archive for the 'Real Life' category


Shortly after I picked up Cell #1, I saw that the third issue had been solicited as “#3 of 3″. So I figured I had the beginning of a nice little limited series. Not exactly. In fact, what happened is writer/artist Derek Kirk decided to the put the series on hold - [...]

Finger Filth

This volume is a reprint of several sexually-explicit comics and series Bob Fingerman has produced over the years. While Fingerman’s current series for Fantagraphics, Minimum Wage contains some incidental nudity and sex, these pieces focus on sex and nudity. Some of them (”Shugga” and “Skinheads in Love”) are medium-length stories originally published on [...]

An Accidental Death

This is the sort of story that one hopes isn’t autobiographical (or even just biographical). It’s not so horrible as to be impossible, but it’s discomforting enough that you really hope it’s just fiction. It’s not billed as autobiography. Nonetheless, reading the detailed description and rather believable characterisation, and looking at the [...]


I don’t like to review stories before they’re finished, but in this case I’m making an exception. Creator Jenni Gregory has said that DreamWalker is going to be a novel, and numbers the pages accordingly: after the 27 pages of story in #1, the first page in #2 is numbered “28″. But because [...]

A History of Violence

When I first heard about this book, I thought it was like Paradox Press’ “Big Book” series. They’d had The Big Book of Death, The Big Book of Urban Legends, The Big Book of Thugs, and so on. So when I heard the title “A History Of Violence“, I assumed it was just [...]

Dancin’ Nekkid with the Angels

Howard Cruse has received a bit of attention recently for Stuck Rubber Baby, his graphic novel about a white gay man coming of age in the racist American South of the 1960’s. Before that, he was well known in the gay and lesbian community as the creator of Wendel, a full-page strip that [...]

Our Cancer Year

I bought Our Cancer Year a couple years ago, when it was initially released. But like most “serious” long-form works, I didn’t get to it right away. I usually want to wait until I’m “ready” for them, and have the time to read them in one shot. That never happened with this [...]

Seven Miles a Second

Most autobiographies lack one important element: an ending.
At the time they’re written, the author may be past the end of their career, and whatever events make their story “interesting” may be over, but their story isn’t yet over; they don’t yet know how it will end.
David Wojnarowicz, on the other hand, knew the ending to [...]


“So there you have it. Another Jones creation that thrills the pros and baffles the fans.”
That was Gerard Jones’ response following a slew of rave reviews from Kurt Busiek, Mark Waid, Mark Wheatley, Mark Badger, Sam Hamm, and Fabian Nicieza, followed by a bunch of more tentative letters from plain ol’ readers. [...]


The semi-official “high concept” description of this series is “Twin Peaks in rural England”, and I think that captures it fairly well. But it’s Twin Peaks without the psychedelic surreality and forced, morbid weirdness to maintain the reputation for weirdness. And with charm. But maybe that’s covered by the “rural England” part [...]

Nine Panel Grid

If it was good enough for Watchmen, it should be good enough for anyone, right?
In Nine Panel Grid, creator James Pyman adheres pretty strictly to a standard grid of 3 rows, with 3 panels each. Hence the name. He bends the rules a little from time to time, by spreading a single scene [...]

The Worst Thing I’ve Ever Done

With the success of Paradox Press’ “Big Book” series, the market appears ripe for this new publication by cartoonist Ted Rall. It’s an oversized, square-bound collection of short graphical stories, each (as Paradox boasts of its Big Books) “100% true”. The theme is, as you probably guessed, confessions of the worst things that [...]