zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Saturday, March 28, 2009



via SIZE MATTERS: The Mini-Comics Blog by Shawn Hoke on 2/26/09
Phlegm by Dan Issue eight of Phlegm by Phlegm, or aka Dan no last name, is a dark, densely shaded attack on modern advertising similar to, but much more disturbing than, the subversive and colorful Wacky Packages. To begin with, Dan's subject matter is more grown up and his characters more purely disquieting.

As I'm flipping through this issue, I stop on the last page featuring "Unicorn Porn." Apparently, but I haven't actually checked, at http://www.uniporn.com you can find unicorn porn and other specialist pornography. In the fake advert, a unicornish creature cries, "Hold on to my pink sequin fur and ride my horn to magic land." Yeah, you never found stuff like that in a package of Wacky Packages. The faces of Dan's characters are simplistic and eerie. The rounded heads, slitted and tilted eyes, missing nose, and often-misplaced mouth make the characters seem barely human. He strips the ads and the scenes down to the bare, disgusting untruths of advertising. If at times the slogans seem hackish or trite, they reflect the obviousness of the adverts he lampoons.

Dan's art is very well suited for this messy and dismal subject. He uses heavy swaths of ink and shifting fonts to frame his humanoid characters. The fonts swell, loop, and stretch in each panel as they slink towards the bad pun or hateful finish.
Dan sums up this issue of Phlegm on his website:

"The comic contains my pen and ink illustrations, cartoons, and street art. The work is intense, often surreal and thought provoking, but most of the time it looks like a mad person has been locked in a room for years with no company but a bottle of Indian ink and a scratchy nib….because that's precisely what it is."

Issue eight of Phlegm is 36 pages with a handsome screen printed (on both sides) cover. You can grab a copy at Dan's online shop. For more information on his work and some damn nice artwork, check out the Phlegm Blog.


Dennis Bagwell – A Random Litter of Thought (CD)


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via (title unknown) by anfnewsacct on 2/26/09

I thought this album had an introduction that was spoken word, but then would go into something that was perhaps a little musical. That is not the case with "A Random Litter of Thought". What Dennis Bagwell does on this album is essentially what all perzine creators do with their zines. The minor amount of [...]


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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Little Nothings: The Prisoner Syndrome by Lewis Trondheim


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via The Daily Cross Hatch by bheater on 2/25/09

Little Nothings: The Prisoner Syndrome
By Lewis Trondheim

lewistrondheimlittlenothingsprisonercoverHe's taken on a lot over the past decade and a half. There have been aliens and vampires and dungeons and dragons. In 2000 he wrote about the adventures of Santa Claus, and in 2001 it was the story of pint-sized king. It was the following year, however, that Lewis Trondheim took on what was, perhaps, the most difficult subject matter of his storied career—his own life. That year's four volume Travel Notebooks marked a return to autobiography, after years spent tackling nearly every other subject in the known universe. The trend continued with the sublimely titled Nothing Diaries, which have subsequently been collected in the States as the volumes, Little Nothings.

The title, of course, is a happy little piece of self-deprecation, Trondheim's not-so-subtle declaration of the banality of his day-to-day existence—and perhaps, by proximity, a swipe at the inevitable self-indulgence of such a project. The artist largely lives up to his title, writing about printer cartridges and saliva production and a weird spherical object ejected from his nasal cavity while blowing his nose. In that sense, the artist has captured the zen-like mundanity of the genre.

But Trondheim's position as one of the continent's most celebrated cartoonists affords him a certainly level of geographical freedom not often offered to other diary strip cartoonist—it's an opportunity that that artist takes advantage of fairly often over the course of the book, traveling to festivals, ceremonies, and conferences. Early on in the proceedings, on a trip to Nantes, in his native France, Trondheim discovers the term that gives this volume its subtitle: 'the prisoner syndrome.'

"It's when someone's locked up and isn't doing anything," he explains. "By not doing anything, he gets more and more tired and has less and less desire to do anything. It also happens in ordinary life. To ordinary folk…to artists…" To Trondheim, the solution is simple: more travel—taking advantage of all of those free plane tickets.

But while the changes in scenery afford him the opportunity to lend his stunning watercolors to new and beautiful scenery, a peculiar thing happens. Life's banality simply adapts to these new surrounding. Trondheim gets mosquito bites on the white sand beaches of Guadeloupe. Two pages later, he is seated on the hotel bed, counting the itchy red dots for his wife. The surroundings and the customs change, but the internalizing and the neuroses of the traveler stay the same, and ultimately it is those aspects that most affect his abilities as a narrator.

As confining as the structure of the diary strip may be, however, the boundaries are ultimately trumped by Trondheim's skills as a natural born storyteller. He makes games of life, awarding plus or minus "brownie points" for his ability to save energy by taking the stairs or leaving the lights on and the shades drawn. He closes his eyes and allows himself to take flight. It's ultimately his own flights of fancy, rather than physical methods of travel, which save him from succumbing to the prison syndrome.

Trondheim's pacing, meanwhile, provides a sense of instant engagement often lacking in diary strips. Where the most obvious American counterpart in the genre, James Kochalka, creates strips that, famously, must be consumed over long stretches of time to be suitably enjoyed, Trondheim's rhythms are instantly recognizable—a good thing, seeing as how the duration of Little Nothings has, well, nothing on Kochalka's long running daily strip. There are, certainly, overarching themes and plot points which can only be properly understood when the book is consumed as a whole (such is the nature of autobio), but so too can Trondheim's strips be enjoyed one at a time, in a manner that many diary strips are unable to replicate.

The relatively long length of each and the lack of daily deadline let Trondheim be more choosey with the material he pulls from, and as such, nearly every page offers a laugh or a friendly piece of insight into the human condition. The frequency also appears to have given Trondheim more time to labor over the artwork. While his inks certainly reflect the casual lines of a sketchbook, the artist's stunning watercolors seem to tell a different story—one in which the casual nature of a sketchbook is transformed into a work of art.

That, ultimately, is what we're left with—an brilliant artist attempting to deliver a fairly straightforward diary strip, who can't help but transcend the genre in the process.

–Brian Heater


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Zine Review, Somnambulist Number Ten


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via Somnambulist Zine by noreply@blogger.com (martha grover) on 2/24/09

What I needed: I'd like to thank Zine World for their glowing review!

You can order Zine World:
$4 US, $5 Canada/Mexico, or $7 overseas.
Subscribe and get the next 3 issues (plus any in-between supplements) for
$10 US, $13 Canada/Mexico, or $20 overseas. Send orders to PO Box 330156,
Murfreesboro TN 37133-0156.

For more info (and payment options), go here:

This is the review:

Somnambulist #10: "The Portland Issue." This is hands down one of the best new zines I've come across. Martha contributes two short stories. One, a poetic, beautifully written narrative that contrasts the authors' working-class, rural, "born again" roots up against the upper/middle-class cool of Portland hipster culture. The second, a story of gentrification told through the narrative lens of small casual observances between characters, rather than the political diatribe we come to expect of this topic. Martha's writing uses the sarcastic wit of a Wes Anderson flick to discuss hipster culture, a subject many of us are attuned to discussing, but one we rarely see represented as incredibly as this. Within this issue you will also find the illustrations of Rhiannon Leonard and Jason Schmidt, the poetry of Lisa Wells, and the short stories of Dan Kimbro, which were all also highly entertaining. I cannot give a more glowing recommendation—this is the zine to read. Martha Grover, PO Box 14871, Portland OR 97293, marthagrover@hotmail.com [$3 36S :30] –ailecia


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new books..new books..new books...


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via Kelly Kilmer Artist and Instructor by Kelly Kilmer on 2/24/09

Not one, but three tantalizing books are available in your local bookshop now:

Patricia Seggebruch's Encaustic WorkshopSheri Gaynor's Creative Awakenings
Ann Baldwin's Creative Paint Workshop
Three new books by three extraordinary women. Check 'em out.


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February 24, 2009


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via The Daily Mandala by Henry Reed on 2/24/09


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Fairytales in the Supermarket


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via Zine Classifieds by admin on 2/23/09

Name: Emma
Item price: 3/trade
Location: Sydney

An alphabetised kiss off to a decade of crappy jobs.

Read more and see images at eternalproject.wordpress.com

no images


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Oil pastel drawings.


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via Eaten By Ducks by zeke.clough@yahoo.co.uk (zeke) on 2/23/09

Here's something I've been experimenting with, I'm thinking of doing a load of these drawings and then exhibiting them somewhere.
Not sure whether to do them as an
A3 comic strip or to make 'em bigger one off drawings.


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#3 by Tom Cherry


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via Optical Sloth by admin on 2/25/09

New review for Nibble #3 by Tom Cherry.  So here's the latest around here:  I'm almost out of comics to review.  Shocking, I know, but there it is.  I'm heading to Chicago in two weeks and should be able to stock up a bit at Quimby's, but I may have to stop this streak before then, probably around the start of next week.  If anybody is willing to help plug that gap and/or actually enjoys my rambling being daily instead of a few times a week, well, that address over on the right is an excellent place to send your comics…


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Boris Lurie, Leader of a Confrontational Art Movement, Dies at 83


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via Eaten By Ducks by gaiihin.nkvmr9@gmail.com (Sagäuin) on 2/23/09

I came across this article.

Here are a few quotes from it:

"Mr. Lurie was born in Leningrad in 1924 but soon after moved with his family to Latvia. During World War II he was imprisoned in a succession of concentration camps, absorbing graphic images that would resurface decades later in etchings, paintings and collages. "

"The artists gave a name to their movement, No! Art, the following year, when they staged a show at the Gallery Gertrude Stein in Manhattan. That work was meant to be a rebellion against Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art as well as a protest against dehumanizing influences like fascism, racism and imperialism."

"They were saying no to a world that was saying yes, buy more, spend more," said Ms. Stein, the gallery owner. "It was retaliation against the consumerism of the post-Second World War boom."

"A 1962 etching by Mr. Lurie, for instance, combined a swastika and a Star of David. A 1959 work, "Railroad Collage," superimposed an image of a partly dressed woman over another image of corpses stacked on a flatbed rail car."


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New book reviews


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via Darryl Sloan by Darryl Sloan on 2/23/09


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Pinups Puts Real People in the Centerfold


Hailed as part of a new generation of NY-based gay zines, Pinups is the project of photographer Christopher Schulz, who's cut all the boring bits out of dead-tree publications and created a magazine that's nothing but centerfold. Both subversive and sexy, Pinups is the antithesis of the polished, plucked and bronzed images that dominate traditional gay magazines. Instead, the guys featured are engagingly accessible, while still being sexy and erotic.

It's one of our favorite zines here at Queerty, and on the occasion of the release of the magazine's eighth issue, we talked to Schulz about what it's like to use hot, naked guys to subvert the gay establishment and how to make it as a one-man publisher.

QUEERTY: So, to someone who's never heard of Pinups before, how do you explain it?

Christopher Schulz: It's hard to explain it in a sentence or two. In Printed Matter's announcement of the issue eight launch, they said Pinups is an ongoing artist's publication playing on the historical centerfold practice of nudie magazines by making the centerfold the sole feature. That's probably the most concise explanation that I've seen. More concise than mine!

What's the appeal of making a magazine that's just a centerfold?
I've always been drawn to the process of creating something in the format of a publication, but there are already so many magazines out there and nearly all of them are made up of punny headlines, a review section, interviews, articles, advice columns, ads, and so on. I figured that if I were to bring another magazine into the world it would have to be drastically different. As the creator I have the freedom to define the formula of the magazine, so it's appealing to me, but it's also refreshing for those who look at it—it's an entirely different experience from looking at a conventional magazine. It's more than just a flip-through. The magazine can be taken apart and the pages can be tiled to form a 70" x 32" image. So it involves interaction and can exist in the form of a book or a poster.

Where did you get the idea to do it? How did you first start the magazine?

I was looking at an old issue of After Dark and I noticed an ad for a beach towel that featured a head-to-toe image of a beefy looking guy in a Speedo. I started to think about the formula of porn magazines and how the main feature is the centerfold, and then I thought about enlarging the centerfold and removing all the fluff that many readers disregard.

I'm not interested in capturing body shame—there are no waxed bodies in Pinups; no painted on muscle tone. I'm not dolling guys up to sell anything. The perfect model is comfortable with his body and isn't afraid to show it.

When I started, I knew nothing about printing or how to lay out the pages. It took me a year to experiment with the format and contact printers before I put out the first issue. Originally I intended on printing it on newsprint and have it come apart much like a newspaper. I got nowhere with printers, and was so frustrated that I hit a point where I realized that if I don't print it the old fashion "'zine" way (Xerox) then it would never happen. The first year I printed the magazines using a Xerox printer. The magazine is now printed on an offset press.

Pinups has been described as part of a thriving gay 'zine scene by New York Magazine. What did you think of the article? It sort of seemed to say that gay 'zines are the future of gay print media.

I would say that gay zines are a taste of what's to come. There's something liberating about a bunch of artists that are taking gay media into their own hands and really challenging the standard. Hopefully these magazines will inspire their mainstream counterparts to be more thought provoking and dimensional.

How do you pick your models?

Most of the models I've featured have been close friends of mine, and many of them live in New York. Some guys I've invited to be in the magazine because I think they'd be a good match, and others ask me if they can be included. I always do test shoots before picking the models because I want to know how comfortable they are in front of the camera. The guys that I have worked with have been amazing. They agree to be in the magazine out of a love for the project and they really trust what I'm doing, so the collaboration between us has been very organic and easy-going. The photo shoots have always been fun and relaxed. I'm always stressed before and after the shoots. The most exciting part of the process is the photo shoot.

Describe the perfect Pinups model.
It's important that the models are comfortable with themselves. I'm not interested in capturing body shame—there are no waxed bodies in Pinups; no painted on muscle tone. I'm not dolling guys up to sell anything. The perfect model is comfortable with his body and isn't afraid to show it. Hopefully that comes across.

Is there any political or social meaning to the magazine?

I want to present an alternative to imagery that perpetuates the ideal body as being overly toned, overly tweezed, and overly Photoshopped. I'm inspired by all the nude photo books and magazines that came out of the 70s. Models were presented in a very neutral, almost documentary style. Some friends of mine showed me a book they had from the 70s that was basically a portfolio of images of all sorts of different people, photographed nude in a photo studio. The only text was the name of the person and their profession. It was genius. That's how I want to present the guys in Pinups—the nudity is natural, not pornographic. Similarly I believe peoples' responses are projected, not provoked. I think it says a lot for a magazine without words.

What do you have planned for the release party?

This time around, Printed Matter is hosting the launch, which is very exciting because there is really no other place quite like Printed Matter and it is the perfect context for Pinups. It's sort of a hybrid of a gallery and bookstore and carries works from zine makers you've never heard of to artists such as Yoko Ono and Barbara Kruger. It's really the most incredible range of works you'll see in one place.

Pinups Issue #8 will have its official launch on Saturday, Jan. 24 at Printed Matter (195 Tenth Avenue, NYC) from 5-7pm with an after party at Nowhere Bar (322 E 14th Street, NYC) at 10pm. Needless to say, come as you are.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Nelson, Kelli


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via Optical Sloth by admin on 2/22/09


The Horrifically Complete Non-Winner Now Available! $13

Here it is, the perfect book for anybody who has ever enjoyed a good journal comic. Well, almost anybody, as I guess if you hated Kelli's work for some reason this wouldn't be for you, but what's not to like here? This is the complete (as that cover may suggest) collection of her Non-Winner strip, done from 2001 through 2005. I'd never seen plenty of these, as she did most of these online, and it's taken me weeks to get through the whole thing, as I've been picking it up and reading bits of it at a time. If you've ever read a journal comic and thought "what the hell were they thinking with this one?" or "this week's strip looks like a complete waste of time", well, Kelli is kind/neurotic enough provide commentary for every single one of these, going into details about her fractured family life and other personal details. At times the quality of the strips aren't the best, as these were taken from her computer and some of these were designed with color or odd little tricks, but it's only noticable on a very few of these. Topics in here include pretty much everything in Kelli's life for those 5 years: family, married life, video games, comic conventions, dealing with publishers, hating (then eventually loving) Joss Whedon, and just about everything else you could think of. As for the commentary, I thought it would get on my nerves, but it ended up being completely fascinating. She adds all sorts of tidbits to everything, taking full responsibility when the strips sucked (mostly the "throwaway" type strips that she had to do while under deadline for something else) and adding relevant information to everything, including the awkward fact that her family did read her strip although she really, really wished they wouldn't. For anybody who has ever wondered exactly what goes into making a journal strip, this is the perfect book for you. Hell, even if you aren't even a little bit curious, you can still just ignore the commentary and enoy the strips. It's a thoroughly enjoyable book, and it's a damned shame that she decided to (temporarily?) give these up. $13

When I Was Brave

This is half of a split book with Robyn Chapman, just so it's clear. It's the story of Kelli from her first year of Junior High School, back when she was 12. It's short, sure, but it's incredibly dense for being such a tiny thing. It's basically all about an old teacher of hers, an elderly (and possibly drunk) old black man who had no control of his class and was walked all over consistently. Kelli decides to tell him the truth when the class has him convinced that a test is supposed to be open book, and the rest of the book is about the consequences of her doing the right thing. I liked it. Liked the blocky art and I liked the dilemna of doing the right thing when nobody wanted her to and it might end up getting her punished. This is tiny, sure, but it's worth checking out. Go to the website or send her an e-mail, I think this was $2. Sorry about the crappy scan…

Tomato Now Available! $1

Well, as you should be able to tell from that scan, this is a dream comic and, as such, might not make much sense in any kind of linear fashion. I think it would have been funnier if she had left out the fact that it's a dream comic and let people try to figure it out for themselves, but I'm sadistic that way. This is about a young girl who goes to join a school for girls. Whether she's a teacher or a student isn't exactly clear, but we do know that she's younger than the other girls. Anyway, she hears some scandalous stuff at lunch, then is mistakenly thought to have made a racist comment, and I'm on the verge of telling you the entire comic here so I'll just stop there. Dream comics are always interesting to me because it's a little peek into the subconscious of the author, however unintentional. It's a shortie, sure, but it's a good little book. Contact info is up there, or you could just buy this in the store, if you were so inclined…

Three Questions About Daddy Now Available! $4

This is one of those times where a comic is a tactile experience, or at least the cover is. I really wish there was some way for you guys to feel and smell this cover. Scientists, get on it! The cover is made out of leather (or fake leather, I'm no expert) and this will remind plenty of people immediately of childhood and the wallet that your Dad always carried around. Kelli made this comic from the responses of 16 people to 3 questions: How would you describe your father, how would you describe your relationship with your father, and what's your most outstanding memory of your father. Responses range from relatively flip to gut-wrenchingly honest, both positive and negative. I'll be the first to admit to being prone to hyperbole with my reviews, but this is a fantastic comic about life, really, that's not to be missed. Unless, of course, you're one of those mythical people who has never had a single problem with your father and have no interest in people who have. This is $4 and is in my online store, or you could just click on the contact info up there and head to her website, where you could check that out and all kinds of other things.

Non-Winner #1 Now Available! $1

Blurb! That's one problem I have with the fact that the online store shows a sentence or two, as now I'm apparently supposed to keep that in mind when I'm rambling and try to sum it all up in a brief soundbite, and I'm completely unable to do that. Sorry. I could just say "I loved this comic!", which I did, by the way, and then go down from there, but that would indicate order of some kind, and I'm completely against that. Anyway, review, oh yeah. This is a dense collection of tales from Kelli's life. The first half is about a summer vacation she took with her husband, then you have facts about her personal art history and going to art school, losing the Xeric Grant, being ugly (her words), and still being ashamed today of somethiing she said more than 12 years ago. Look, all I really want out of a mini that only costs a buck is that is be entertaining, and this has that, plus it takes a while to read (she uses a lot of text), PLUS it has a cover made out of what looks like coffee holder materials. Great stuff all around and cheap too, I only hope that the other issues of this are as good as the first one. Like I said, it's $1, contact info is up there, or you can head on over to the store, where you can also buy it. You do get that I'd be saying all these nice things even if it wasn't in the store, right? OK, good…

Non-Winner #2 Now Available! $1

Has everybody out there read Happy #2 by Josh Simmons? If not, you may be a bit lost on this one. In it, Josh has an extended rant about the state of autobiographical comics, from the quality of the art to the depth of the stories, to everything about them, really. I'd say check it out for yourself, even if you don't agree with it there's still the rest of an issue by Josh Simmons to enjoy. Anyway, this is mostly Kelli's response to that rant, with all of her insecurities and fears about her own self-worth taking over. After that is a short story about the best response that I've ever heard to those annoying singing wall fish that were so popular a few years back. Great stuff again, although a much quicker read than the last one, not like that's a big deal in any way. Contact info is up there, it's $1, you can also find this in my online store…

Non-Winner #3 Now Available! $1

What do you like better out of a mini, one big story or a bunch of tiny, relatively random ones? Well, if it's the latter, you're in luck! And if it's the former, well, expand your horizons a bit! This one is all over the place, and there are no handy little titles to let you know when the story is changing, so pay attention! In here she talks about her main memory of a dead Uncle, getting laid at least in part because of a dream involving Dragonball Z, her immediate reaction to the divorce of her parents, supporting the troops at Lowe's, and still having regrets for tattling in the sixth grade. Oh, and more insecurity about having all of her good stories come from when she was in grade school and how her best years are behind her. I liked this one too, although probably not as much as the other two, if that means anything to you. Still very much worth a look, contact info is up there, this is $1 and it's also available in the online store…

Invisible Momma Now Available! $1

Not sure how this one slipped through the cracks, as it was in the box of comics that Kelli sent me for the store months ago. it was kind of buried, I guess, but I think it means I'm just stupid for not seeing it. Oh well, now that I have seen it, how is it? Shockingly, as I seem to like most of her work, I like this one a whole lot too. This is the short story of the life of her mother, a life that Kelli hadn't thought all that much about until she was out of college. This is set up like the sample, a panel per page with one drawing above it. If she hasn't yet she should write some stories; she has a real gift for prose. This one is mostly a tale of regret about not getting to know her mother and confusion as to how to tell her about it, and at least a little bit of a sense of loss on what her mother had to give up to raise a family. Great stuff, probably her most powerful book outside of Three Questions For Daddy, and that's other people giving quotes. $1

The Dream Project Now Available! $2.95

And here I was thinking that my trolling the store to find comics that were never reviewed might have been a waste of time.  If I hadn't, when would I have ever finally read some of these comics that slipped through the cracks?  The last of Kelli's book I had to review (the phenomenal Horrifically Complete Non-Winner) was done over a year ago, and here this one sat.  This is, as you might have been able to tell from the title, a dream comic, with brief bits at the end about the nature of dreams and a bit at the end about the best way to lower dream recall, which is an interesting change from people who want to remember absolutely everything about their dreams.  This is damned near a pitch perfect representation of a dream.  Kelli's focus will shift to a light, which leads seamlessly to her staring at a clock.  Figures will remain throughout the dream (but they'll age several years through the course of the dream), Kelli knows instinctively who is evil and who she likes, regular events of the time will get thrown in along with absurdities that seem perfectly normal, like Kelli asking for the rest of the water from the pool of the INXS singer who killed himself.  It's silly to summarize the story, as it's a dream comic, but this does manage to maintain the bizarre consistency of a dream, the sense that everything comes together at the end even though there's no logical reason for it to do so.  For those of you who may have forgotten about Kelli on this page, or for you new folks who have never seen her stuff, take a closer look.  At this issue, sure, but there's a whole pile of goodness on this page.  $2.95


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