It Continues

Frank Santoro is on a brief hiatus, so instead of your usual Thursday Riff Raff column, we've got two reviews for you. First, Brandon Soderberg tackles Robin Bougie's Sleazy Slice #7. Very little of that review is safely quotable on this family-friendly blog portion of the site, so don't read this if you're one of the youngest members of your family:

It probably doesn't matter much to Sleazy Slice artist/editor Robin Bougie, who proudly categorizes his nervy work as "filth," but his seven years-running porno comics anthology hasn't ever really received the credit it deserves.

See, long before art-porn that's as much porn as it is art got absorbed into the post-Tumblr alt-comix scene, Bougie had already handed pages of his anthology over to Josh Simmons (including The Furry Trap standout "Cockbone"), published rarely translated oddities from artist Shintaro Kago, and investigated bizarre fuckbook ephemera like a deeply offensive sixties curiosity titled, "Squaw Cunt." Certainly, something like Thickness could not have made the game-changing entrance it did without the obnoxiously un-P.C. and oft-troubling groundwork already laid down by Sleazy Slice.

Our other review is from new contributor, the cartoonist Whit Taylor, who offers her thoughts on Simon Hanselmann's "Life Zone":

“Life Zone” revolves around four main characters: Meg, Mogg, Werewolf Jones, and Owl. Meg, a witch, and the only female in the group, is an insecure, self-conscious, and self-medicating witch who is unknowingly the object of the other three’s affection. She is one of those people who does not realize her true value. Mogg, her cat partner, is your “typical” stoner who puts minimal effort into everyday activities. He is nonchalant, easy-going, and self-assured. Werewolf Jones, their raucous neighbor, is in constant party mode, instigating debaucheries wherever he goes. He’s also an aggressive bully at times. The most markedly different character is housemate Owl, a neurotic, yet impressionable character who is easily persuaded to go along with the rest of the characters’ intoxicated escapades. One of the reoccurring comedic gags throughout the story is him being beat up in various situations, usually due to his misjudgment, self-righteousness, and bad luck.


—News. RIP Fred Kida. More on the site soon.

—Interviews & Profiles. Margaret Wappler at the Los Angeles Times has a profile of Mimi Pond. ["{Tom} Devlin speculates that Pond isn't as well known as she should be because her former works — illustrated books on style, and cartoons for magazines — didn't play into the collector mentality."]

Erstwhile TCJ podcaster Mike Dawson appeared on Make It Then Tell Everybody, and Tom Hart, the closest thing we have to a comics saint, appeared on Inkstuds.

—Reviews & Commentary. Brian Cremins has a valuable response to the controversial Walt Kelly portion of R. Fiore's most recent column. ["As I read these remarks, I began to wonder, what would a 'context-conscious reading' of this sequence look like? And is Fiore correct? Would it reach a different conclusion than the one in Andrae’s introduction?"] Then Jeet Heer, who left insightful comments under both the Fiore and Cremins pieces, composed an essay-via-Twitter on it all. ["There's a good argument to be made that Kelly's intent in those early Pogo comics were progressive, but they smack of blackface now."]

Rob Clough reviews Jon Vermilyea's Fata Morgana. ["Anthropomorphic slices of pizza drip cheese in a menacing and disturbing fashion, while anthropomorphic breakfast foods get into brutal fights."]

—Misc. Osamu Tezuka gets a Google exhibit.

—Funnies. Julia Wertz on dreams.