Shitbeams on the Loose #2
Andy Rementer, Ron Rege Jr., Jason Overby, Dave Nuss, Andrew Smith, Hector Serna Jr., Brent Harada, Robyn Jordan, John Hankiewicz, Grant Reynolds, Ryo Kuramoto & Amane Yamamoto, Rusty Jordan, Luke Ramsey, writers/artists
Rusty Jordan, Dave Nuss, editors
Revival House, October 2009
I picked this up on the strength of that gorgeous Andy Rementer cover, which at the time I thought was by Ron Rege Jr. That’s actually a pretty appropriate way to have discovered this artcomix anthology, in which there are several pieces strong enough to make you think “hey, this was worth taking a flyer for nine bucks” and several others that you could mistake for the work of other cartoonists and then some stuff that you just move on by. I’m always up for new John Hankiewicz, and thus my favorite piece is his wordless sequence of four full-page images, which paint a quietly creepy portrait of some kind of dark domestic fairy-tale. It’s followed by some bravura inkwork by Grant Reynolds in service of a gruesome underwater flying-saucer sci-fi tale, peppered with non sequitur quotes in big block letters that feel like faintly received transmissions from the strip’s helmeted voyager. And I was tickled by both Dave Nuss’s look at the underpaid centurion who stabbed Christ in the side and the stylized drawing of “tubgirl” (google at your own risk) that Andrew Smith provided for the back cover. Beyond that? There’s some not-his-best stuff from Rege (really, this time), a “comic about comics” from Jason Overby whose visuals fail to live up to insight of the text, and some stuff that’ll remind you of Ben Jones, Matt Furie, Michael DeForge, Bald Eagles, you know, the whole wildandwoolier end of that scene. It’s inessential, but if you like this sort of thing, it’s the sort of thing you’ll like.