Hotwire Comics #2

By Leroy Douresseaux
Apr 17, 2008 - 11:26

Tim Lane's cover - a quite striking visual image. Would love to have the original art.


Editor Glenn Head has filled the second volume of his cartoon/alt-comix anthology, Hotwire Comics, with comics, cartoons, and paintings that are either sublime and ridiculous or engaging and witty.  Head epitomizes the weirdness of Hotwire Comics #2 with a mad tale of his own, called “Oozing Dread,” which reads like one of Alan Moore’s conspiratorial comix brews (“The Cobweb” stories, for instance).

Actually, Hotwire Comics #2 traffics in outstanding narratives, a collection of fiction and quasi-fiction that offer superb storytelling.  Tim Lane grabs the cover with a striking visual that ties into his powerful short story, “Outing,” which has a vibe that feels hardboiled, like an EC comic or 50’s era rebel movie.  As good as “Outing” is, it’s surpassed by the masterpiece of Hotwire Comics #2, Mary Fleener’s hallucinatory drug date tale, “Niacin.”  David Lasky and Chris Estey’s dream-infused Mick Jones (“The Clash”) tale is a close second.  Tobias Tak retells “Jack and the Beanstalk,” in the story “Gaboon Meet Krakopf,” which might delight Sandman and Fable fans.  Doug Allen offers a kick in the nuts with “Hillbillies ‘R’ Dumb.”

It’s not all serious.  Among others, Ivan Brunetti offers his idiosyncratic single panel humor, and Sam Henderson’s rubbery, robo-bestiality tale is two-pages of sweet funny.  Of course, the mad genius Johnny Ryan appears, and one of the things for which he is known is skewering self-important cartoonists, critical darlings, and so-called nerd gods (like a Neil Gaiman or a Chris Ware).  This time he takes on Frank Millarkey... I mean, Frank Miller – not be missed!

I wouldn’t call this a great comix anthology (like RAW or Zap Comix), but if Head keeps bringing this gloriously weird art and excellent storytelling, I’ll reconsider.



Last Updated: Jun 26, 2018 - 9:28

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