Wednesday, April 14, 2010


In his introduction, guest editor Burns admits that most of the artists therein were already well known to me... if you're a reasonably talented cartoonist, it's hard to stay under the radar for long. So many of the usual suspects are in this volume. There's Adrian Tomine, with a particularly funny excerpt from his charged epic of postmillennial self-hatred, Shortcomings. Robert Crumb and Aline Kominsky-Crumb deliver one of their droll, kvetchy riffs on anachronisms, from the New Yorker. Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, Peter Bagge, Tony Millionaire and Gilbert Hernandez are all present. Whereas this recitation of familiar names would in most other circumstances prove to be a minus, here it seems simply a recognition that the comics world may just be small enough that the core of truly excellent artists can (unlike print fiction) still be counted in the dozens, not the hundreds. Still, Burns and Co. have also dug up less expected pieces, including a number of Tim Hensley's wildly subversive Archie-esque deconstructions from Mome and Kevin Huizenga's surprisingly heartfelt take on the dot-com bust, Glenn Ganges in Pulverize. A collection of the mostly expected, maybe, but never less than satisfying. (Oct.)

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