City-Hunter Magazine #1
Fantasy Empire Magazine Co., December 2009
$3, I believe
I have no way of contextualizing this thing. It’s not Powr Mastrs, it’s not even a smaller and stranger but still-quite-obviously-a-minicomic minicomic like Core of Caligula. It’s billed as a “zine,” and there’s a comics sequence, yeah, but it’s mostly illustrations and sketches and doodles and a couple of goofy prose pages and a blown-up xerox of a piece of an issue of USA Today. As such? I still really enjoyed it. C.F. gains more from inscrutability than just about any other working cartoonist; at its best his stuff already has an air of mystery to it, so when stripped even from the relatively loose standards of his “proper” comics, the way he writes out phrases like “MANSION SOFT DRINK” scribbles them out, writes them over again, and follows them up with a stand-alone image of a person walking past a fancy-looking window toward a soda machine, say, takes on a whole new weight. Who the hell is “LUCIO” and why is his name taking up half a page? What does any of it have to do with those rather sexy bondage pin-ups–one of them in full color? Beats me, and that’s quite fine.
The things I could make sense of tickled me, at any rate. The titular strip, set up with a prose introduction by “editor” “Mike Rennet” (does he exist? does it matter?) about the need he felt to discover the big city when he moved to it, follows around a little dude in a memorably C.F.-ian jumpsuit as he walks around the city and just stand around in various places. It’s kind of Pythonesque in its vibe, though I’m finding it difficult to convey. All I know is that I laughed. Same with the second text piece, an editorial from Rennet about how if you live in the city you have to live it up:
Now if you’re reading this thinking I’m standing still in my own poison, mortified by my past and terrified of my future, you’ve got another thing coming. And that thing is my scared, angry fist, smashing through your apartment wall. Your messy, overpriced, uncool, apartment… wall. You’re going to shrivel up; because you don’t know anything about how to work this city, man.
It ends with an exhortation to check out the author’s Facebook page. I got my $3 worth out of this and that’s all the context I need.