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Shitbeams On The Loose #2
posted March 17, 2010
Ron Rege Jr., Jason Overby, Dave Nuss, Andrew Smith, Hector Serna Jr., Brent Harada, Robyn Jordan, John Hankiewicz, Grant Reynolds, Ryo Kuramoto, Amane Yamamoto, Rusty Jordan, Luke Ramsey, Andy Rementer.
Revival House, softcover, 64 pages, October 2009, $9
On first flip-through, Shitbeams On The Loose
#2 took me back to the heady days of 1997, when cartoonists you liked seemed to publish every other week in destined-to-be-lost, handsomely dressed anthologies like this one, when several such volumes a year came out that seemed dominated by fun-looking drawings over actual comics at a time you didn't 100 percent know how you felt about that, when the books in your to-read pile frequently didn't even have page numbers to help you figure out which cartoonist was which.
The good news is that this is a pretty good representative of that sub-form. Andy Rementer's cover is attractive in a way that doesn't quite communicate via jpeg, and he gets the issue's final pages for a brief slice-of-life cartoon with a curiously excitable core. There are pieces by Ron Rege Jr. and John Hankiewicz, artists that one would suppose have fans interested in every single thing they do. I liked best a short story by Grant Reynolds that combined grotesque imagery with these wonderful, single-page visions where the letters of some strident statement or another bleed right into the background. There's nothing here that I would follow into another comic and buy on its own, but there's certainly a lot of fun drawing throughout. I grew more fond of it just flipping it back open for this review. The bad news is I'm not sure where you can find it. Probably at the Stumptown Festival, maybe through one of the artists, likely at one of Portland's small-press cognizant stores. If you can unearth one, and this sounds like your kind of thing, and if you're not looking for anything transcendent in terms of overall artistic effect, Shitbeams
can hold its own against anything similar that came out when Clinton was president.