger, despair, and issues of body image. Created in sharp bursts of creative energy, the humor of Diabetes Funnies is often dark (dark enough that after his first issues he was asked to come into his clinic so they could be sure he wasn’t suicidal). But those suffering from diabetes might appreciate a frank, outrageous and honest look at an all too common condition. The Collected Diabetes Funnies collects all 13 Diabetes Funnies mini-comics into a single volume. Also included is an Epilogue not available in any other form.
2010, Main Enterprises
In his introduction to Sheesh #1, editor Jim Main describes his latest mini comic series as somewhere between Ack! and WTF!?! That's not a bad thing. Ack! is a mad-inspired comic book and WTF!?! is a ground-level mini with content that evokes its titular response. Here's a rundown of what's inside the Sheesh front cover by Mike Pascale and the back cover snark by BeBop:
• A full page cartoon of a Militant Agnostic by Brad W. Foster.
All and all a terrific first issue. Let's hope Jim Main and company keep 'em coming!
Monkey Squad One Annual #1 by Doug Michel
201, Self-published, 28 b&w pages, with self-cover
I'm new to the Monkey Squad, but they seem to have quite a history as well as brand extension. This Annual is a great place to begin reading the group's adventures because it's loaded with recaps and backgrounders. The inside front cover begins with the individual highlights of the action in issues #1-6. And things just advance from there:
Status Quo, Do-Si-Do (4 pages) is followed by a trading card-style spotlight on the Squad's principals: Brendan, Connor, Logan and U.N.C.L.E. Doug.
Connor stars in the one page Part One of There is No Spoon, and you'll either have to skip ahead or wait until nearly the end of the Annual before you dive into Part Two.
Monkey Squad Two (I told you there were spin-offs) stars in Membership Drive (5 pages) which it then follows would be appended by bios of the second squad: The Terrible Teenager, Hellkitty, Bad-Girl, Senorita Isa, Dr. Metropolis and Brookezilla.
Dark Monkey Matters (2 pages) is followed by more profiles, this time with Kaz and C.J.—and a useful Map of the Monkeyverse.
There's one more Monkey Squad waiting in the wings, and the wait's over because Monkey Squad Zero is up next in 24 Hr. Revenge Therapy (6 pages). A few gear gadgets gain the spotlight next as just the facts are revealed about The Hot-Rod Time Machine and Monkey-Bot One.
Cletus Whiteheart closes out the Annual with a bit of a cliffhanger that will continue in the regularly scheduled issue (#7). It takes only a one page build-up called Bloody Night, Bloody Knife, but it leaves you waiting for more.
This is another fine collection of short comix about Mushy and his trials and tribulations. LMR assists on some comix, but the majority of the work seems to be CAD's. Send him a couple of bucks for the comix and 50¢ for postage and all should be well. He also encourages trades.
Shadows of Dracula #3 by Chuck Robinson II & Wade Busby
February 2011, Main Enterprises, 20 b&w pages, plus cover
Jim Main takes over publishing tasks from Steve Keeter this issue with help from Barry Southworth and Dan W. Taylor. Contents include contributions by Robert "Floyd" Sumner (cover), Nate Corrigan (inside front cover), Chuck Robinson II (inside back cover) and Dan W. Taylor (back cover). Steve Keeter starts off the issue with his poem Scream Dracula Scream, which is adorned with an illustration by Ben Robinson III. Next up is a 3-page Recapitulation of the action from earlier issues. It's followed by two chapters of the continuing comic story written by Chuck Robinson II and drawn by Wade Busby. The first is Dracula Takes Manhattan, and the second is Trail of the Mummy, both nicely crafted by the talented duo. SOD #3 ends with three pages of letters from fans of the series.
Spring 2010, M.R. Neno Productions
Mini catalog of Michael R. Neno Production comics included.
Here's a description of The Signifiers from the Nenoworld website: "Awesomely apocalyptic in scope, drawn in a classic old-school, Silver Age style and packed with Nenoesque humor and slap-yer-head action."
The Signifiers cast includes:
Chapter one: Millbrook (25 pages), plus a one-page interlude with the World of Landlark.
Nellie of Cosmic Brook Farm or Cosmic House of the Prairie (6 pages).
Landlark the Heat-Seeking Dwarf (13 pages) continued, perhaps in issue #2 or his own title. Two pages of letters from readers who received an advance copy of the book in late 2009, rounds out a terrific first issue.
Herman the Manatee #4 by Jason Viola
2011, Manatee Power. 28 b&w pages, plus cover. 5.5" x 4.25" with saddle stitch binding, no trim. $3.00 from Manatee Power Emporium.
Jason Viola recently completed the fourth mini comic collection of his webcomic, Herman the Manatee. When the strip first began the gags centered around the hapless manatee's regular collisions with motorboats. By issue #2 the boats stopped coming, only to be replaced by a variety of other traumas. In issue #3 Herman makes two friends: Lester, another manatee, plagued by self-hatred; and a hardened criminal, Knuckles the Narwal.
The new issue continues exploring the unlikely friendships begun in issue #3 and Knuckles' introduction to the fishing industry. Herman the Manatee & His Lousy Friends is a worthy addition to Viola's growing collection of excellent mini comics. See the Manatee Power Emporium for all of his titles. Read the webcomic at Manatee Power and follow Viola's news updates on the Manatee Power homepage.
This new 8-page mini comix by Clark Dissmeyer (aka CAD) is untitled, but I'm calling it Bukowski in this short preview, for indexing purposes. It's all about Charles Bukowski (1920-1994), the writer and poet. The cover and several of the interior pages feature some great loose sketches of Bukowski smoking, and in apparent reflection. There's also a two-page comix called Balloons, based on a Bukowski poem that CAD turned into a comix. Wonderful stuff.
Send CAD $1 for the comix and another 50¢ for postage for your copy. Better yet, send your zine in trade to:
Too Blue Comix #5-8 edited by Jerry Goebert
Direct from Blue Moon Productions, Jerry Goebert has released four more issues of Too Blue Comix. As with previous issues the content is strictly adults only and almost entirely too blue to show here. These 8-pagers are classic mini comix size, 4.25" x 5.5", stapled, with self-covers, printed on good quality blue paper. Here's the contributor's line-up:
Too Blue Comix #8 a 12 page issue by Meeah d/z.
Available for $1 each (#5-7) and $1.50 (#8), plus $1 per order for postage from:
It may be a bit presumptuous of me to call this #1, as it may turn out to be a one-shot, but the introduction by Jim Main does hint there could be future issues of this little mini. The material was originally slated for Main's The Big Book of Small Press, but the perfect bound volume was never produced in print. (It was published in PDF form and was offered here on MF.com as a free download in 2010.)
The Sherlock Holmes mini comic is simply a collection of seven full page illustrations of the famous detective and his associate Dr. Watson, beautifully rendered by one of Main Enterprises' star cartoonists, John Lambert. Each one is carefully composed with intricate crosshatching and stippled shading.
Since there are just seven in the collection, I'm only featuring the cover in this review, but rest assured the other six are equally well done. This mini makes me want to see how Main and Lambert would handle an adaptation or original adventure of Holmes and Watson.
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