Nothin to it but to do it... Here is the sixth and final instalment in my seemingly 85 part series of reviews for the things I got at SPX earlier this month. Thanks for bearing with me folks. Hopefully you have at least clicked on some of the links and maybe gotten some ideas for some creators to look for in the future. This was my first time at SPX, as I have mentioned previously, and I found it to be a pretty rewarding experience.
Addicted to Bumpers & The Divide - Falynn Koch - Both of these are a bit smaller format than the previous work of hers I wrote about.Both of these have nice covers and beautiful art inside. 'Addicted' covers the very serious topic of cereal addiction and 'Divide', which i just adore, is about people being separated by fate and then overcoming the odds in a sweet and fanciful way, in order to see each other again. Beautiful stuff. I will say again that I was very impressed by her work, and meeting the artist was a pleasure as well.
Karma Shmarma - Mark Griffin - This is a pretty sobering story about the artist's fight with cancer that he had previously seemed to have beaten. Sobering because of how unexpectedly it came back, but this is not a book about death or doom in any way. This is a story about a guy and the stuff that happens to him and the people around him. It's about a guy with a pretty amazing wife, and pretty awesome friends who loved him and cared about him. The art in this is really fantastic black and white cartooning. It doesn't attempt to be anything more than it is. There is a lot of humor in it, as well as a good bit of dazed expressions. This is a very real story, and it strikes me as how things would be for me, or my wife, or any of our loved ones. Life wouldn't stop at learning about the recurrence, humor wouldn't stop. It's heavy stuff to think about.
A really nice thing about going to SPX, was getting to see the author's friends carrying on his memory and selling his books. Mark Griffin passed away in June of this year. I really think the best thing we can hope for, and the thing we should strive for is to surround ourselves with people we care about and who care about us... Preferably ones with a sense of humor.
The Life & Times of 'Baby' Otto Zeplin v1 - BT Livermore - This book starts with the birth of Otto Zeplin, or rather the birth of Frank Zeplin, as he didn't change his name to Otto until two days later, and ends with Otto making and eating the best sandwich ever. In between... Hilarity ensues. This is an absolutely perfect little book. The art is lovely and clean and professional, and the cover is snazzy with shiny gold lettering on red paper with a black spine. There is even a watermarked front page of a lighter stock like in old-timey books. I won't spoil the jokes in this thing. Buy it and see the funny for yourself.
Hyper Toast (1 & 2) - Justin DeCarlo - You won't believe just how much I wish I could put a link here to some place you could find lots of great info on Justin DeCarlo... If anyone reads this and knows of a site for Hyper Toast, or for Mr. DeCarlo, please post it here, I would love to be able to share it with others. Volume one has the story 'Judas Hands', Volume 2 has 'Quentin Chase, On The Town' Both stories show a great deal of style and talent artistically, but they also show a ton of humor with an extremely smart and quirky bent (not self-consciously quirky, but slightly twisted in a good way quirky). If there is a unifying theme between the two volumes, it may be that a jar of olives appears prominently in both. Judas hands starts with a man telling his cat that he has a tumor the size of a tangelo, and ends with him suspecting that his various body parts are out to make a play for supremacy within the kingdom of his body. In Quentin Chase, our dapper and well to do main character becomes smitten with a street performer, a teller of tales who directs her actors (bugs that live in her hair) as they perform the stories she tells. I would love to see more of his work.
And there we are at the end of my SPX haul. I can't wait until next year. Hopefully I will have more money to spend and end up with an even greater amount of stuff to cover.