May 20, 2014

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1st Group of Yeah Dude Comics

My favorite panel from Stoner Alien
A few months ago, mini-comics creator Pat Aulisio ran a Kickstarter for a new anthology of print mini-comics, which I suggested you back (I hope you took that suggestion.). With almost no delay in turn around, Pat got out the first set of issues to subscribers, which says a lot about his professionalism.

In this first batch were three very different comics, which I liked quite a bit. It shows that in this subscription, there will be a nice variety of styles and genres, which is what makes for the best subscription packages in my opinion, especially at the start. It gives the reader/subscriber a great way to see if the publisher/curator's taste aligns with theirs, which is essential.

First up is Stoner Alien, which I think is by Aulisio, but it's not credited, either here in the Tumblr preview.* The story is about an alien and a rogue Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, who hang out doing low-level drugs and then get into an argument with a prissy customer at their job, leading to my favorite line in the comic, "Wait...we have jobs?"

This isn't going to appeal to everyone, as it relies heavily on stoner humor, like comments on Ditko's lack of drug use or visuals of smoke tricks. When they go to work, it runs about as well as you'd expect, ending with the customer actually spewing blood after going nuts trying to get her order. Pat refers to it as "Beavis and Butthead humor" and that's about right.

A panel from Time Distortion.
The coloring on this one really works, with the alien in gray tones, the turtle in green, and a green-gray background mix. The panels are mostly close and medium looks, with some really funny moments as you see these two unlikely employees dressed like the person who sells you the artisan breads at the upscale grocery.

I laughed, and would be happy to see more adventures with these two characters, perhaps going to see movies based on their analogues and ripping them to shreds. Seem like a task they'd enjoy.

Time Distortion Modulator Schematics Manual is definitely by Aulisio, and I'd have recognized that even without a name at the back. It's a short, wordless series of intricate abstraction doodles of machine parts. There's no storyline or plot, just Pat showing his ability to make little parts that might or might not go together, leaving that up to the reader's imagination.

Look at that detail work from Burggraf!
Last in this group was Thinking about the Afterwards by Josh Burggraf, which visually adapts a part of a book by Robert Anton Wilson (aka the Illuminati writer), Cosmic Trigger 1. The short he adapts is purportedly true, involving Uri Geller, a secretive set of aliens, LSD, and impossible coincidences relating to a magazine cover for Analog, which is especially funny to me because Analog is a "hard sci fi" magazine that eschews things without a strong basis in reality.

Burggraf's illustrations are a great compliment to the test, primarily by playing it straight. Where another artist might have gone over-the-top with the LSD sections, Burggraf instead opts for a realistic portrayal, which makes the idea of Geller's eyes turning into those of an eagle, followed by his entire head, far more plausible than it should be.

Unlike some adaptations I've seen, this one really does balance the words and pictures well. We get just enough of the original text to follow along, but the visuals provided add to the proceedings, rather than either take away from them (bad) or providing no new spin to the words (arguably worse). The background patterns can be intricate, and the character positions (like one where the narrator stares at the eagle-Geller) really show an attention to detail and craft. This one was my favorite of the three, and I hope to see more work from this creator in the future.

Unfortunately, as of this writing, there's no link to purchase these, though I hope Pat gets them up for non-Kickstarter sale soon. Check out the Yeah Dude webstore, which seems the most likely location.

*Artists, please sign your work. You may know who did it, your friends might, but I hate playing guessing games. C'mon, man. Help me make it easier to promote what you're doing.