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                                                Negative Burn



Negative Burn, Vol. 1

    1. cover: Andrew Robinson/alternative cover: Mike Wieringo & Craig Gilmore (July 1993)

                1) Kilroy Is Here: Tiananmen Square [Joe Pruett/Guy Burwell & Tim Bradstreet] 6p

                2) Flaming Carrot vs The Flapping Head [Bob Burden] 4p

                3) Mr. Mamoulian: Promiscuity [Brian Bolland] 1p

                4) Mr. Mamoulian: The Sponge [Brian Bolland] 1p

                5) Boneshaker [Phil Hester] 12p

                                Alternate flip side

1) Matrix 7 [Charles Moore/Randy Green & Craig Gilmore] 6p

2) The Apparition: An Ordinary Man [James Pruett/Nathan Massengill] 9p

3) Dead Aim: “Bless Me, Father…” [Ann Goetz/Chris Hunter & Barry Stephenson, Frank Turner

& Chris Hunter] 8p

                4) Editorial [Joe Pruett] 1p   [text article]


Notes: $2.95 for 48 pages.  Publisher: Caliber Press.  Editor: Joe Pruett & Charles Moore.  Copyright statement states that Negative Burn was owned by Charles Moore, Joe Pruett & James Pruett.  Kilroy and Matrix 7 were cover featured.  This was a comic-sized anthology, presented in a flipbook format for the first two issues, but it was as ambitious in scope as any B&W magazine around.  Any and all genres could appear here and many certainly did, from kid-entry level stories like Patty Cake to the most gut-wrenching horror this side of Taboo.  This first issue wasn’t quite that far ranging but it still displayed a fair range of stories.  Editor Joe Pruett’s creation, the mysterious Kilroy, didn’t make his debut in Negative Burn but his appearances here earned him the popularity that led to a number of one-shot appearances and two separate series over the next six years.  When you think of Kilroy, think of a grimmer and considerably more mysterious version of DC’s The Phantom Stranger.  Twin brother James Pruett did debut his angel character the Apparition.  Come to think of it, brother Joe’s Kilroy may have been an angel too.  Like Kilroy, the Apparition had a limited series and a number of one-shot appearances.  For this issue, both characters had quite good stories but Kilroy’s had better art and the story was superb!  So it’s my pick for both best story & art.  Brian Bolland’s Mr. Mamoulian had previously appeared in Dark Horse’s Euro-anthology Cheval Noir but most of the Mamoulian stories presented in Negative Burn were unpublished and none of the one-page strips had appeared in the order that Bolland intended.  Negative Burn corrected that situation.  Mamoulian’s strips were funny, although at times I didn’t always get the joke—too British, I suppose {or perhaps I’m just dense}, but the artwork was always great and it was a fun strip to follow.  Phil Hester’s serial ‘Boneshaker’ was a very interesting work as well.  Hester went on to do a great deal of mainstream comics but he clearly shows here in Negative Burn, with ‘Boneshaker’, his many one-off strips and the remarkable ‘The Wretch’, that he has a remarkable ability to do both mainstream and alternative comics without losing his credibility.  In addition to his edgy artwork, he’s also a damn good writer.  There’s also good, if somewhat unremarkable, work here from Ann Goetz & Bob Burden.


    2. cover: Phil Hester/alternative cover: Wayne Vansant (Aug. 1993)

                1) Playmates [Jeff Lang/Steve Lieber] 8p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Cornwall [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Mr. Mamoulian: The Portrait [Brian Bolland] 1p

                4) Boneshaker, part 2 [Phil Hester] 10p

                5) Stubbs The Cat: No Tricks For Joe [Greg DiGenti] 3p

                6) Kilroy Is Here Ad [Brian Bolland] 1p   [B&W repo of #0’s cover]

                                Alternative flip side

                1) Knights Of The Skull: Tank Killers [Wayne Vansant] 8p

                2) What Good Is It? [Phil Hester] 1p

                3) The Great Escape [Malcolm Bourne/Jim Calafiore] 8p

                4) A Tim Bradstreet Sketchbook [Tim Bradstreet] 4p

                5) Tim Bradstreet: A Biography [Tim Bradstreet?] 1p   [text article]

                6) Manhattan [Vincent Stall] 1p

                7) Editorial [Charles Moore] 1p   [text article]


Notes: Some anthologies take a few issues to fully present what they’re about but Negative Burn came roaring out of the chute with this issue.  Another great installment of ‘Boneshaker’, an excellent WWII story by Wayne Vansant, the first installment of the ‘Sketchbook’ feature, more ‘Mr. Mamoulian’ and good work by Greg DiGenti were all welcome presentations.  However, the highlights of this issue would be the excellent stories by the teams of Lang/Lieber and Bourne/Calafiore.  ‘Playmates’ relateed the story of a young boy at that point when he realizes his longtime female playmate has some sexual attractions for him as well.  Well done and even a little sad.  ‘The Great Escape’ was a reader’s point-of-view portrait of a young child abuse victim who decides her life isn’t worth living.  Both were powerful stories and tie for the best story/art honors.  A strong issue.


    3. cover: Andrew Robinson/back cover: Brent Trammell (Sept. 1993)

                1) Black Mist: Prelude [James Pruett/Avido Khahaifa] 7p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Art And Excrement [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Jeff Smith Introduction [Joe Pruett] 1p   [text article]

                4) Sketches [Jeff Smith] 4p  

                5) Bone excerpt [Jeff Smith] 2p

                6) Bone, Book One Ad [Jeff Smith] 1p

                7) Lazaretto VI [Brent Trammell/Brent Trammell & Bradley Walton] 8p

                8) The Great Frog Ball [Marc Erickson] 3p

                9) Flaming Carrot: The Panic [Joe Pruett/J. Adams Walters] 2p

                10) A Poppy Sketchbook or The Secret Language Of Otters [Craig Hamilton] 3p

                11) Lullaby Ad [Casey Jones] 1p   [on inside back cover]


Notes: Size reduced to 32 pages.  The cover featured ‘Black Mist’ was a preview story for the upcoming Caliber series.  The ‘Mr. Mamoulian’ strip had the best story while Craig Hamilton’s sketchbook art featured the best artwork.  The ‘Bone’ fragment was much appreciated by me at the time since it convinced me to purchase the Bone trade paperbacks.  There’s also good work here from Marc Erickson & Brent Trammell.


    4. cover & back cover: Craig Hamilton (Oct. 1993)

                1) The Trigger Man [Malcolm Bourne/Mark Bloodworth] 8p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Shit-Face [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Mr. Mamoulian: Sport! [Brian Bolland] 1p

                4) Kilroy Is Here: Rosewood [Joe Pruett/Guy Burwell] 7p

                5) Beheading [P. Craig Russell] 1p

                6) Dead Flowers [Marc Erickson] 8p

                7) Classics Descrated: Little Miss Muffet [Doug Wheeler/Dom Wimmer] 1p

                8) Michael Wm. Kaluta Sketchbook [Michael Kaluta] 5p


Notes: Craig Hamilton’s Halloween covers were quite striking.  ‘The Trigger Man’, like ‘Black Mist’ in the previous issue, was a preview for an upcoming series.  However, I don’t know if the series actually appeared.  Doug Wheeler’s ‘Classics Descrated’ series also appeared in Dark Horse Presents.  There’s good  work here from Wheeler, Erickson & Bolland but the absolute stunner was the Pruett/Burwell ‘Kilroy’ story.  At the time, I never heard of the Rosewood massacre and while the actual events are appalling, the Kilroy story was a compelling way of presenting those events.


    5. cover: Guy Davis/back cover: Greg DiGenti (Nov. 1993)

                1) Sojourn [James Pruett/Avido Khahaifa] 9p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: New Zones Of Bareness [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Sky Way [Terry Collins/Brian Hodges] 4p

                4) Math [Phil Hester] 1p

                5) The Giant [Chas Truog] 4p   from the notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci

                6) Arthur Suydam Sketchbook [Arthur Suydam] 4p

                7) Classics Descrated: Freezing In Woods On A Snowy Evening [Doug Wheeler/Stewart

Stanyard] 1p

                8) Dragoon! [Gregg Kendrick/Scooter Tidwell] 6p

                9) Project High [Ken Meyer, Jr.] 2p


Notes: The letters’ page debuted.  An Olav Beemer from the Netherlands became Negative Burn’s most prolific letter writer, appearing one or more times in almost every appearance of the letters’ page.  Best story was Ken Meyer, Jr.’s schooldays bio while the best art was by Chas Truog.  Interesting work also appeared from Brian Bolland, Phil Hester & James Pruett.  All in all, though, this was a rather weak issue.


    6. cover: Michael Kaluta (Dec. 1993)

                1) Kilroy Is Here: Safe Haven [Joe Pruett/Ken Meyer, Jr.] 6p

                2) Vixen [David Lloyd] 9p

                3) Yuletide Warning [Elaine Lee/Craig Hamilton] 2p   [poem]

                4) Conditioned [Phil Hester] 4p

                5) Classics Descrated: The Little Boom-Box Boy [Doug Wheeler/Steve Smith] 2p

                6) Mr. Mamoulian: Dark Horse [Brian Bolland] 1p   reprinted from Cheval Noir #3 (Nov. 1989)

                7) Andrew Robinson Sketchbook [Andrew Robinson] 4p

                8) Project High: Camp Goodwill [Ken Meyer, Jr.] 1p

                9) Joe Smith The Beast [Greg DiGenti] 1p


Notes: Editor: Joe Pruett.  Kaluta’s cover featured Kilroy but it was neither particularly striking nor interesting.  Unusual for Kaluta, who’s usually dynamite on cover illos.  The Kilroy story also appeared to be a preview for his upcoming series.  David Lloyd’s horror story was done in 1974, probably for a British mag like House Of Hammer/Halls of Horror.  Best story and art appeared in Phil Hester’s grim little tale ‘Conditioned’.  Greg DiGenti, Joe Pruett, Ken Meyer, Jr. and Craig Hamilton also provided good material. 


    7. cover: Paul Gulacy (Jan. 1994)   [Wraparound cover]

                1) The Vitruvian Man: FFWD/CUE [Steve Mattsson/Paul Gulacy] 6p

                2) Vitruvian Man Data File [Steve Mattsson/RT?] 1p   [text article]

                3) Mr. Mamoulian: Scorpions [Brian Bolland] 1p

                4) Jazz Age Chronicles [Ted Slampyak] 8p

                5) Hound Dog Blues [Phil Hester] 3p

                6) Classics Descrated: The Gift Of The Magi [Doug Wheeler/David Gatzmer] 6p   loosely (very!)

inspired from the story by O. Henry

                7) Richard Case Sketchbook [Richard Case] 4p

                8) Dry Martini [Vincent Stall] 1p

                9) Editorial [Malcolm Bourne] 1p   [text article]

                10) The Zone Continuum Primer [Bruce Zick] 8p   [the bible for an upcoming Zone series]


Notes: Expanded to 40 pages, apparently to accommodate the ‘Zone Continuum Primer’ pages.  ‘The Vitruvian Man’ had previously appeared in early issues of rival anthology Dark Horse Presents.  While this wasn’t a bad issue, with the exception of Ted Slampyak’s delightful ‘Jazz Age Chronicles’, there’s really nothing in it that particularly stands out.


    8. cover: James A. Owen (Feb. 1994)

                1) Little Neil In Slumberland [James A. Owen] 6p

                2) Starchild Ad [James A. Owen] 1p

                3) Mr. Mamoulian: Dick-Head [Brian Bolland] 1p

                4) Boneshaker, part 3 [Phil Hester] 12p

                5) Classics Descrated: The Grislycock And Juno [Doug Wheeler/Jim Wheelock] 1p

                6) Classics Descrated: The Lawyer [Doug Wheeler/Brian Clopper] 1p

                7) Classics Descrated: Aesop & The Farmer [Doug Wheeler/Mac Myers] 1p

                8) Lullaby: A Preview [Charles Moore/Casey Jones & Scott Multer] 8p  

                9) The Erl King [P. Craig Russell] 1p   [color, on back cover]


Notes: Back to 32 pages. Owen’s ‘Little Neil In Slumberland’ featured a “Li’l Archie” style Neil Gaiman character.  ‘Boneshaker’ returned and continued its winning ways with Phil Hester providing the best story & art for the issue.  Craig Russell’s ‘The Erl King’ was an interesting little tidbit.  ‘Lullaby’ was a preview for an upcoming Caliber comic.  With the exception of Kilroy, all of the previews that Negative Burn had run up to this point had cliffhanger endings.  A frustrating affair if the preview didn’t intrigue you enough to pick up the comic.  In fact, such promos usually affect me negatively {pun intended}.  I hate incomplete stories! 


    9. cover: Ken Meyer, Jr. (Mar. 1994)

                1) Dominique: Size [Charles Moore & Lisa Moore/Gene Gonzales & Tyler Bishop] 8p

                2) Dominique Ad [Charles & Lisa Moore] 1p   [text article]

                3) Mr. Mamoulian: Goodnight [Brian Bolland] 1p

                4) Twilight People [Mark Ricketts] 8p

                5) A Labor [Phil Hester] 3p

                6) Alan Moore’s Songbook: Another Suburban Romance [Alan Moore/Ken Meyer, Jr.] 2p

                7) Dave Dorman Sketchbook [Dave Dorman] 4p

                8) Classics Descrated: Fay Wray Meets The Abominable Snowman [Doug Wheeler/Dave

Gatzmer] 1p

                9) Arrest Report [Beverly Hale & Michael Moe/John Grigni] 8p

                10) For H.P.L. [Art Wetherell] 2p

                11) ‘93 Atlanta Dragon Con Quick Sketch Winners [Josh Davis; Tom Gorman, Adam Fox &

Michael Stribling] 1p


Notes: The female detective Dominique had previously appeared in Dark Horse Presents #71-73.  Her appearances in Negative Burn were always well done.  I also quite liked the gritty ‘Arrest Report’.  Best story was by the Moores, with best artwork by Brian Bolland.  The Alan Moore Songbook presented song lyrics by Moore, with artwork that sometimes followed the lyrics and sometimes went off in directions all their own.  The ’93 Dragon Con winners were all amateur artists.


  10. cover: Marc Erickson/back cover: P. Craig Russell (Apr. 1994)

                1) Knights Of The Skull: A Boy And His Dog [Wayne Vansant] 8p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: No Feet [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Twilight People, part 2 [Mark Ricketts] 5p 

                4) Twilight People Ad [Mark Ricketts] 1p

                5) Alan Moore’s Songbook: London [Alan Moore/Richard Case] 2p

                6) The Art Spectrum [Mark Lucas/Bil Ruth] 9p

                7) Classics Descrated: Paul Bunyabn’s Nature Lesson No. 1—“Our Beautiful Sun” [Doug

Wheeler/George Broderick] 1p

                8) P. Craig Russell Sketchbook [P. Craig Russell] 4p

                9) Wetwork [Phil Hester/Phil Hester & Jim Woodyard] 6p

                10) Project High: Terror In 3rd Period [Ken Meyer, Jr.] 2p

                11) Spotlight On Rubber Blanket [Joe Pruett] 1p   [text article]

                12) Big Man [David Mazzucchelli] 4p

                13) Rubber Blanket Ad [David Mazzucchelli] 1p


Notes: Somewhat to my own astonishment, a letter from me appeared on the letters’ page!  I’ve probably written no more than a half dozen letters to comics in the 40+ years I’ve been reading them and I don’t remember writing to Negative Burn at all.  The back cover illo by Craig Russell was quietly beautiful.  The best story here was Wayne Vansant’s ‘Knights Of The Skull’ with the best artwork honors taken by David Mazzucchelli.  Vansant, who specializes in war stories, is a much underappreciated writer & artist.  His solidly written, well illustrated work is always worth looking for.  Bil Ruth, Mark Lucas, George Broderick, Doug Wheeler, Brian Bolland, Phil Hester & Ken Meyer, Jr. also provided good work.  Mazzucchelli’s short-lived Rubber Blanket series was quite astonishing.  One wishes he’d return to the comic field.


  11. cover: Moebius (May 1994)

                1) We Can Get Them For You Wholesale [Joe Pruett/Ken Meyer, Jr.] 10p   from the story by Neil


                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Conceptual [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Alan Moore’s Songbook: Positively Bridge Street [Alan Moore/Phil Hester] 6p

                4) Anatomy Lesson [Chas Truog] 2p   from the notebooks by Leonardo Da Vinci

                5) Mark Chiarello Sketchbook [Mark Chiarello] 4p

                6) Twilight People, part 3 [Mark Ricketts] 6p

                7) Classics Descrated: Aesop’s Quickies #1 [Doug Wheeler/Matt Feazell] 1p

                8) Classics Descrated: Aesop’s The Horse And The Stag [Doug Wheeler/Donna Barr] 1p

                9) Classics Descarted: Aesop’s The Wood-Cutter And Godzella [Doug Wheeler/Mike Hoffman]


                10) The Hungry Ones [Malcolm Bourne/David Windett] 8p   from the story by Martha Henry


Notes: 42 page issue.  Best story was Martha Henry & Malcolm Bourne’s ‘The Hungry Ones’ while the best art honors go to Chas Thuog’s ‘Anatomy Lesson’. 


  12. cover: Ted Boonthanakit (June 1994)

                1) Jazz Age Chronicles: The Big Case [Marc Gacy/Ted Slampyak] 8p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Places Of Interest [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Exit [Nabiel Kanan] 8p

                4) Alan Moore’s Songbook: 14-2-99 [Alan Moore/Dave Johnson] 2p

                5) Twilight People, part 4 [Mark Ricketts] 7p

                6) He Asked [Jason Caskey & Phil Hester/Phil Hester] 2p

                7) Micra: Is The Long Vacation Over? [Joe Pruett] 1p   [text article]

                8) Micra: Born Of Fire [Lamar Waldron/Ted Boonthanakit] 5p   [text story]

                9) Kabuki Ad [David Mack] 1p

                10) Classics Descrated: Jack & Jill [Doug Wheeler/Ian Akin] 1p

                11) Eulogy To Marx [Paul Pope] 4p


Notes: 40 page issue.  The cover featured Micra had appeared in her own series from 1986-1988 and this issue promised a revival of the character but, to my knowledge, no such event took place.  I quite liked Nabiel Kanan’s unusual style of storytelling {and the story itself, naturally!} so his work takes the best story honors while Paul Pope’s Negative Burn debut earns the best art award.  I also enjoyed the new ‘Jazz Age Chronicles’ story and Doug Wheeler’s “it grows on you” Classics Descrated tale.  The back cover featured an ad for a Caliber series with some of the most annoying ad copy that I’ve seen.  It featured an upcoming comic called Oz, featuring the creations of L. Frank Baum, and promising a “twisted version of the classic series”, a “tarnished Emerald City” and decidedly creepy pin-up versions of Jack Pumpkinhead, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man & the Cowardly Lion {well drawn, mind you, but quite creepy}.  It also included the happily written and quite depressing declaration that “It ain’t a kid’s story anymore!”  Well, why the hell not?


13. cover: Vince Locke/back cover: Torin Hill (July 1994)

                1) Strangers In Paradise: Sweet Dreams! [Terry Moore] 5p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Bacon [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Alan Moore’s Songbook: The Murders On The Rue Morgue [Alan Moore/Neil Gaiman] 7p

                4) Kilroy Is Here: Henry [Joe Pruett/Marc Erickson] 8p

                5) Milk And Cheese: Blood Drive! [Evan Dorkin] 2p

                6) Twilight People, part 5 [Mark Ricketts] 10p

                7) The Triumph Of Hunger [Paul Pope] 6p

                8) Classics Descrated: 3 Blind Mice [Doug Wheeler/Stan W. Shaw] 2p

                9) The Real Thing [Brian Michael Bendis] 7p

                10) The Calculus Story [Edward Martin III/Casey Jones, Jeff Parker & Craig Gilmore] 3p

                11) The Body Snatchers [Kyle Garrett/Nathan Pride] 5p   [text story]

                12) The Astute Critic [Phil Hester] 1p

                13) Dominique: Strength [Charles Moore & Lisa Moore/Gene Gonzales] 4p

                14) Tony Harris Sketchbook [Tony Harris] 3p


Notes: $3.95 for 64 pages.  This was the first anniversary issue and it was jam-packed with good stuff. From the strikingly moody cover to the excellent Ace of Spades/Death Card back cover there was enough interesting material appearing to satisfy almost anyone {except, I’ll note, the comics-are-meant-for-only-superheroes guys}.  Terry Moore’s sampler for his great Strangers In Paradise book easily takes the best art award while Evan Dorkin’s “you will die from laughing” ‘Milk And Cheese’ strip takes best story.  Plenty of other strong work, however.  I liked Neil Gaiman’s odd, but appropriate, artwork on the Alan Moore song, the ‘Dominique’  & ‘Kilroy’ strips and additional good work from Edward Martin III, Phil Hester, Paul Pope, Brian Bolland {although this was one of the Mamoulian strips that I just didn’t get}, Doug Wheeler, Stan Shaw, Marc Erickson and Tony Harris.  Harris’ sketchbook art, while good, gives one an excellent perspective on just how much he’s improved over the years.  Brian Michael Bendis made his Negative Burn debut with a 7 page wordless humor strip that led up to an ending that could have been done in two pages.  He’s done a whole lot better work since.  ‘Twilight People’ concluded.  I’ll confess I never read this strip when it was first appearing or when I began compiling this checklist—something about the art just turns me off—so I really can’t tell you if this was a good strip or not.  Still and all, this was a very strong issue.


14. cover: Bob Burden/back cover: Chevale Durgin (Aug. 1994)

                1) Boneshaker, part 4 [Phil Hester] 10p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Break A Few Hearts [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) The Chicken That Knew, Like, Everything [Michael Moe/David Verruni] 6p

                4) The Flaming Carrot in Mystery Of The Flying Fish [Bob Burden] 2p   [text story]

                5) Alan Moore’s Songbook: Fires I Wish I’d Seen [Alan Moore/Colleen Doran] 3p

                6) Cyberreal Orbit [Stephen Cheng] 6p

                7) Classics Descrated: Aesop’s The Success Of The Wicked [Doug Wheeler/Doug Wildey] 1p

                8) Classics Descrated: Aesop’s The Organs In Revolt [Doug Wheeler/Greg DiGenti] 1p

                9) Classics Descrated: Aesops: The Skunk [Doug Wheeler/Doug Gray] 1p

                10) The Circle Game [Michael Gilbert] 5p

                11) New Submissions Guidelines [Joe Pruett] 1p   [text article]

                12) Kabuki Ad [David Mack] 1p


Notes: Back to $2.95 for 40 pages.  Comic artist Terry Moore sent in a letter asking for help in locating stolen pages of his Strangers In Paradise #3.  The Flaming Carrot was cover featured.  ‘Boneshaker’ made a welcome return, however the best story here was Stephen Cheng’s excellent ‘Cyberreal Orbit’ with the best art being Colleen Doran’s on ‘Fires I Wish I’d Seen’.  This early version of Michael Gilbert’s story ‘The Circle Game’ was done in the early 1970s, although its appearance here was its first publication.  He redrew the story in the early 1980s, where it appeared as a 7 pager in his collection Strange Brew in 1983.  That later version was much better than the version that appeared here, although the story is essentially the same.  Bolland’s ‘Mr. Mamoulian’ strip this issue was a hoot.


15. cover: Richard Case/back cover: Terry Moore (Sept. 1994)

                1) Canto 5: A Mr. Trianglehead Vignette [Jim Calafiore] 9p

                2) What I’m Saying… [Jim Calafiore] 1p   [text article]

                3) Mr. Mamoulian: Moving Things About [Brian Bolland] 1p

                4) The Invincible Man [Colin Clayton & Chris Dows/Art Wetherell] 4p

                5) What Has Gone Before in Jeff Nicholson’s Lost Laughter [Jeff Nicholson?] 1p   [text article]

                6) Lost Laughter, Chap. 5: Out Of Mind [Jeff Nicholson] 7p

                7) Lost Laughter Ad [Jeff Nicholson] 1p

                8) Classics Descrated: The Origin Of The Legend Of The Pied Piper [Doug Wheeler/Mark A.

Lester & Kent Lester] 5p

                9) Einstein’s Last Case [David Jackson/Phil Wagstaff] 6p

                10) Bad Vibe In Suck Town [Dave Louapre/Bill Koeb] 4p   [text story]


Notes: Jim Calafiore, apparently at the request of editor Joe Pruett, wrote a brief essay explaining the reasoning behind his stalker/killer story {which was told from the point of view of the reader being the killer}.  Jeff Nicholson’s ‘Lost Laughter’ had previously appeared in three indy issues before appearing here in midstory.  He also wrote and illustrated the excellent ‘Through The Habitrails’ for Taboo.  I love the title of ‘Bad Vibe In Suck Town, although the story itself was only so-so.  Best art & story go to Calafiore’s effort.  Indy artist/writer Scott Beattie sent in a letter.


16. cover: Ken Meyer, Jr. (Oct. 1994)

                1) Alan Moore’s Songbook: Madame October [Alan Moore/Terry Moore] 11p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Coincidence? [Buddy Starcher/Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Gotta Go [Peter David/Joel Thomas & Tim Petty] 5p   [poem]

                4) Kabuki [David Mack] 9p

                5) What Has Gone Before In Jeff Nicholson’s Lost Laughter [Jeff Nicholson?] 1p   [text article]

                6) Lost Laughter, Chap. 6: Vince’s Place [Jeff Nicholson] 4p

                7) Classics Descrated: The Lad Who Wished To Meet Fear [Doug Wheeler/Kim Hagen] 5p

                8) Witchfinger [Phil Hester] 3p

                9) Dragon Con Winners [Todd J. Cross, Sean Curran, Kevin Hampton & Sharick Wright] 1p   


Notes: Alan & Terry Moore’s collaboration on ‘Madame October’ was absolutely beautiful and easily featured the best art & story.  I hope they find another project someday.  Peter David’s potty poem was quite funny.  David Mack delivered some excellent artwork on his ‘Kabuki’ sampler.  Doug Wheeler’s ‘Classics Descrated’ stories were usually humorous but this one was a little horror story that’s both well written & drawn.  The ‘Dragon Con Winners’ page again showcased amateur artists. 


17. cover: Bill Koeb (Nov. 1994)

                1) Boneshaker, part 5 [Phil Hester] 16p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Fun [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Alan Moore’s Songbook: The Hair Of The Snake That Bit Me [Alan Moore/Bill Koeb] 8p

                4) Lost Laughter, Chap. 6: Vince’s Place, part 2 [Jeff Nicholson] 6p

                5) David Mazzucchelli Sketchbook [David Mazzucchelli] 4p

                6) Classics Descrated: Aesop’s The Eagle And The Arrow [Doug Wheeler/Ray Lago] 1p

                7) Classics Descrated: Aesop’s Departure Of Truth [Doug Wheeler/Ted Naifeh] 1p

                8) Classics Descrated: Aesop’s The First Liars [Doug Wheeler/Bruce Bolinger] 1p

                9) The Homecoming [Matthew Smith] 1p

                10) Joe’s Recommended Reading List: Strangers In Paradise/Exit [Joe Pruett] 1p   [text article]


Notes: Phil Hester’s ‘Boneshaker’ concluded in fine form and provided the best story & art this issue. 


18. cover: Michael Gaydos (Dec. 1994)

                1) The Apparition: Salt Of My Tears [James Pruett/Craig Brasfield & Nathan Massengill] 6p

                2) Alan Moore’s Songbook: Trampling Toyko [Alan Moore/Arthur Adams] 4p

                3) T.O.M. Foolery [Jeff Bailey & Marty Golia/Joe Staton] 8p

                4) Lil’ Bumble Buzz in My Rottenest Christmas Ever! [Paul Pope] 5p

                5) Classics Descrated: Good King Hop-A-Long [Doug Wheeler/George Broderick] 4p

                6) Kilroy Is Here: Seasons Change [Joe Pruett/Andrew Robinson] 3p   [text story]

                7) Lost Laughter, Chap. 7: Please Exit Carefully [Jeff Nicholson] 10p

                8) Mr. Mamoulian: Hush-Hush [Brian Bolland] 1p   [on inside back cover]


Notes: More endings as Jeff Nicholson’s interesting ‘Lost Laughter’ concluded.  This was a pretty good issue with fine installments of the Apparition and Kilroy characters, Art Adams’ graceful work on an Alan Moore song and the debut of ‘T.O.M. Foolery’  Best art honors go to Paul Pope’s delightful ‘Lil’ Bumble Buzz’ but the best story belongs to the hilarious installment of Brian Bolland’s ‘Mr. Mamoulian’.


19. cover: Lurene Haines (Jan. 1995)

                1) Suzi Romaine: Who’s Afraid Of Officer Campbell? [Ted Slampyak] 8p

                2) Angelus: Decay [Lurene Haines] 1p

                3) Inspiration [Edward Martin III/Ken Meyer, Jr.] 5p

                4) The Flaming Carroteer [Bob Burden] 4p   [text story]

                5) Best Of Negative Burn Ad [Ken Meyer, Jr.]

                6) Mr. Mamoulian: Toilet Paper [Brian Bolland] 1p

                7) Alan Moore’s Songbook: Litvinov’s Book [Alan Moore/Richard Pace] 3p

                8) Warehouse [Bill Yukich/Guy Burwell] 5p

                9) Norma Jean’s Knickers [Paul Carstairs/Laurence Campbell] 4p

                10) The Mercy Man [Jim Frier/Art Wetherell & Bambos] 5p

                11) The First Flower On The Moon [Zander Cannon] 1p


Notes: Haines’ cover, featuring Angelus, was quite good.  In fact, it was much better than the one page Angelus filler inside.  Best story was Suzi Romaine’s debut, which amused me by naming a character after a bunch of lettuce.  Nobody really impressed me artwise, although good work appeared from Slampyak, Ken Meyer, Jr., Zander Cannon & Brian Bolland.  I also liked the crime story ‘Warehouse’.


20. cover: Paul Pope (Feb. 1995)

                1) Portrait Of A Girl With An Unpronounceable Name [Paul Pope] 6p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Sitting In A Room [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Knights Of The Skull: The Bloody Youth [Wayne Vansant] 8p

                4) In The Park [Jim Alexander/Chris McLoughlin] 2p

                5) Das Chicken [Greg DiGenti] 6p

                6) Homonyn [Rafael Alvarez] 3p

                7) The Brink [Kevin Thomas] 7p

                8) Classics Descrated: Arthur Conan Doyle & Laura Wilder’s “Little House On The Lost World”

[Doug Wheeler/Mike Hoffman] 1p

                9) The Record Player [Libby Singleton/Joe Staton] 6p


Notes: A much better issue than the previous one.  Best story was Brian Bolland’s laugh-out-loud installment of Mr. Mamoulian while best art went to a three-way tie between Paul Pope, Kevin Thomas & Wayne Vansant.  I also enjoyed stories by Vansant, Libby Singleton & Doug Wheeler as well as art by Rafael Alvarez, Brian Bolland & Joe Staton.  Pope’s wire-and-stick man cover was also quite good.  A strong issue.


21. cover: D. Alexander Gregory (Mar. 1995)

                1) Trollords: Love Is Blind When You’re ON the Phone [Scott Beaderstadt & Paul Fricke] 11p

                2) Trollords Ad [Paul Fricke?] 1p

                3) Mr. Mamoulian: In Too Deep [Brian Bolland] 1p

                4) No Locks Can Hold Houdini [Marc Erickson] 8p

                5) John Bergin Sketchbook [John Bergin] 4p

                6) You Can Never Go Back [Matthew Smith] 2p

                7) The Visible Man [Paul Pope] 5p

                8) Just A Few Interesting Things People Have Said To Me [Greg DiGenti] 1p

                9) Red Jack [Malcolm Bourne/David Windett] 5p

                10) Classics Descrated: The Story Of Chicken Licken [Doug Wheeler/Mark Bode] 2p


Notes: Expanded to 48 pages although all of the extra pages were taken up with advertising.  Best art was Mark Bode’s contribution to ‘Classics Descrated’ while the story I enjoyed most was Greg DiGenti’s.  I liked Marc Erickson’s excellent ‘Houdini’ story and Malcolm Bourne’s interesting ‘Red Jack’.   Matt Smith & Paul Pope also did good work.


22. cover: Moebius (Apr. 1995)

                1) Exit [Nabiel Kanan] 6p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: The Lake District [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Poacher [Jim Frier/Phil Hester, Jim Caskey, Marc Erickson, ? Runyan, ? Walls & Jim

Woodyard] 9p

                4) Ooh, Baby, That’s What I Hate! [Greg DiGenti] 2p

                5) Lost Paradise [Joe Pruett/Philip Xavier] 5p

                6) Donor [Doug Wheeler/Shane Oakley] 10p

                7) Father [Edward Martin III/Casey Jones & James Daly] 4p

                8) The Dryad [Chad Woody/Robert Lewis] 2p

                9) Netherworld Internship [Zander Cannon] 1p


Notes: ‘Donor’ by the team of Wheeler/Oakley had the best story & art but I also liked Greg DiGenti and Brian Bolland’s work.


23. cover: Chris Sprouse & Wade von Grawbadger/back cover: Stuart Immonen & Wade von Grawbadger

                                (May 1995)

                1) Inosion: As The Mind Wanders… [Russ Cooper/Wade von Grawbadger] 8p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Frog Eating Bat [Brian Bolland] 1p   reprinted from Cheval Noir #

                3) Armadillo [Paul Pope] 2p

                4) The Island [Paul Pope] 3p

                5) Last Of The Hero Society [Len Strazewski/Scott Beaderstadt] 10p

                6) Classics Descrated: Aesop’s The Ants And The Grasshopper [Doug Wheeler/Jim Reddington]


                7) The Creep: Exorcism 101 [Phil Hester/Phil Hester & Ande Parks] 10p

                8) Phil Pudwhacker in Friendless [Greg DiGenti] 1p

                9) The Fiend [Brian Clopper] 3p

                10) Smoke Story [Pual Fricke] 1p


Notes: Both the front & back covers featured Inosion.  Hester’s The Creep would later have a name change to The Wretch, apparently due to a conflict with another character’s name {possibly Dark Horse Presents’ Private Eye character by John Arcudi, also known as the Creep}  Under any name it was a great debut story and easily earns the best story award.  Best art goes to Brian Clopper’s interesting ‘The Fiend’.  I liked ‘Inosion’ and ‘Last Of The Hero Society’.  There was also good work from Brian Bolland, Greg DiGenti, Paul Pope & the team of Doug Wheeler & Jim Reddington.  In fact, this is a pretty good issue all ‘round.


24. cover: Michael Kaluta (June 1995)

                1) Kilroy Is Here: In Remembrance [Joe Pruett/KevinLandwehr] 5p

                2) Kilroy Is Here Ad [Ken Meyer, Jr.] 1p   [B&W repo of #2’s cover]

                3) Mr. Mamoulian: Wings Of Desire [Brian Bolland] 1p   reprinted from Cheval Noir #

                4) Strangehaven: Custard Creams [Gary Spencer Millidge] 8p

                5) Gangster Strip Dragway [Paul Pope] 3p

                6) Shadow [Martin Conaghan/Mike Perkins] 6p

                7) A Killer Story [Bill Jankowski & Mark Gallivan/Bill Jankowski

                8) Walking The Pizza [Paul Erickson/Paul Fricke] 2p

                9) Corps Creadh [Kevin Gunstone/Jon Haward] 6p

                10) Classics Descrated: Mother Goosed Presents ‘Beggars Are Come To Town” [Doug

Wheeler/Doug Gatzmer] 1p

                11) New Submissions Guide Lines [Joe Pruett] 1p   [text article]   reprinted from Negative Burn

#14 (Aug. 1994)


Notes: Another strong issue with better than average scripts & art from everybody involved.  Kaluta’s cover was a leftover from a paperback series he was illustrating at the time but it’s still quite good.  Best story & art was the excellent ‘Strangehaven’ sampler but good work also appeared from Joe Pruett, Paul Pope, Mike Perkins, Martin Conahan, Bill Jankowski, Paul Erickson & Paul Fricke. 


25. cover: Moebius (July 1995)

                1) Baker Street: The Empty House [Guy Davis] 8p

                2) The Jam [Bernie Mireault] 6p

                3) Kabuki [David Mack] 6p

                4) A Wee Little Darklight Preview [Teri S. Wood] 5p

                5) Seven Deadly Sins [James Pruett/Matthew Smith] 8p

                6) Alan Moore’s Songbook: Chiaroscuro [Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons] 2p

                7) Neil Gaiman Sketchbook [Neil Gaiman] 3p

                8) Suburban Nightmares: Mister Ford [Michael Cherkas & Larry Hancock/Michael Cherkas] 8p

                9) The Protagonist vs Fred [Bradley Walton/Mike Hoffman & Bradley Walton] 5p

                10) Strip For 6-30-93 [Paul Pope] 6p

                11) The Sad Case Of Professor Woodbury [Mark Ricketts] 2p   [text story, inspired by Moebius’


                12) Dominique: Girl’s Night Out [Charles Moore & Lisa Moore/Gene Gonzales] 5p

                13) Charlie Seldom in Encounter With A Super Hero Fanboy [Greg DiGenti] 1p    [on inside back


                14) Mr. Mamoulian: Panda [Brian Bolland] 1p   [on back cover]


Notes: $3.95 for 64 pages.  The 2nd anniversary issue.  Excellent issue with even the odd little pieces providing interesting material.  The ‘Baker Street’ sample was good but ended on a cliffhanger ending which I will state again that I REALLY HATE!  Other samplers appeared from Bernie Mireault, David Mack & Teri Wood.  All three were good, although I particularly like Teri Wood’s.  The Neil Gaiman sketchbook entry included a thumbnail story that I don’t believe has been published in a finished form anywhere else.  Best art was Dave Gibbons’ effort on an Alan Moore song while the best story was probably the latest installment of Dominique.  There were really no weak spots here however. 


26. cover: Michael Gaydoes (July 1995)

                1) Sandy [Paul Jenkins/Avido Khahaifa] 7p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Tangled Skein [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) The Kiss Off Introduction [James Hudnall/Brian Michael Bendis] 1p

                4) The Kiss Off [James Hudnall/Brian Michael Bendis] 10p

                5) Very Vicky And The Secret Of The Bronx Cocktail [John Mitchell/Jana Christy] 3p

                6) Very Vicky Ad [Jana Christy] 1p

                7) Suburban Nightmares: Mister Ford, part 2 [Michael Cherkas & Larry Hancock/Michael

Cherkas] 8p

                8) Running From The Gods [Zander Cannon] 1p

                9) Alan Moore’s Songbook: Me And Dorothy Parker [Alan Moore/Michael Gaydos] 4p

                10) The Tensor Matrix: FTL [Edward Martin III/Chris Hunter & Bradley Walton] 4p

                11) Stubbs The Cat in Hey, Waiter! [Greg DiGenti] 2p


Notes: $2.95 for 48 pages.  The ‘Stubbs The Cat’ story was a hoot!  I quite liked both ‘The Kiss Off’ and ‘Sandy’ for best story but the latest installment of ‘Mister Ford’ was also very good.  Best art goes to Khahaifa.  A good, solid issue.


27. cover: Kelly Alder (Aug. 1995)

                1) Suburban Nightmares: Mister Ford, part 3 [Michael Cherkas & Larry Hancock/John Van

Bruggen & Michael Cherkas] 8p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Career Move [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Bad Morals [Bryan J. L. Glass/Michael Avon Oeming] 5p

                4) John Robbins And Me [Stephen Cheng] 3p

                5) untitled [Alwyn Talbot] 1p

                6) Coffee Break [Jim Frier/David Hill] 7p

                7) The Methadone Club [Phil Hester] 1p

                8) The Roadie’s Tale [David Jackson/Phil Wagstaff] 6p

                9) Pain [Paul Erickson/Paul Fricke] 1p

                10) Nightvenger [Mike DiGesu/Joel Thomas] 6p

                11) Lionel’s Lament [Dean Haspiel] 1p

                12) Editorial [Joe Pruett] 1p   [text article]


Notes: Pruett’s editorial announced a price & page count change beginning with the next issue.  ‘Mister Ford’ continued its strong run while Stephen Cheng returned with a tasty entry.  Best story: Mr. Cheng’s ‘John Robbins And Me’.  Best art was a tie between Phil Hester one-pager and the work of Van Bruggen & Cherkas on ‘Mister Ford’  I also liked ‘Coffee Break’, ‘Bad Morals’ , ‘Lionel’s Lament’ and the latest installment of Mr. Mamoulian. 


28. cover: Andrew Robinson (Sept. 1995)

                1) Dusty Star [Joe Pruett/Andrew Robinson] 9p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: A Leg [Brian Bolland] 1p   reprinted from Cheval Noir #

                3) Alan Moore’s Songbook: Rose Madder [Alan Moore/James A. Owen] 6p

                4) Favorite Song [Mark Verheiden/Ken Meyer, Jr.] 11p

                5) The Mortons [Martin Conaghan/Mike Perkins] 6p

                6) Ray Lago Sketchbook [Ray Lago] 4p

                7) Juju Eyes [Hart Fisher/John Cassaday & Frank Forte] 8p

                8) Andek, Girl Warhola [David Moyes/Chris McLoughlin] 8p

                9) Pedestrian [Paul Erickson/Paul Fricke] 1p   [poem]

                10) Deadworld Chronicles [Jim Frier/Tim Holtrop] 5p

                11) Lionel’s Lament [John Neufeld & Dean Haspiel] 1p


Notes: $3.95 for 64 pages.  ‘Dusty Star’ made her debut and was cover featured.  The ‘Rose Madder’ entry of Alan Moore’s Songbook series was the classiest entry to appear in that series and easily took the best art award.  Many of the stories in this issue were horror, ranging from somewhat amateur efforts to stories that could easily have appeared in Steve Bissette’s groundbreaking Taboo anthology.  Best story {and the decision was close} was ‘Favorite Song’ although I also liked ‘Juju Eyes’, ‘Rose Madder’, ‘Dusty Star’ and Mr. Mamoulian’s latest appearance.  The ‘Pedestrian’ poem by Paul Erickson & Paul Fricke was amusing.  Good work also appeared from Dean Haspiel, Mike Perkins, Martin Conaghan, Ken Meyer, Jr. and Chris McLoughlin.


29. cover: Zander Cannon (Oct. 1995)

                1) The Replacement God: Knute’s Escapes [Zander Cannon] 9p   from a story by Matt Larsen

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: At Last The Truth [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Chimera [Jim Frier/Mark Badger] 12p

                4) Pre-Road Dream [Ken Meyer, Jr.] 3p

                5) Paul Pry And The Plastic Cup [Paul Erickson/Paul Fricke] 8p

                6) Of The Spheres [Bernie Mireault] 8p

                7) Terry Moore Sketchbook [Terry Moore] 2p

                8) The Creep: The Slide To Nowhere [Phil Hester/Phil Hester & Jim Woodyard] 11p

                9) The Factor: Exposure [Nat Gertler/Adam Rex & Paul Whitehead] 8p

                10) Dear Judy Garland [Andy Bennett] 1p


Notes: Much more diverse in subject matter than the previous issue, this one featured strong entries from Zander Cannon, Brian Bolland, Phil Hester, Andy Bennett and Paul Fricke.  Best story was Paul Erickson’s ‘Paul Pry And The Plastic Cup’ although I also admired Jim Frier’s ‘Chimera’ and Zander Cannon’s ‘Knute’s Escape’.  Best art was Mark Badger’s on ‘Chimera’.  As mentioned earlier, Phil Hester’s Creep stories were later retitled as the Wraith.  ‘The Factor’ story followed a strange format of having a different artist do each chapter of the three part serial.  Since some of the art styles were noticeably different and some artists were considerably more talented than others this was not an entirely successful experiment.


30. cover: Jay Geldhof (Nov. 1995)   [wraparound cover]

                1) The Ritual [Stefan Petrucha/Grant Fuhst] 9p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Robert Redford [Brian Bolland] 1p   reprinted from Cheval Noir #

                3) The Factor: Arms And The Man [Nat Gertler/Janine Johnston] 6p

                4) La Promessa or The Promise [P. Craig Russell] 1p   from the song by Rossini & the poem by


                5) Rob Hanes: Bounty Hunters [Randy Reynaldo] 4p

                6) Adventure Strip Digest Ad [Randy Reynaldo] 1p

                7) Acid Lad [Michael Avon Oeming] 1p

                8) The Basement [Budd Root] 10p

                9) The Bungy Cord [Zander Cannon] 1p

                10) Targets [Sean Kelley McKeever/Rob Davis] 6p

                11) No Regrets: The Boy Who Disappeared [Jeff Nicholson] 5p

                12) Old Saint Nick [Paul Erickson/Paul Fricke] 2p   [poem]

                13) Whatever Happened To Doc Donovan? [Noel K. Hannan/Virgil Elvin] 6p

                14) Tales Of The Hoon [Robb Bihun] 3p

                15) Boys Will Be Boys [Derek Drymon] 4p

                16) The Hoon & Funnytime Features Back Issues Ad [Robb Bihun] 1p

                17) A Thousand Pictures Plus One Word [Doug Wheeler/David Gatzmer] 2p

                18) 1995 Atlanta Dragon Con/Ace Quick Sketch Contest Winners [Roel W. Wielinga & Tavares

Jones] 1p


Notes: Best art & story here belongs to Budd Root’s charming ‘The Basement’.  I’ve been a big fan of Budd’s Cavewoman series for a long time although his current fascination with cheesecake over storyline is a bit disappointing.  Still, this is Budd’s early stuff and quite good.  I also liked work by Zander Cannon, Craig Russell, the Pauls Erickson & Fricke, Doug Wheeler, David Gatzmer, Noel Hannan & Virgil Elvin.


31. cover: Mark Laliberte (Dec. 1995)

                1) The Abyss Also Grasps [Aldyth Beltane/Kevin O’Neill] 6p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Convention [Brian Bolland] 1p  

                3) Jinx [Brian Michael Bendis] 8p

                4) Jinx Ad [Brian Michael Bendis] 1p

                5) Jaime Hernandez Sketchbook [Jaime Hernandez] 4p

                6) The Factor: Protection [Nat Gertler/Alex Gercian] 8p

                7) Dream Lovers [Paul Erickson/Paul Fricke] 2p

                8) No Regrets, part 2: Meet Me On The Other Side [Jeff Nicholson] 5p

                9) The Methadone Club #2 [Phil Hester] 1p

                10) He Wouldn’t Eat Meat! [Steve Darnall/Tom Gianni] 8p

                11) No Man Is An Island [Zander Cannon] 1p

                12) I Was The Thing With Two Heads! [Mike Maddox/Mike Perkins] 6p

                13) Cave Painting [Jason Whitley] 8p

                14) Doors [Robert Lewis] 1p


Notes: Mystery novelist Andrew Vachss provided a brief appreciation for the story ‘The Abyss Also Grasps’.


32. cover: Brian Bolland (Jan. 1996)

                1) Survivors [Joyce Brabner/Mark Badger] 15p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Have A Nice Day [Brian Bolland] 1p   reprinted from

                3) The Wall [Stefan Petrucha/Craig Gilmore] 8p

                4) Spastic Chipmunk [Paul Fricke] 5p

                5) Kilroy Is Here: Without Reason [Joe Pruett/Troy Nixey] 9p

                6) Nature Of Reality [Zander Cannon] 1p

                7) Steve Lieber Sketchbook [Steve Lieber] 4p

                8) No Regrets, part 3: H Eyes [Jeff Nicholson] 5p

                9) You’re Lying To Me [Dean Haspiel] 1p

                10) Shades Of Gray: Conversations [Jimmy Gownley] 8p

                11) Shades Of Gray Ad [Jimmy Gownley] 1p

                12) My Life As Riley: A Ghost In The Bush [ Matthew Smith] 2p


Notes: Mr. Mamoulian was cover featured.  This was a particularly strong issue.  Excellent work appeared from Joyce Brabner, Mark Badger, Paul Fricke, Brian Bolland, Jeff Nicholson; Joe Pruett, Troy Nixey, Dean Haspiel, Matthew Smith & Jimmy Gownley.  Best stories were a tie between Joe Pruett’s creepy mediation on the Oklahoma City Bombing and Jimmy Gownley’s promo for his Shades Of Gray series.  Best art was from Troy Nixey on the Kilroy story.  There’s really no bad or mediocre material here.  Just good, solid work.


33. cover: Chris Moeller (Feb. 1996)

                1) Iron Empires [Chris Moeller] 8p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Badminton [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) T.O.M. Foolery: Three Of A Kind [Jeff Bailey & Marty Golia/Joe Staton] 8p

                4) Zombie Kid And Dancing Robot in Respect [Greg DiGenti] 1p

                5) No Regrets, part 4: Dream Lovers & Lover’s Dreams [Jeff Nicholson] 4p

                6) Contact [Paul Fricke] 1p

                7) My Life As Riley: Cello, Sweet [Matthew Smith/Michael Gaydos] 2p

                8) The Creep: Alarm Clock Of The Beast [Phil Hester/Phil Hester & Jim Mahfood] 3p

                9) Recognition [Jim Frier/Tim Holtrop] 8p

                10) Acid Lad [Michael Avon Oeming] 1p

                11) Charon [Cory Hinman] 3p   from the story by Lord Dunsany

                12) Nowheresville [Mark Ricketts] 7p

                13) Project High: On The Bus [Ken Meyer, Jr.] 2p

                14) Jackknife [Scott A. Gilbert] 10p

                15) American Dilemma [Dean Haspiel] 2p


Notes: Chris Moeller’s ‘Iron Empires’ story had a prequel that appeared in rival anthology Dark Horse Presents.  The Wretch appeared again under his earlier Creep name, with an amusing story.  Good work appeared from Joe Staton, Matt Smith, Mark Ricketts, Scot Gilbert & Ken Meyer, Jr.  Dean Haspiel’s story concerned itself with his attempts to get American Splendor writer Harvey Pekar to consider his art for Pekar’s stories.  It must have worked because Haspiel has done plenty of American Splendor since 1996.


34. cover: Michael Gaydoes (Mar. 1996)

                1) Dominique: Payback [Charles Moore & Lisa Moore/Chris Hunter] 8p

                2) Terror Tots: Treachery “R” Us: A Game Of Death! [Len Strazewski/Paul Fricke] 7p

                3) Mr. Mamoulian: Gazonkas [Brian Bolland] 1p  

                4) My Marie [Stephen Cheng] 4p

                5) No Regrets, part 5: Stage Dive [Jeff Nicholson] 5p

                6) I, Assassin [Nick F. Neubauer/Jon Haward] 5p

                7) The Origins Of The Worm Cult [Greg DiGenti] 3p

                8) Happenstance [Noel K. Hannan/Alwyn Talbot] 8p

                9) Kaos Moon: The Goat Man Of Central Park [David Boller] 6p

                10) Quentin Who? [Brian Clopper] 1p

                11) Poor George [Lee Kitzis/Tyim Courts] 3p

                12) Charles Vess Sketchbook Of Stardust [Charles  Vess] 4p

                13) Paintwork [Patrick Woodrow] 1p

                14) To Get To The Other Side [Graeme Neil Reid] 2p

                15) My Life As Riley: The Old Friend [Matthew Smith/Brian Horton] 2p


Notes: Another solid issue.  I should state here how much I enjoyed the work of Stephen Cheng and Greg DiGenti in Negative Burn.  I never saw their work elsewhere at the time, nor have I seen it since but their material here was always of high quality and enjoyable.  Besides Cheng & DiGenti, I also enjoyed the work of Charles & Lisa Moore, David Boller, Brian Clopper, Matthew Smith & Brian Horton. 


35. cover: Greg DiGenti (Apr. 1996)

                1) The Replacement God: Knute’s Escapes #187 [Zander Cannon] 7p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: God Is Love [Brian Bolland] 1p   reprinted from Cheval Noir #

                3) Iron Empires, part 2 [Chris Moeller] 8p

                4) Tensor Matrix: Salvage [Edward Martin III/Paul Mendoza] 8p

                5) No Regrets, part 6: The Place You Call Home [Jeff Nicolson] 5p

                6) Alan Moore’s Songbook: Leopard-Man At C & A’s [Alan Moore/Jordan Raskin] 2p

                7) Ship Of Fools: The Man Who Never Was [Bryan J.L. Glass/Michael Avon Oeming] 5p

                8) April 13, 1993 [Jesse Reklaw] 1p   from a dream by C. Ella Walker

                9) Dave Johnson Sketchbook [Dave Johnson] 4p

                10) Captain Kelly And Her Renegade Robot Destroyers [Mark Bloodworth] 2p

                11) Big Max And Frize [Noel K. Hannan/Rik Rawling] 7p

                12) Change [Andy Bennett] 5p

                13) You Never Know [Ian Shepherd] 1p

                14) Transmission From Technical [Gordon Purcell] 3p

                15) Horman [Lee Kitzis/M. Campos] 1p


Notes: By this time, Negative Burn had achieved a fairly high degree of quality that continued until the end of it’s initial run.  There was always something of interest in each issue and many of them featured superior work.  This issue’s high spot, both in story & art, was Zander Cannon’s delightful little tale, a spin-off from his Replacement God series.  Other good work appeared from Andy Bennett, Gordon Purcell, Chris Moeller, Jeff Nicolson, Michael Avon Oeming, Bryan J.L. Glass and Brian Bolland.


36. cover: Jeff Parker (May 1996)

                1) Volt 2000 [Jeff Parker] 12p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Rodent [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Boondoggle [Steve Stegelin] 6p

                4) No Regrets, part 7: The Man Who Disappeared [Jeff Nicholson] 5p

                5) Mister Drawing Board Belly [Don Simpson & Paul Fricke/Paul Fricke] 2p

                6) Cascade: I Only Have Eyes For You [Brian Clopper] 6p

                7) Fever Pitch Ad [Brian Clopper] 1p

                8) Door Man: Stolen Years [Mike Leonard/James Lyle] 9p

                9) What’s Wrong With The World Today? [Jim Mahfood] 1p

                10) Life Imitates Art [Jeff DeMos/Scott Gillis] 6p

                11) Wolf [Jim Alexander/Storn Cook & Dan Berber] 5p

                12) This Is A Recurring Dream [Ken Meyer, Jr.] 3p

                13) Humanity In Extremis: Narrative In Reverse [Mark Laliberte] 1p


37. cover: Andrew Robinson (June 1996)

                1) Dusty Star: Where The Chips Fall [Joe Pruett/Andrew Robinson] 5p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: A Really Good Book [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) The Thirst [Darko Macan/Edvin Biukovic] 4p

                4) Morgen [Tomorrow] [P. Craig Russell] 1p   from the song by Richard Strauss & the poem by

John Mackay

                5) Who Is The Wretch? [Phil Hester/Phil Hester & Paul Fricke] 8p

                6) Alan Moore’s Songbook: Town Of Lights [Alan Moore/Mark Ricketts] 5p

                7) Iron Empires, part 3 [Kevin Moeller/Chris Moeller] 8p

                8) Mr. Murray: Mail Order Bride From Space [Ian Carney/Dave Taylor] 4p

                9) Better Living Through Chemistry [Warren Ellis/Brian Michael Bendis] 8p

                10) Carla Allison: Flowers [John McCrea] 4p

                11) Ship of Fools: Doin’ Time [Bryan B. L. Glass/Michael Avon Oeming] 5p

                12) Colleen Doran Sketchbook [Colleen Doran] 4p

                13) Mood Swing [Mark Laliberte] 1p


Notes: Dusty Star was cover featured.  Phil Hester transformed the Creep into the Wretch.  The Wretch tale was also the best story in this issue.  Best art was Brian Michael Bendis’ work on ‘Better Living Through Chemistry’. 


38. cover: Frarnk Quitely (July 1996)

                1) The Brutalizers: The Gunmen [Martin Conaghan/Alex Ronald & Mike Perkins] 6p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Twittering [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Suzi Romaine: Enemy Terrayne [Ted Slampyak] 8p

                4) Walk Through October [Matthew Smith/Michael Gaydos] 5p

                5) Boredom [Andy Kuhn] 2p

                6) Kingdom Of The Wicked: Little Monsters [Ian Edginton/Matt D’Israeli] 8p

                7) Kingdom Of The Wicked Ad [Matt D’Israeli] 1p

                8) Marking A Mark [Sean Kelley McKeever/Jon Haward] 8p

                9) Mr. Murray: Another Hollow Christmas [Ian Carney/Dave Taylor] 1p

                10) The Ignorant Layman [Jason Thompson] 7p

                11) The Trepassers: The Man On The Roof [Joe Zabel/Joe Zabel & Gary Dumm] 4p

                12) The Trepassers Ad [Joe Zabel & Gary Dumm] 1p

                13) The War Of The Worlds Ad [Gene Gonzales] 1p

                14) No Regrets [Paul Erickson/Paul Fricke] 3p

                15) Mommy’s Boy [Joey Robinson/Duane Schilz] 2p


Notes: I liked Matt Smith’s story and Michael Gaydos’ art on ‘Walk Through October’, the best story in this issue.  Other good work appeared from Ted Slampyak, Jon Haward, Sean Kelley McKeever, Joe Zabel, Gary Dumm, Paul Erickson, Paul Fricke, Joey Robinson & Duane Schilz.


39. cover: Edvin Biukovic (Aug. 1996)

                1) Linea [Darco Macan/Edvin Biukovic] 9p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Extreme Noise Terror [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Iron Empires, part 4 [Kevin Moeller/Chris Moeller] 8p

                4) The Brutalizers, part 2: Brutalizers [Martin Conaghan/Dave Braysher & Mike Perkins] 6p

                5) Bert Persun in I’ll Meet You There [Greg DiGenti] 2p

                6) Shadow City: Prologue [Nick Wyche/John R. Holmes] 7p

                7) I Was A Scapegoat For Love! [Michael Neno] 3p

                8) Carla Allison: Jigsaw [John McCrea/John McCrea & Si Spencer] 4p

                9) Nails versus Whipsaw [Phil Hester/Phil Hester & Ande Parks] 4p

                10) The Ignorant Layman, part 2 [Jason Thompson] 7p

                11) Mr. Murray: Shopping Inferno [Ian Carney/Dave Taylor] 1p

                12) Rob Haynes: Pack With The Devil! [Randy Reynaldo] 4p

                13) Rob Haynes Ad  [Randy Reynaldo] 1p

                14) Earthbound [Chad Woody/Robert Lewis] 2p


Notes: ‘Iron Empires’ artist Chris Moeller sent in a letter commenting on an earlier Gordon Purcell story.  Michael Neno’s excellent ‘Scapegoat For Love’ story was done in the style of a Simon/Kirby romance comic from the 1950s.  Best story here was ‘Linea’ by the excellent team of Macan/Biukovic, who produced a number of strong stories before Biukovic’s unfortunate early death.  I also like work by John McCrea, Ian Carney, Dave Taylor, Greg DiGenti, the Bros. Moeller and Phil Hester.


40. cover: Steve Yeowell (Sept. 1996)

                1) The Brutalizers, part 3: Raid On Reilly’s [Martin Conaghan/Dave Braysh4er & Mike Perkins]


                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Tied Up [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Suzi Romaine: Rubbish! [Ted Slampyak] 8p

                4) Tranquility in The Big Date [Fred Van Lente/Steve Ellis] 8p

                4) The Tale Of The Six-Legged Octopi [Robert Lewis] 1p

                5) Rib: The One Who Cared [Andrew M. Ford/Michael Kelleher] 6p

                6) Rib Ad [Michael Kelleher] 1p

                7) Choke! [Graeme Neil Reid] 2p

                8) The Ignorant Layman, part3 [Jason Thompson] 7p

                9) Mr. Murray: Apocalypse Soon [Ian Carney/Dave Taylor] 1p

                10) The Victim [Gregg Kendrick/Philip Xavier] 8p

                11) The Meaning Of Life [Stephen Cheng] 4p

                12) Bedrock Blues [Terry Collins/Brian Hodges] 4p


Notes: This was an above average issue with three excellent stories—‘Rib: The One Who Cared’, ‘The Victim’ and ‘The Meaning Of Life’ and several very good ones.  My favorite story was Cheng’s ‘The Meaning Of Life’.  Cheng’s contributions to Negative Burn were always of high quality and were often the most interesting work in an issue.  The Rib one-off tale was excellent, enough so that I ordered some of the regular issues of the title and found myself somewhat disappointed that they were not up to the level of this story.  More interesting work appeared from Ted Slampyak, Brian Bolland, Graeme Neil Reid and Dave Taylor.


41. cover: Chris Moeller (Oct. 1996)

                1) Iron Empires, part 5 [Kevin Moeller/Chris Moeller] 8p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: A Philosophical Point [Brian Bolland] 1p   reprinted from Cheval Noir #
                3) Cubicle Rut [Sthephen Cheng] 12p

                4) Mime Story [Andy Kuhn] 1p

                5) The Immortal [Darko Macan/Edvin Biukovic] 6p

                6) The Covert Quartet: Get Bobby! [Rob Walton] 5p

                7)…Comics To Bore & Confuse You [Jesse Hamm] 11p

                8) Fix [Chris Knowles] 4p

                9) Carla Allison: Steps [P. HoldenJohn McCrea] 4p

                10) An Afternoon With Mr. Drawing Board Belly [Don Simpson/Paul Fricke] 2p

                11) The Brutalizers, part 4: Massacre At West Cove [Martin Conaghan/Dave Braysher & Mike

Perkins] 6p


Notes: Rib writer, Andrew M. Ford, sent in a letter.


42. cover: Danijel Zezelj (Nov. 1996)

                1) Midnight League [Danijel Zezelj] 10p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: The Time In Caracas [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Voodoo Blues [Darko Macan/Edvin Biukovic] 6p

                4) The Squab Head Incident! [Gordon Purcell, Paul Fricke & Len Strazewski/Paul Fricke] 3p

                5) The Street Where You Live [John Tomlinson/Mike Perkins] 6p

                6) Name (Please Print Clearly)… [R. J. Pentzell] 1p

                7) The Brutalizers, part 5: The Preserver [Martin Conaghan/Dave Braysher & Mike Perkins] 7p

                8) Robert Johnson [Jason Millet] 2p

                9) One Night At Dirty Blonde Barry’s Place [Stefan Jackson/Fred Harper] 8p

                10) Comics To Bore & Confuse You [Jesse Hamm] 8p

                11) Carla Allison: Xmas [John McCrea] 4p

                12) The Conqueror Worm [Edgar Allan Poe/Bill D. Fountain & Cameron B. Baity] 3p    [poem]

                13) The Tell-Tale Heart Ad [Bill D. Fountain] 1p


Notes: Another letter from Andrew Ford appeared.  Curiously, the story ‘The Street Where You Live’ appeared again, with artist Peter Snejbjerg illustrating, in rival anthology Dark Horse Presents as part of a ‘The Lords Of Misrule’ tie-in several months after this appearance.  I wrote a letter to the DHP editor pointing this out and received a mailed reply (first time that ever happened in my quite brief letterwriting career) which thanked me for alerting them to this and that they were somewhat chagrined about the fact.  That said, it was a pretty decent story, both times.  Jesse Hamm’s ‘Comics To Bore & Confuse You’ made its debut.  This was an excellent, offbeat series that provided both the best story & art in this issue.  I also liked work by John McCrea, Bill D. Fountain, Mike Perkins, Danijel Zezelj and Jason Millet.


43. cover: Jordan Raskin (Dec. 1996)

                1) Iron Empires, part 6 [Kevin Moeller/Chris Moeller] 8p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Cartoon Character [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) The Secret [Scott Roberts] 7p

                4) Ship Of Fools [Bryan J.L. Glass/Michael Avon Oeming] 7p

                5) Hibakusha [Rob Walton] 6p

                6) Nanny Katie [Malcolm Bourne/Alwyn Talbot] 8p

                7) Snowcone [Aldyth Beltane/Jon Macy] 3p

                8) Comics To Bore & Confuse You [Jesse Hamm] 11p

                9) Neckbeard-Away [Elliot Blake/Jason Whitley] 2p

                10) The Laugh [Barry McLean] 1p

                11) The  Brutalizers, part 6: The End [Martin Conaghan/Dave Braysher & Mike Perkins] 6p


Notes: Scott Robert’s ‘The Secret’ was a homage to Will Eisner’s ‘The Spirit’.  Once again, the best art & story come from Jesse Hamm’s ‘Comics To Bore & Confuse You’.  Good work also appeared from the Bros. Moeller, Brian Bolland, Scott Roberts, Rob Walton, Malcolm Bourne & Alwyn Talbot.


44. cover: Mike Wieringo & Chris Kemple (Jan. 1997)

                1) The Red Vengeance [Chris Kemple] 15p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Boxes [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Skeleton Key: Bring On The Clouds [Andi Watson] 8p

                4) Skeleton Key [Andi Watson] 1p

                5) 1915: A Good Year For Wine… [Darco Macan/Edvin Biukovic] 1p

                6)  A True Tale Of Chet [Andries Mulder/Jim Elston] 6p

                7) Comics To Bore & Confuse You [Jesse Hamm] 8p

                8) My Life As Riley: The Dream [Matthew Smith/Phil Hester] 2p

                9) Why Masako Never Cries [Greg Moutafis & Phil Downes/Greg Moutafis] 8p

                10) Indignities [Si Spencer/John McCrea] 4p

                11) Have A Heart [Sean Kelley McKeever/Brendon Fraim & Brian Fraim] 3p

                12) The Walking Place Ad [Brendon Fraim & Brian Fraim] 1p

                13) The Day Job [Paul Carstairs/Katrin Geilhausen & Laurence Campbell] 6p


Notes: Wieringo’s art was still in a clunky crude stage.  No one story stood out in particular although stories from Andi Watson, Darco Macan, Jesse Hamm, Matthew Smith, Si Spencer were quite good.  Best art would be by Katrin Geilhausen & Laurence Campbell on ‘The Day Job.’


45. cover: Steve Lieber (Feb. 1997)

                1) Nanny Katie: Divine [Jeff Lang/Chris McLoughlin] 17p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Six Years Later… [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) The Ripper [Darko Macan/Edvin Biukovic] 7p

                4) Big Shot [Steve Darnall/Brett Feschuk] 6p

                5) The Covert Quartet: Spiked! [Rob Walton] 5p

                6) Strangers In The Night [Felix/Horus] 5p

                7) Facts Of Life [Jim Alexander/Jon Haward] 5p

                8) If You Go Down To The Woods Today [Graham Neil Reid] 2p

                9) King David’s Skull [William Harms/Felipe Echevarria] 7p

                10) Patty Cake: Shaken Up [Scott Roberts] 1p

                11) Ciao, Baby [G. Allan Holcomb/Mike Perkins] 5p


Notes: A top notch issue in every respect.  There’s not a single dud and everyone seems to be working at the top of their game.  I especially like the Nanny Katie story, which was a take on an immortal Mary Poppins type nanny who is both somewhat scary and extremely nurturing at the same time, displayed here in a well-crafted tale.  Other story high points include ‘King David’s Skull’ & ‘Ciao, Baby’ although, as I said, there’s not a weak story in the lot.  Great art was contributed by Chris McLoughlin, Brian Bolland, Edvin Biukovic, Horus, Jon Haward, Felipe Echevarria, Mike Perkins & Scott Roberts with best art honors going to Felipe Echevarria.  Graham Neil Reid’s story was a warm homage to DC’s Swamp Thing.  Just a great issue!


46. cover: Ken Meyer, Jr. (Mar. 1997)

                1) A Bullet For Me [Darco Macan/Edvin Biukovic] 8p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Thursday Evening [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Art [Martin Conaghan/Dave Hill] 6p

                4) Buck Zero! [Darryl Cunningham/Phil Elliott] 10p

                5) Jungle Law [Doug Wheeler/Shane Oakley] 1p

                6) Temple: This Night’s Prayer [Duane Schilz/Joey Robinson] 8p

                7) This Is A Story… [Tony Isabella/Mike Worley] 3p

                8) Monster Truck [Joe Martin & Tim Parsons/Tariq Hassan & Jason Baumgartner] 6p

                9) Astronauts In Trouble: Afterburn [Larry Young] 2p

                10) Patty Cake: Collector’s Choice [Scott Roberts] 9p

                11) Victorian Dream [Michael Neno] 2p

                12) Jumper [Dan Jolley/Ray Synder] 4p

                13) Note From The Editor [Joe Pruett] 1p   [text article]

                14) Dragoncon Contest Winners [Li Shyu, Bryan Pattillo, Kyle Hopkins, Jason Laframboise] 1p  



47. cover: John Lucas (Apr. 1997)

                1) I Was The Bride Of Rothro, King Of The Giant Flying Vampire Gorillas From The Earth’s

Core! [Rick Klaw/John Lucas & Ande Parks] 6p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Fifty Glorious Pages [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Questfire! [Paul Jenkins/John Lind] 5p

                4) Kilroy Is Here: The Death Of Billy The Kid [Joe Pruett/Guy Burwell] 8p

                5) Amazing! Retail Facts [Bradley Walton/Jim Schumaker & Bradley Walton] 2p

                6) Combat Zone [Darco Macan/Edvin Biukovic] 6p

                7) Patty Cake: All That Glitters [Scott Roberts] 16p

                8) Sideburns [Jim Alexander/Jon Haward] 8p

                9) What’s Up [Brent Bowman] 1p

                10) Schmaltz [Danjiel Zezelj] 8p


Notes: The magazine goes bi-monthly following this issue.  I love Scott Roberts’ Patty Cake book and this issue’s story was an excellent addition to her saga.  Name another anthology that would devote 25% of an issue to a delightful tale of a 5 year old’s obsession with glitter glue!  Best art goes to Jon Haward for ‘Sideburns’. 


48. cover: Tony Luke (June 1997)

                1) The King Of Rain [Mark Chadbourn/Fred Harper] 10p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: The Well-Spring Of Life [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Funguys: The Very Last Supper [Alan Grant/Alan Burrows] 8p

                4) A Great Day To Start Again [Michel Lacombe] 10p

                5) The Adventures Of Simone & Ajax: Who Dares To Face Whooti!—The Giant Fish Who Walks

Like A Man And Sings Lousy Songs! [Andrew Pepoy] 5p

                6) This Or That [Ivana Filipovic] 6p

                7) Patty Cake [Scott Roberts] 1p

                8) Pleasant Valley Sundays: Episode 666 [Chris Kemp/Michael Cherkas] 6p

                9) Heart [Darco Macan/Edvin Biukovic] 7p

                10) Technopolis Preview: Birthright [Adrie Van Viersen] 5p

                11) Technopolis Ad [Adrie Van Viersen] 2p

                12) Comics To Bore & Confuse You Presents Fenwick & Maw’s [Jesse Hamm] 7p

                13) The Fractal Geometry [Matthew Smith] 1p

                14) Straitjacket [James Pruett/Andy Bennett] 9p


Notes: An excellent issue with three stories tying for best—‘The King Of Rain’, ‘A Great Day To Start Again’ and the latest installment of ‘Comics To Bore & Confuse You’.  Best art honors go to Fred Harper for ‘The King Of Rain’.  Good work also appeared from Brian Bolland, Jesse Hamm, Andrew Pepoy {with a damn funny story}, the team of Kemp/Cherkas, the team of Macan/Biuvokic {who were always good}, Matthew Smith and the team of Pruett/Bennett.


49. cover: Marc Erickson (Aug. 1997)

                1) All Robot Style [Scott Morse] 6p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Mamouliology [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) A Week During The Apocalypse [Steve Rasnic Tem/Mike Perkins] 13p

                4) Goo [Phil Hester/Andy Kuhn] 7p

                5) Object D’Art [Del Stone, Jr./Tom Biondolillo] 2p   [text story]

                6) The Stranger From Atair [David Boller/Hondo] 6p

                7) Patty Cake: That’s The News [Scott Roberts] 3p

                8) Pleasant Valley Sundays, part 2 [Chris Kemp/Michael Cherkas] 4p

                9) Revolution [Joe Pruett/Andrew Robinson & Tim Bradstreet] 6p

                10) Suicide Kings [Mike Carey/Paul Holden] 12p

                11) T.O.M. Foolery: Sound Bites [Jeff Bailey & Marty Golia/Joe Staton] 5p

                12) Project High: Kentucky Fried Chicken Blues [Ken Meyer, Jr.] 2p

                13) Project High Editorial [Ken Meyer, Jr.] 1p   [text article]

                14) Jaiden [Chris Campana/Joey Robinson] 7p

                15) Grumber Ad [Greg DiGenti] 1p


Notes: Another good issue!  Best art was by Mike Perkins on ‘A Week During The Apocalypse’ with the best story being ‘Suicide Kings’ by Mike Carey. 


50. cover: Scott McDaniel/back cover: Mike Perkins (Oct. 1997)

                1) The Foot Soldiers [Jim Krueger/Phil Hester] 8p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Your Letters [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) The Last Temptation Of Little Neil [James A. Owen] 6p

                4) Annie Ammo [Richard Case] 5p

                5) April Nightmares [Mike Wieringo] 4p

                6) I Won’t Forget You [Paul Jenkins/Michael Gaydos] 7p

                7) Blackout [Nabien Kanan] 6p

                8) Stormy [Greg Sage/Galen Showman] 1p   [song lyrics]

                9) The Old Warlock’s Reverie: A Pantoum [Neil Gaiman/Guy Davis] 2p    [poem]

                10) Boneshaker: The Fix [Phil Hester/Phil Hester & Jim Woodyard] 24p

                11) The Phalanxes Of The House Order [Darko Macan/Edvin Biukovic] 1p

                12) All Robot Style [Scott Morse] 6p

                13) Chicks, Hotrods And Kudzu [Dave Johnson] 5p

                14) Kilroy Is Here: Cat Lives [Joe Pruett/Jon Haward] 7p

                15) A Few Of The Many Masks I Wear… [Greg DiGenti] 1p

                16) The Survivors [Mark Kneece/Durwin Talon] 7p

                17) Too Much Coffee Man [Shannon Wheeler] 1p

                18) Too Much Coffee Man’s Adventure Theater [Shannon Wheeler] 1p

                19) Too Much Coffee Man And Expresso Guy [Shannon Wheeler] 1p

                20) Too Much Coffee Man: Modern Freaks [Shannon Wheeler] 1p

                21) Too Much Coffee Man Dreams [Shannon Wheeler] 1p


Notes: $6.95 for 96 pages.  Squarebound.  This final issue of Volume 1 was stuffed with interesting material but little of it was truly excellent.  Both L’il Neil {ala Li’l Archie} and Alice Cooper appear in James Owen’s spoof of Neil Gaiman.  Boneshaker returned to apparently battle Matt Murdock’s {aka Daredevil’s} dad.  Kilroy makes a welcome return.  Like I said, there’s plenty here of interest, but nothing to really rave about. 




Negative Burn, Vol. 2

  1. cover: Ken Meyer, Jr. (July 2005)

                1) Introduction [Joe Pruett] 1p   [text article]

                2) Thoughts On A Winter Morning [Kurt Busiek/Steve Lieber] 8p

                3) Mr. Mamoulian: Under New Management [Brian Bolland] 1p

                4) The Gasser [Bob Burden/Andy Kuhn] 5p

                5) The Wish [Erik Larsen] 6p

                6) Milk And Cheese Break Out! [Evan Dorkin] 2p

                7) The Drop [Fabian Nicezia/Dalibor Talajic] 8p

                8) Hawaiian Dick: The Echo Of Bullets Past [B. Clay Moore/Shawn Crystal] 7p

                9) Samurai: Heaven And Earth Prelude [Ron Marz/Luke Ross] 4p

                10) Team USA [Ben McCool/John McCrea] 6p

                11) Ruth Dreams Of Judith [Phil Hester] 2p

                12) Ruth Dreams Of Naomi [Phil Hester] 2p

                13) Ruth Dreams Of David [Phil Hester] 2p

                14) The Demented Adventures Of One Page Filler Man [Jim Mahfood] 5p

                15) Vince Locke Sketchbook [Vince Locke] 6p

                16) A Different Kind Of Tension [Eric Stephenson/Jamie McKelvie] 8p

                17) Impressions [Darko Macan/Wayne Vansant] 4p

                18) Quorzar, Honorable Conqueror Of The Galaxy [Zander Cannon, Kevin Cannon & Shad

Petusky] 6p

                19) Obscuro, Chapter One: A Cricket In Times Squared [James A. Owen] 8p


Notes: After an eight year absence, Negative Burn returned in a trade paperback format.  Publisher & editor: Joe Pruett for Desperado Publishing.  Released through Image Comics.  $9.95 for 128 pages.  Cover dated as Spring 2005 but this actually came out in July.  Best stories here were Phil Hester’s ‘Ruth Dreams…’ and Evan Dorkin’s ‘Milk & Cheese’ but almost everything else was at least interesting.  Some of it was quite interesting.  Beautiful artwork appeared from James A. Owen.


  2. cover: Brian Stelfreeze (Oct. 2005)

                1) Life On Pluto [Phil Hester/John McCrea] 5p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Enjoying The Moment [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) A Monster’s Tale [Gary Reed/Dalibor Tajalic] 8p

                4) Lorelei’s Library Of Curiosities [Richard Case] 11p

                5) Years [Darco Macan/Anthony Hightower] 7p

                6) The Eagle [Will Franz/Sam Glanzman] 8p

                7) Pangu [Ron Chan] 4p

                8) Fat Rocker [Danijel Zezelj] 12p

                9) Sand [Mark Chadbourn/Nathan Massengill] 8p

                10) Cully Hammer Sketchbook [Cull Hammer] 3p

                11) The Missing Piece [James Peaty/James Fletcher] 6p

                12) Happy Bunny Comix [Ryan Cook] 3p

                13) Local Road [Mike Raicht/Tom Biondolillo] 9p

                14) Obscuro, Chapter Two: The Indian Summer [James A. Owen] 8p


Notes: Final issue.  Cover dated Summer 2005 but it didn’t actually appear until October.  Stelfreeze’s cover looked a bit like an unused cover for the 1990s era Dark Horse character Ghost.  The Franz/Glanzman story, their first together in 25 years, was marred by page 3 appearing twice while page 4 didn’t appear at all.  Best art was James A. Owen’s work on ‘Obscuro’.  Several good stories appeared, particularly the Raicht, Franz, Reed, Macan & Hester stories.  This tradepaper back version was followed by a third version, which reverted back to a 64 page comic book and was once again monthly, debuting in 2006.




Negative Burn, Vol. 3

    1. cover: Jordan Raskin (May 2006)

                1) How Do You Read A Book That Big? [Patton Oswalt/Jonathan Luna] 5p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Waiting [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Fade: Auld Lang Syne [Matthew Smith] 8p

                4) The Skin On The Stone [Phil Hester] 3p

                5) Greg Ruth Sketchbook [Greg Ruth] 7p

                6) The Gull [Will Volley] 22p

                7) Cade vs. The Flue [Eric Powell] 1p

                8) Moebius: A Sketch [Mark Askwith/R. G. Taylor] 8p

                9) Obscuro, Chapter Three: Seduction Of The Imminent [James A. Owen] 8p


Notes: $5.99 for 64 pages.  Publisher & editor: Joe Pruett for Desperado Comics.  Released through Image Comics.  An excellent lead-off issue with the best story & art going to Matthew Smith’s quiet, delicious story of Fade, a character somewhat in the ‘Kilroy Is Here’ mode.  I look forward to more adventures of Fade.  Strong work also appeared from Patton Oswalt, Jonathan Luna, Phil Hester, Will Volley, Eric Powell {a very funny one-pager}, Mark Askwith, R. G. Taylor & James Owen.  If the Askwith/Taylor story isn’t true, it ought to be.  For the first time, a sketchbook entry got me interested in an upcoming series, even one not scheduled to debut for two more years.  Greg Ruth’s quite lovely artwork previewed his upcoming series for Scholastic Books, The Woodland Chronicles, and it looks excellent.  This is what a sketchbook should do—give an idea of the artist’s strengths and get the reader excited about upcoming work.  I noted an amusing online review of Negative Burn, Vol. 3 #1 where the writer stated that these stories were an excellent primer for the artists’ more {and presumably better} mainstream {read superhero comics} work.  In reality, it should be exactly the opposite.  Phil Hester, for example, is never better then when he is doing these odd, quirky little tales.  Nothing he, or frankly anybody else in this issue {with the possible exception of Brian Bolland}, has done in mainstream comics is any better than the material being offered here. 


    2. cover: Andrew Robinson (June 2006)

                1) Vanja & Vanja [Danijel Zezelj] 12p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: A Couple Of Suggestions [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) Edison’s Light [Dove McHargue] 8p

                4) Milk & Cheese Are Blind Stinking Drunks [Evan Dorkin] 1p

                5) Fatty [Malcolm Bourne/Al Davison] 5p

                6) Andrew Robinson Sketchbook [Andrew Robinson] 6p

                7) Nostalgia Sure Is What It Used To Be [Mel Taylor/R. G. Taylor] 3p

                8) Bog Man [Shane White] 12p   from the story by Jessica Staley

                9) The Eagle [Will Franz/Sam Glanzman] 8p

                10) Obscuro, Chapter Four: The Arete Of War [James A. Owen] 8p

Notes: The Franz/Glanzman story was largely reprinted from Negative Burn, Vol. 2 #2 since that initial printing had accidentally dropped page 4.  The complete version appears here.  I should note here that I had some small part in alerting Joe Pruett to the existence of this story and the fact that it was available for printing.  That said—it’s a pretty damn good story.  The highlight of this issue however was Danijel Zezelj’s excellent ‘Vanja & Vanja’.  I also like the cousins Taylor’s ‘Nostalgia Sure Is What It Used To Be’, Dove’s fine little horror story ‘Edison’s Light’, Shane White’s subtle adaptation of ‘Bog Man’ and Malcolm Bourne’s ‘Fatty’.  Evan Dorkin’s installment of ‘Milk & Cheese’ was a gut buster.  There really are no low points in this issue.  A page from the Robinson sketchbook section was colored & used as the cover. 


    3. cover: Tomislav Tikulin (Aug. 2006)

                1) The Stone Devil [Phil Hester/Federico Dallocchio] 6p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Action! [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) El Angel Exterminador [Danijel Zezelj] 10p

                4) Breaking Up [Paul Jenkins/Kevin Stokes] 4p

                5) The Empty Canvas [R. G. Taylor] 8p

                6) Frazer Irving Sketchbook [Frazer Irving] 7p

                7) Broken [Dean Haspiel/Michel Fiffe] 4p

                8) Free Lunch [Mike O’Neill/Alex App] 6p

                9) Sideburns: Conjoined Sins [Jim Alexander/Jon Haward] 8p

                10) Fade: Signs & Wonders [Matthew Smith] 8p

                11) 3rd Time Lucky? [Graeme Neil Reid] 2p


Notes: The best story here was Phil Hester’s creepy ‘The Stone Devil’ although I was also impressed by Matthew Smith’s new installment of ‘Fade’.  Graeme Neil Reid’s story was dated 1998 so I suspect it was a leftover story from Negative Burn’s original run.  After delivering the best story of the previous issue, Danijel Zezelj’s new story, ‘El Angel Exterminador’ made no sense whatsoever.  Brian Bolland’s Mr. Mamoulian strips continued to be well drawn, but the droll humor that was its trademark for the first Negative Burn run has not appeared in any of the new installments to date.  R. G. Taylor’s story ‘The Empty Canvas’ was a wordless strip, which is a type of comic that I usually hate, but this one was well done, with striking visuals.  Good work also appeared from Paul Jenkins, Kevin Stokes, Dean Haspiel, Michel Fiffe and Alex App and a beautiful cover was delivered by Tomislav Tikulin.  All in all, though, this issue was somewhat of a let down compared with previous issues.


    4. cover: Tim Seelig (Sept. 2006)

                1) Ma Qui [Keith Griffen & Shannon Eric Denton/Damion Hendricks] 12p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Something We Prepared Earlier [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) A Word Of Advice [Robert Grabe] 6p

                4) Milk & Cheese: Concussive Oompah! [Evan Dorkin] 1p

                5) Werewolf Hunt [Bradley Walton/Jim Schumaker & Bradley Walton] 5p

                6) Mike vs LBJ [David Lougheed/R. G. Taylor] 8p

                7) Newton’s Blanket [Alex Campbell] 5p

                8) Wishing [Bruce McCorkindale] 8p

                9) Shift Of Sail [Scott Large/Dove McHargue] 12p

                10) Prince Charming [Ande Rummel] 4p

                11) Hand In Marriage [Ron Kasman] 2p

                12) Editorial [Joe Pruett] 1p  


Notes: A rather disappointing issue.  The lead story, ‘Ma Qui’ {ghost in Vietnamese} unfortunately runs a very distant second in quality to Alan Brennert’s award-winning short story of the same title.  The artwork is confusing, with both the US soldiers and the Vietnamese looking exactly like each other from panel to panel and the written story isn’t much clearer.  Mr. Mamoulian drops lower and lower in my interest table with each appearance and this issue’s Milk & Cheese installment is none too good either.  Still, there’s one excellent story here from David Lougheed & R. G. Taylor and some interesting work from Bruce McCorkindale, Scott Large, Dove McHargue, Bradley Walton & Jim Schumaker.  So it’s not a total loss but neither is it a good issue.


    5. cover: Tomislav Tikulin (Oct. 2006)

                1) Fade: Signs & Wonders 2: Visitation [Matthew Smith] 8p

                2) Mr. Mamoulian: Tech Support [Brian Bolland] 1p

                3) The Wretch [Phil Hester/Scott Wegener] 6p

                4) Rick Cardet [Tihomir Tikulin-Tice/Goran Sudzuka] 4p

                5) Nemo, Chapter 14 [Doave McHargue] 8p

                6) Deflowered [Michel Fiffe] 1p

                7) Tony Harris Sketchbook [Tony Harris] 4p

                8) Table Dance [Mel Taylor/R. G. Taylor] 6p

                9) The Bat Poles! [Dean Haspiel] 1p

                10) Captain Bill [Ron Kasman] 14p

                11) The Paradox Outlet [Jeremy Nichols/Raymond Rieck] 6p

                12) Love In The Summertime [Gianluca Piredda/Bruno Auriema & Adriano Honorato] 4p

                13) The Cute Zombies [Chris Giarrusso] 1p

                14) Editorial [Joe Pruett] 1p   [text article, on inside back cover]


Notes: Much better issue than the previous one.  Ron Kasman’s delightful & impressive ‘Captain Bill’ easily took the best story honors and should be up for some awards next year.  R. G. Taylor had the best art showing with ‘Table Dance’.  There was also fine work from Matthew Smith, Phil Hester, Scott Wegener, Chris Giarrusso, Jeremy Nichols & Raymond Rieck. 


    6. cover: Ken Meyer, Jr. (Nov. 2006)

                1) Me, Myself And I [Joe Keatings/Evan Bryce] 8p

                2) Nemo, Chapter 20 [Dove McHargue] 10p

                3) Jack’s Riff [Mel Taylor/R. G. Taylor] 11p

                4) Projdivilo [Tatjana Jambrisak/Goran Sudzuka] 2p   from the song by Gibonni

                5) Showdown In Space [Robert Grabe] 6p

                6) Fear [Lauren Perry/Michelle Silva] 8p

                7) Lorna Doone, Trailer Park Temple Raider: Bring Back My Brigham To Me! [Micah Harris/Ken

Price] 5p

                8) See A Penny, Pick It Up [Jay Eales/Graeme Neil Reid] 11p

                9) Bruce Barnaby: Playfully Malicious [Ron Kasman/Ron Kasman & R. G. Taylor] 2p

                10) Dear Mr. Pekar [Michel Fiffe] 1p


Notes: Some really decent material appeared here as well as some material that could only be called filler.  Best story is the damn funny Lorna Doone tale which gently (?) spoofs Mormon culture.  It’s by Micah Harris, who appears to be a writer to look for more of.  It also featured some sharp art by Ken Price.  Best art is Goran Sudzuka’s two-pager.  Other good work appeared from Ron Kasman, Michel Fiffe, Joe Keatings, Evan Bryce, Graeme Neil Reid, Jay Eales & Robert Grabe.  Fiffe’s story is a takeoff on his boss’ Dean Haspiel’s one pager that appeared in the original Negative Burn, which pleaded with Harvey Pekar to give him a job.  I hope this one works for Fiffe as well as Haspiel’s worked for him.  Grabe’s art for his own story looked a bit like animation storyboards.  ‘Jack’s Riff’ by the usually reliable (or better) Taylor team took 11 pages to tell a two page story.  ‘Fear’ was awkwardly scripted and somewhat confusingly drawn.  The Nemo material still looks like parts of a larger story are being told with chapters that are not really stand-alone stories.  Still, all in all, the good in this issue outweighed the bad. 


    7. cover: Dominic Bugatto (Dec. 2006)

                1) Night Time [Michael Cho] 10p   

                2) A Little Friendly Advice [Jim Dougan/Eric Kim] 9p

                3) Grow Up! [Ron Kasman] 4p

                4) Berserker [Alexander Grecian/Riley Rossmo] 8p

                5) Georges Jeanty Sketchbook [Georges Jeanity] 6p

                6) Volstagg: Barbarian Cop [Shane White/Pav Kovacic] 5p

                7) Rush: Stomping Grounds [Ron McCain] 10p

                8) Aces [G. Willow Wilson & Shannon Eric Denton/Curtis Square Briggs] 12p


Notes: Behind an unimpressive cover is some fine work.  ‘Berserker’ reads like an offshoot of Mike Mignola’s B.P.R.D. series.  In this one a Wendigo searches for a shape-changing killer in the frozen Canadian tundra.  ‘Rush: Stomping Ground’ debuts a new superhero whose low rent lifestyle provides an interesting contrast to his superhero deeds.  Both stories are well written and drawn and tie for both best story and art.  Michael Cho’s ‘Night Time’ is another fine story.  Interesting work also appears from Eric Kim, Ron Kasman, Shane White & Pay Kovacic.  A new serial, ‘Aces’ debuts but the artwork is somewhat murky and the story doesn’t really call to me.  Here’s hoping future installments fare better.


    8. cover: Karl Waller (Jan. 2007)

                1) The Keeper’s Carol [Dove McHargue] 8p

                2) Out Across The Lawn [Mel Taylor/R. G. Taylor] 1p   [poem]

                3) The Midnight Hour: The Demon Head Of Harbuu Kisasi [James Chambers/Jason Whitley] 11p

                4) Mike Ploog Sketchbook [Mike Ploog] 6p

                5) All Along I Also Wanted To Become A Doctor Like My Uncle And My Brother… [Ron

Kasman/Ron Kasman & R. G. Taylor] 4p

                6) Aces, chapter 2 [C. Willow Wilson & Shannon Eric Denton/Curtis Square Briggs] 10p

                7) Spring Love [Michel Fiffe] 1p

                8) Come The Dawn [Jim Dougan/Hyeondo Park] 10p

                9) Rush: Stomping Grounds, part 2 [Ron McCain] 13p

                10) Jimmy [Doug Wagner/Rob Haynes] 1p


Notes: Good issue with a number of strong stories.  ‘Come The Dawn’ by Jim Dougan & Hyeondo Park was my favorite in both story & art but there was strong competition from Dove Mchargue, Ron McDain & the team of Ron Kasman & R. G. Taylor.  The sketchbook section, with art by Mike Ploog!, was also quite welcome. The second chapter of ‘Aces’ was quite an improvement on the first installment. Waller’s cover art was quite nice as well.


    9. cover: Michael Gaydos (Feb. 2007)

                1) Would You Like Sour Cream Or Salsa With Your Crow? [Mel Taylor/R. G. Taylor] 11p

                2) Rest Stop [Dean Haspiel & im Dougan/Michel Fiffe] 8p

                3) Nemo, Chapter 21 [Dove McHargue] 8p

                4) Stuart [Chris Arrant/Eric Adams] 6p

                5) Aces, chapter 3 [C. Willow Wilson & Shannon Eric Denton/Curtis Square Briggs] 23p

                6) Hard Road [Jody LeHeup/Pablo Peppino] 8p


Notes: Michael Gaydoes’ cover was rather a muddy, blurry looking affair but that may have happened in reproduction.  Best story here is Jody LeHeup & Pablo Peppino’s offbeat crime tale ‘Hard Road’.  There’s also strong work from the teams Haspiel/Dougan/Fiffe, Arrant/Adams & the Taylor Bros.  I’m going to be interested in obtaining the complete version of ‘Nemo’ when it finally appears. 


  10. cover: Brian Stelfreeze (Apr. 2007)

                1) Aces, chapter 4 [C. Willow Wilson & Shannon Eric Denton/Curtis Square Briggs] 25p

                2) Jimmy [Doug Wagner/Rob Haynes] 2p

                3) I Like To Mingle With Riffraff [Mel Taylor/R. G. Taylor] 4p

                4) The Twelve [Ira Singerman/Harsho Mohan Chattoraj] 9p

                5) To Feed The Monster [Gary Reed/Mark Bloodworth] 6p   [text story]

                6) Wings Of Juano Dioz [Stacey Garratt/Nikki Cook] 9p

                7) Hoptown’s Horrors [Chris Schweizer] 2p

                8) The Mennonite At The 7-11 [Bradley Walton & Cara Walton/Brendon Fraim & Brian Braim]


                9) Eight Months Ago [Grahame Neil Reid] 3p


Notes: ‘Aces’ concludes and turns out to be a decent enough story.  I liked ‘The Mennonite At The 7-11’ by Bradley & Car Walton but other than that, this was not a particularly good issue.  Only ‘Hoptown’s Horrors’ & the aforementioned held my interest. 


  11. cover: Chris McLoughlin (May 2007)

                1) Slumber [Steve Rasnic Tem/Anthony Hightower] 10p

                2) Jimmy in Beeline [Doug Wagner/Rob Haynes] 2p

                3) Avengers Number Four [Ron Kasman/R. G. Taylor] 5p

                4) P. Craig Russell Sketchbook [P. Craig Russell] 6p

                5) The Art Of P. Craig Russell Ad [P. Craig Russel] 1p

                6) Sprinkles [Michel Fiffe] 1p

                7) Rush: Past Imperfect [Ron McCain] 12p

                8) State Of The Gary [Tim Hegarty/Robert Roch & Larry Welch] 4p

                9) The Blackboard Jumble [R. G. Taylor] 1p

                10) Karma’s Laughter [Larry Shuput] 7p

                11) The Librarian And The Jock [Bradley Walton/George Broderick, Jr. & Ken Wheaton] 7p

                12) The Detective [Jasper Floor/Guus Floor] 8p


Notes: Great cover by Chris McLoughlin, for which I would have liked to have seen an accompanying interior story.  Spooky and interesting.  This issue saw a big pickup in the quality of story and art from the previous issue, with strong work from Kasman/Taylor, Michel Fiffe, Walton/Broderick/Wheaton, the Floor Bros. and the welcome return of Rush by Ron McCain.  The first appearance of R. G. Taylor’s ‘The Blackboard Jumble’ was a welcome debut, as Taylor clearly knows the behind the scenes goings on with faculty at junior, middle & high schools.  The Floor Bros. tale, ‘The Detective’ has a lead character modeled on Steve McQueen.  The Craig Russell sketchbook was great to look at and the Bradley Walton, George Broderick tale ‘The Librarian and The Jock’ was damned funny but the best story and art here goes to the Steve Rasnic Tem/Anthony Hightower weeper ‘Slumber’. 


  12. cover: Phil Hester (Sept. 2007)

                1) Big Q: Butter Sandwich [Phil Hester/Phil Hester, Aaron Gillespie, Jim Woodyard & Andrew

                                Walls] 7p              

                2) Whispers At Night [P. Craig Russell] 1p

                3) Acid Rock [Mike Baron/Anthony Hightower] 8p

                4) Lord Of The Skies [Dove McHargue] 8p

                5) Seelenheil [Andrew Dabb/Neal Von Flue] 3p

                6) Richard Case Sketchbook [Richard Case] 7p

                7) Unleash The One Who Waits [Rob Walton/R. G. Taylor] 4p

                8) Almost There [Neil Kleid/James Smith III] 14p

                9) Rush: Past Imperfect, part 2 [Ron McCain] 11p

                10) Jimmy [Doug Wagner/Rob Haynes] 1p


Notes: Desperado Publishing takes over all the production details as Joe Pruett & co. leave the Image fold.  The covers begin to sport a ‘Suggested for Mature Readers’ warning.  This issue leads off with a great hardboiled crime story ‘Big Q’ by Phil Hester, Araron Gillespie, Jime Woodyard & Andrew Walls. Powerful and creepy, this gets my vote for best story & art.  I also liked ‘Lord Of The Skies’ by Dove McHargue, the Richard Case sketchbook, ‘Unleash The One Who Waits’ by Rob Walton & R. G. Taylor, the striking, eerie ‘Almost There’ by Neil Kleid & James Smith and a darn good installment of ‘Rush’ by Ron McCain.  Very strong issue.


  13. cover: Mr. Mamoulian: Cover Opportunity [Brian Bolland] 1p  (Oct. 2007)    [cover is a 1 page strip]

                1) Closer To The Sky [Jeremy Nichols/Raymond Rieck] 10p   [pages printed out of order]

                2) Father Of 3 [Dove McHague] 1p

                4) This Is Where I Am [Elton Pruitt/NoelTuazon] 8p

                5) Blackboard Jumble [R. G. Taylor] 1p

                6) Yes, Mother [Elizabeth Genco/Sami Makkonen & Rami Efal] 11p

                7) The Horror Of Dieting [Maggie McFee] 1p

                8) Reflected Glory [Neil Kleid/Dash Shaw] 8p

                9) The Inn Between [Mike Raicht/Dalibor Talajic] 6p

                10) Nice Summer [Doug Wagner/Rob Haynes] 2p

                11) Matthew Dow Smith Sketchbook [Matt Smith] 6p

                12) Amazing Retail Facts!: Common Humanity [Bradley Walton/Jim Schumaker & Bradley

                                Walton] 1p           

                13) Headin’ South [Sam Costello/Kyle Straham] 7p


Notes: The Brian Bolland cover was actually a Mr. Mamoulian strip and the best one so far in Negative Burn 3.0.  The story ‘Closer To The Sky’ had the last page mis-printed as page 2 and so was reprinted in the correct order in #17.  Dove McHargue’s ‘Father Of 3’, R. G. Taylor’s ‘Blackboard Jumble’ & Maggie McFee’s ‘The Horror Of Dieting’ provided some amusing takes on real life.  I’m even warming up to Doug Wagner & Rob Haynes ‘Jimmy’, which heretofor, largely struck me as filler.  The Matthew Smith sketchbook was welcome.  The first installment of ‘The Inn Between’ was properly horrifying, as was ‘Headin’ South’ by Sam Costello & Kyle Strahm and ‘Yes, Mother’ by Elizabeth Genco, Sami Makkonen & Rami Efal.  However, the two best stories in a very strong issue were the 9/11 tale ‘This Is Where I Am’ by Elton Pruitt & Noel Tauzon and ‘Reflected Glory’ by Neil Kleid & Dash Shaw, which tie for best story & art.


  14. cover: Al Davison (Nov. 2007)

                1) Red Shift [Mike Carey/Dave Windett] 14p

                2) Father Of 3 [Dove McHague] 1p

                3) Celebrating The Life Of Ray Virgil Pruitt [Elton Pruitt/Renzo Podesta] 6p

                4) The Hills Brothers [Rob Walton/Rob Walton & R. G. Taylor] 4p

                5) The Inn Between, part 2 [Mike Raicht/Dalibor Talajic] 6p

                6) Shawn Crystal Sketchbook [Shawn Crystal] 6p

                7) Americana [Joe Karg & Ryan Prows/Adam Ford] 15p

                8) Gauche-Man in Heavy Metal Mayhem [Scott Fry & Stephan Nilson/Scott Fry] 8p

                9) Blackboard Jumble [R. G. Taylor] 4p


Notes: I quite liked the very odd ‘Red Shift’ by Mike Carey & David Windett.  Elton Pruitt returns with another excellent story ‘Barber’, ‘The Inn Between’ turns from what looked like a crime tale in part one to a horror tale in part two.  ‘Blackboard Jumble’ served up a quartet of funny spots which amused me enough to award best story & art to them.  Not as powerful as the preceding issue but still pretty darn good. 


  15. cover: Jessica Hillis (Dec. 2007)

                1) Spider-Man 31-32-33 [Paul McCusker/R. G. Taylor] 8p

                2) Father Of 3 [Dove McHague] 1p

                3) The Inn Between, part 3 [Mike Raicht/Dalibor Talajic] 6p

                4) Jordan Raskin Sketchbook [Jordan Raskin] 8p

                5) The Game [Mike Nicoll/Graeme Reid] 4p

                6) The Rain [Marlo Cau] 8p

                7) To Build A Fire: Revisited [Gary Frnacis/Troy Boyle & Tomm Gassard] 4p

                8) Night Of The Hunted [Jason Dennis & Matt Kaman/Jason Dennis] 9p

                9) Father Figures [Josh Neufeld] 2p

                10) Fall Of The Triumvirate [Elton Pruitt/Juan Romera] 8p

                11) Ladderback [Michael Gaydos] 3p

                12) Blackboard Jumble [R. G. Taylor] 3p


Notes: ‘Spider-Man 31-32-33’ takes the best story & art award.  Bravos to Paul McCusker & R. G. Taylor.  The grand finale of ‘The Inn Between’ was terrifying.  I also liked ‘Father Figures’ by Josh Neufeld, the Twilight Zoneish ‘Fall Of The Triumvirate by Elton Pruitt (who is a writer to look for) & Juan Romera and the newest installments of ‘Blackboard Jumble’.


  16. cover: Jordan Raskin (Jan. 2008)

                1) The Man Who Collected Gods [James Lowder/Brett Barkley] 14p

                2) What’s The Difference? [Josh Neufeld] 3p

                3) Apple [Ande Rummel] 1p

                4) The Gentleman [Jim Dougan/Umberto Torricelli] 8p

                5) E.P.S. [Doug Wagner/Jimmy Bott & David A. Rivera] 4p

                6) Rush, part 4 [Ron McCain] 9p

                7) John McCrea Sketchbook [John McCrea] 6p

                8) Negative Burn [Giabao Tran] 5p

                9) Blackboard Jumble [R. G. Taylor] 3p

                10) An Explanation [Joe Pruett] 1p   [text article]

                11) Closer To The Sky [Jeremy Nichols/Raymond Rieck] 10p   reprinted from Bizarre

                                Adventures, Vol. 3 #13 (Oct. 2007)


Notes: ‘Closer To The Sky’, reprinted in the correct order from #13, proved to be a pretty good little story.  I also liked ‘The Man Who Collected Gods’ by James Lowder & Brett Barkley, ‘The Gentleman’ by Jim Dougan & Umberto Torricelli, the new installment of ‘Rush’ by Rob McCain, and, as always, R. G. Taylor’s ‘Blackboard Jumble’.


  17. cover: R. G. Taylor (Feb. 2008)

                1) Growing Up With Comics [R. G. Taylor & Ron Kasman/R. G. Taylor] 32p

                2) Rolling Grey [Josh Neufeld] 1p

                3) Variable Stars [D. Vance Summer/Sandy Jarrell] 8p

                4) Full Fathom Five [Partic Reynolds] 7p

                5) Dumbells #1-3 [Michelle Poust] 3p

                6) Money Changes Everything [Ken Meyer, Jr.] 7p

                7) Blackboard Jumble [R. G. Taylor] 3p


Notes: Ron Kasman & R. G. Taylor’s ‘Growing Up With Comics’ is not only the longest story to appear in the revived Negative Burn, but it’s also the best to appear in the book to date.  It’s an autobiographical strip about R. G. Taylor’s pre-professional obsession with comics and it’s a tiny gemstone.  I could see a whole book of this type of confessional being done.  (and what do you know, a couple of months after writing this—Desperado solicits a book of just this material—I’m a happy guy!) An especially nice touch is Taylor’s recreation of various 1960s & 70s era comic covers.  Again, this is an extremely well done story.  Taylor’s delightful ‘Blackboard Jumble’ also continues to amuse.  I’m not a big fan of wordless strips but Ken Meyer’s ‘Money Changes Everything’ is an exception to the rule.  I’m not sure if I fully understood ‘Variable Stars’ but it was interesting and well drawn.  The rest of the book felt a bit like padding, but not badly so, and the long lead story more than made up for any misgivings on my part.


  18. cover:






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