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posted January 15, 2009
Creators: Graham Annable, Mike Battaglia, Marc Bell, Blutch, Craig Bostick, Charles Brownstein, Frank Cammuso, Ben Catmull, Martin Cendreda, Robyn Chapman, Dan Clowes, Greg Cook, Warren Craghead, Jef Czekaj, Arthur Dela Cruz, Fabio, Chris Forgues, Renee French, Sebastian Frey, Bo Hampton, John Hankiewicz, Dean Haspiel, Sam Henderson, Jon Hetman, Paul Hornschemeier, Garrett Izumi, Ben Jones, John Kerschbaum, Dave Kiersh, James Kochalka, Mark Laliberte, Roger Langridge, Dave Lasky, Jon Lewis, Rik Livingston, Mike Lowery, Austin McKinley, Mark David Nevins, Thomas Ott, Jimmy Palmiotti, pshaw, Ron Rege Jr., Eric Reynolds, Andy Ristaino, Alex Robinson, Johnny Ryan, Pete-Sickman Garner, Krysten Siebecker, R. Sikoryak, Jen Sorensen, art spiegelman, Chris Staros, Alison Elizabeth Taylor, Daniel Warner, Willem, Dan Zettwoch
SPX/CBLDF, softcover, 240 or so pages, 2001, $7.95
I can't decided if the most adorable thing about this book, now eight year in the rear view mirror, is its price tag ($7.95) or its total lack of a bar code. A line-up of small-press heavy-hitters assembled by Small Press Expo committee members including D&Q's Tom Devlin and ADV's Chris Oarr long before they got those gigs, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's Executive Director Charles Brownstein shortly before he got that gig, mostly delivers the short-story goods. It may be more fun as an historical document than as a comic book, although it works both ways. It wasn't that long ago that Pete Sickman-Garner's inclusion in a book like this was a flat-out requirement or that Johnny Ryan could cause some people alarm simply by having a naked dude roaming around a story where someone's mom gets called a dirty word. There's lovely work in here by Blutch, Roger Langridge, Renee French and Dave Lasky; there are a couple of short stories by people we haven't seen since like Alison Elizabeth Taylor and Sebastian Frey (I haven't, anyway); there's even a super-macho Denny Eichhorn-style autobio story from Jimmy Palmiotti of all people. I liked this book far more on re-reading it than I did back when it came out. Time has either made me soft and nostalgic, or robbed this work of its requirement that it be great. Either way, I'm glad I picked it up again, and I bet it's easy to find on-line or less than $10. I might have paid that much for the Dan Zettwoch story all by itself.