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Comic Relief #99
posted December 22, 2005

Creators: Michael A. Kunz
Publishing Information: Page One Publishers, $4.95
Ordering Numbers:

The odd man among the nominees for last summer's Eisner awards for best comics-related periodical, Comic Relief #99 shows itself to be a reasonably entertaining read without being a must-have item. Comic Relief reprints a wide variety of syndicated material, including a wide variety of strips, some text columnists like Dave Barry, and a goodly portion of editorial cartoonists, in an affordable, throw-away newsprint magazine. The guiding editorial principle is "incorporating funny stuff."

Some of the material, while entertaining, also appears in formats where it's better served, including chunks of the perpetually collected strips Doonesbury, Dilbert and For Better and For Worse. But some of the collections aren't as regular -- readers of TCJ #195 might be pleased to find a large number of funny Tom Toles cartoons here without having to drop $15.95 for his next book.

Another advantage is in looking at new strips. The problem, however is that the strips I wasn't aware of look pretty awful, such as Deep Cover and Fried Society. The biggest surprise is that Joe Bob Briggs has a syndicated print column (it's not surprising that it isn't very good, though).

This would be a fine magazine for an airplane trip, but it's cheap printing and hit-and-miss nature really kind of limits my desire to read it on a regular basis.

This review was written in the late 1990s as part of a then-ongoing freelance gig; I apologize if it reads oddly or seems incomplete.